After more than five years with LJ (and a year working with School Library Journal and The Horn Book as well), I’m moving on. In mid-July, I’ll be starting as Deputy Director, Reference and Research Services at the New York Public Library (NYPL).
News, opinions and links of interest from Library Journal staffers covering budgets, collections, careers, ebooks, buildings, and more, across public, academic, and special libraries. Email suggested stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I was a kid, I used to play with the girl who lived across the street. But I never got to choose the game. When we were at her house, she would say “It’s my house, so I get to pick.” When we were at my house, she’d say, “I’m the guest, so I get to pick.” I would’ve been fine with either of these rules, but I was not fine with her choosing whichever was to her advantage at that moment. Visiting BookExpo America (BEA) last week, it occurred to me that, on the question of whether an ebook is “sold” or “licensed,” many publishers are dead ringers for that little girl across the street.
“When is a Sale Not a Sale? Selling vs. Licensing Digital Content” the International Digital Publishing Forum’s Digital Book 2013 conference asked. The panel, which took place on May 30 during the co-located BookExpo America last week in New York, featured Bill Rosenblatt, founder of GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies, who gave a point-by-point overview of the current state of digital copyright law.
Last night I celebrated World Book Night (WBN) by handing out 20 copies of one of my favorite books, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens, adjacent to the subway entrance at New York City’s Union Square. Objectively speaking it didn’t take me long at all to give out my copies—my box was emptied in time for me to attend the World Book Night kickoff party across the park at Barnes & Noble, if I hadn’t needed to get home to dinner. But subjectively speaking, it seemed to take much longer, and presented a capsule case study in reasons for, and methods of, rejection.
In recent TV ads for Samsung Galaxy smartphones, two actors exchange a music playlist simply by tapping their phones together. This quick and easy method for exchanging information is enabled by Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. It isn’t a particularly prevalent feature on smartphones yet. But given NFC’s functionality—it is particularly useful for applications like secure contactless payment—it seems likely to be a ubiquitous feature on smartphones in the future.
Among the many gadgets and gewgaws announced this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was a debut that may be a boon to students getting more comfortable with digital textbooks. A new etextbook dashboard tool, which will be an included feature in all etextbooks distributed by Kno Inc., will allow students to keep study analytics information private, or to opt-in to share their study results with peers and classmates.
Everyone does a year-end list, and I don’t like being left out. But I also don’t like lists that are short on context, or worse, short on content. So I channeled my inner Nate Silver and sliced the LJ universe of data in a couple of ways that I hope are more illuminating than just a raw list of articles that got a lot of attention.
Avid readers who have made New Year’s resolutions to visit their local library more often might be interested in the Library Extension for Google Chrome. The free extension lets users know whether specific books, ebooks, audiobooks, and music CDs are available at their local library while they browse for those titles at Amazon.com.