April 23, 2018

Reaching the Wikipedia Generation: Reference Roundtable Tackles Trends and Thorny Issues

LJ recently gathered publishers, aggregators, and librarians to discuss trends and thorny issues in reference

On January 21, 2012, at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, LJ met with reference publishers, database aggregators, and public and academic reference librarians to discuss recent events and issues in the library world. It had been an exciting week. In protest against the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), which would have effectively forced online sites to police user-generated content, online reference giant Wikipedia had “gone dark” for a day.

The blackout was fresh in everyone’s mind and inspired some soul-searching about overreliance on this resource by patrons and librarians alike. But the group covered lots of other topics, too, from debates over patron-driven acquisition (PDA) and how to get reluctant students and faculty into academic libraries, to innovative ways to measure usage and get marketing help from vendors. The following comments are highlights of the conversation.

LJ’s Reference Roundtable got off to an animated start with Sue Polanka (at the head of the table) making a point, as LJ reference editor Henrietta Thornton-Verma (next to her) moderates. The other members of the panel included (smaller photos, clockwise from top l.) Frank Menchaca (l.) and Rolf Janke; Carol Helton, Lisa Nachtigall, and Stephen Rhind-Tutt; Brian Duncan, Rebecca Seger, and Jennifer Pfau; and Rod Gauvin, Thérèse Purcell Nielsen, and Barbara Bibel. Photos ©Sean McGinty Photography LLC


LJ: After the Wikipedia blackout, Inside Higher Ed quoted a student as saying, “If Wikipedia is gone, I don’t even know how to research anymore.” What reaction did you see to the blackout? What lessons should we take from this student’s comment?

Sue Polanka, Wright State University Libraries, Dayton: The student needs a good school librarian!

Barbara Bibel, Oakland PL: We spent all day telling people why they shouldn’t be using Wikipedia as their only source. We didn’t notice any change.

Polanka: We didn’t notice anything, either.

Lisa Nachtigall, Wiley-Blackwell: One of the things I noticed, in a post on the LibLicense [discussion list], was an academic librarian taking it as an opportunity to show students that even without Wikipedia, you can still do your homework. It’s troubling that communication about using library resources largely hasn’t gotten down to the student level, and that’s one of the concerns that I certainly have about reference. But what can librarians do to get that message out there?

Frank Menchaca, Gale Cengage Learning: We follow the University of Washington Information School work on information literacy. What I’ve found interesting to read in the last two reports is that when students get an assignment, they search on the open web. They’ll go to Wiki­pedia for a couple of links, but they don’t know what to do next.

The school makes this very useful distinction between lower-order and higher-order thinking skills, higher order being the ability not just to search and retrieve but to sort, to analyze, to interpret. There’s an enormous opportunity for all of us to raise our game and become information guides, specialists who help students to sort and analyze and interpret, essentially to create ideas. During the blackout, our usage went up, but what’s more important to us is to define our role as information literacy experts. That’s the future of reference.

Rolf Janke, SAGE Reference: Also, what did we do so well before Wikipedia existed? Granted, reference wasn’t digital then, but there was a closer connection [among] librarians, reference, and publishers, and we were successful.

Carol Helton, Credo Reference: During the blackout, our librarian customers tweeted about us at an unbelievable rate. It was our most tweeted day ever. We had a number of comments on our Facebook page thanking us for not going dark and for things like our topic pages, which helped fill the gap for students on that day.

Stephen Rhind-Tutt, Alexander Street Press: The conversation is centering on Wikipedia as competitor. I’m interested in whether the group collectively thought of it as a collaborator or a competitor.

Thérêse Purcell Nielsen, Huntington PL, NY: My daughter attends a college where [Wikipedia cofounder] Jimmy Wales was the keynote speaker at parents’ weekend in 2009. The thing I came away with, and what I try to impart to patrons, is that if you don’t have anything else, if you’re in a remote part of Africa on something that’s got a solar battery and you need to know the average rainfall, [Wikipedia] is good, but we’ve got so much more available that’s also free to patrons.

Rhind-Tutt: If I’m candid, Wikipedia’s pretty good. Frank [Menchaca] made a really good point when he said we’ve got to figure it out, because it’s only going to get better. I was surprised as a contributor [to Wikipedia] when several things that I tried were shut down instantly; copying as little as two lines from the Washington Post was kicked out as plagiarism. That Wikipedia was able to get the prospective SOPA law changed is a real indication of its power. Much as it’s nice for us to have gotten additional traffic, the number of days Wikipedia’s going to be down won’t be many.

Bibel: One of the things that we have to do as librarians is teach evaluation skills because anybody can edit Wikipedia, though, yes, [it’s been] tightened up a little bit.

Nachtigall: One thing we hear a lot in conversation with librarians is that it’s great to say that you want to help with information literacy or that you want to help guide students to research at the library. But if they’re not coming to you and reference sections are closing down, how do librarians even get themselves into that role?

Bibel: [At Oakland PL] they’re still coming because they don’t necessarily know how to find what they want, or they haven’t found it. Another problem is that a lot of teachers say, “You can’t use the Internet,” but don’t make a distinction between subscription databases and Google and Wikipedia and everything else, and students don’t understand the difference.


Menchaca: We’re nibbling around the edges of a good central question, which is how libraries really measure themselves. There’s been some interesting work done on embedded librarianship—librarians as foils to the teacher—and it raises the question, how do we want to measure ourselves? With collection size or gate counts or traditional usage statistics? How relevant is it to measure collection size when you have digital collections in the mix? What if we thought about our metrics linked to learning outcomes or by looking at faculty success? I see it happening in pockets, but these are real questions that we as a community have to deal with.

Bibel: That’s hard to follow through on. You can give a student all kinds of good information, and they’re very happy. But you don’t know what grade they got on the paper afterward.

Nachtigall: Are any of the publishers in the room doing a feedback loop—“Did this article help you?”—on your sites?

Helton: We’re doing something more advanced, with our newest platform, Literati. Not only do we have a feedback mechanism, we also have assessments that librarians can customize. Marshall University, WV, for example, is using assessments to track first-year writing students and looking at increases in their digital and information literacy.

Nachtigall: There’s also a lot of talk now, certainly at Wiley, of getting a perspective on how academic librarians are using their metrics to evaluate digital books and digital reference collections. What is the metric librarians are looking at now for usage, and what do you need us as publishers to do to help you make those decisions?

Polanka: Gate counts and use really mean nothing anymore. A number of academic librarians are starting to do deeper assessment, trying to look at recently tenured faculty or at a specific department and saying, “In the physics department, let’s look at faculty CVs and see the articles that they’ve cited,” and then analyzing how many of those came from the library. It’s almost like another type of impact factor. Anything you can do to help us with that would be great.

Menchaca: Cengage Learning has a presence in the classroom, and we’ve launched MindTap, a digital platform for classrooms. We’re beginning to link the reference material to the classroom material and trying to understand how to measure how many times a particular reference article—whether it’s from us or from any one of the publishers here—has been used. It raises questions about our indexing, our vocabulary—do we map the library’s vocabulary to the curriculum vocabulary? These ­really big questions occupy most of my time.

Patron-Driven Acquisition (PDA)

LJ: Many libraries are choosing PDA as an option for “just in time, just in case” collection development. What is the role of PDA in reference?

Rhind-Tutt: At the Charleston Conference a couple of years ago, there was a presentation that estimated that the aggregate cost savings for a particular library using PDA went from $218,000 to $25,000 and with the same access. What that’s saying is that the monographs were overpriced. If a PDA model cost, say, $40,000, and buying monographs and owning them in perpetuity cost only $20,000, I don’t think anyone would like PDA.

I’ve been in this industry 20 years, and there’s this dance that publishers and librarians do: librarians suggest a new pricing model, and publishers work out how they can get the same revenue. They present it to the librarian, and the librarian does the same calculation, and it turns out that they’re going to pay a little bit more. So the dance goes around again.

Think about journals: there used to be a cost for print, and one or two people could read it at a time. Now if you take one of the big, general EBSCO, ProQuest, or Gale collections, the cost per article per student is fractions of pennies. That needs to play out in the monograph space. If those prices don’t come down, PDA is going to look ever more attractive.

Brian Duncan, EBSCO Publishing: You realize the great thing about PDA when you look at the percent of the library’s materials collection that was acquired in the old-fashioned way and that wasn’t used in the first two years. PDA only buys what you actually use.

Rhind-Tutt: An objective observer would look at us and say, “These guys are doing a really lousy job in comparison to PDA.” The reason why lots of monographs aren’t used is not that they’re poor or that their content isn’t germane to patron needs. It’s that we don’t have good tools to get users to the content they need. When I look at Wikipedia as a potential competitor, what if it linked to all of our content? The use would be just incredible. But there’s a schism between us and Wikipedia, where they say, “Oh no, we’re not commercial. Heaven forbid that we’ll actually help you sell anything.”

Polanka: We don’t use PDA at Wright State, but OhioLINK was one of the first institutions to use it with NetLibrary ten or 11 years ago, and we called it “money sucker,” because you touched it, you bought it. Now there are so many other models in place; we’d like to try it again. The big question with PDA is what kind of library do you want to be? Do you want to be a library that simply accesses, or one that preserves content for the duration?

Nachtigall: Or you figure out a proportional split. What we’re seeing is that there’s still that core collection driven by the collection development policies of the institution, and there’s a bucket for individual purchasing. Pilot programs are coming at us weekly from the aggregators because different libraries are looking to try PDA, whether it’s for six months with X amount of money, or X amount of money for as long as it lasts.

I’m not sure I agree with comparing book and journal usage. Monographs and journal articles are written for different reasons. You can’t necessarily lower the price from the publisher side so that the cost per use decreases.

Rhind-Tutt: It’s not particular to journals. Our American History on Video database has 5000 videos in it, and we looked at doing PDA. The cost per video in this collection is about 50¢. Buying an individual video, at least for [academic] libraries, [can be as much as] $200–$300, so if you want more than about 30 videos, you’re better off getting an unlimited subscription. Librarians should push us for new models, and we should try to figure out how we can continue to produce great content and get paid for it. But I think it’s very dangerous to latch onto one model.

Janke: PDA is fascinating but we don’t see the demand for it. I agree with Stephen [Rhind-Tutt]—it’s just one model. It’s been tossed around and turned upside down, and it’s almost like discoverability—it’s the elephant in the room. The other thing is that reference is all over the map product-wise—eight-volume, 12-volume encyclopedias, monographs, video databases, you name it. Contained within each one of those product types are discrete little components. So for a publisher to accept a business model regardless of the pricing would be impossible. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to do it. It just means that it’s going to take a long time to figure out.

Helton: We did a roundtable discussion with 18 ARL directors at ALA annual last year. And the biggest question was, what does PDA in reference mean? What kind of model would work for you? And they flat out rejected it. They didn’t want to turn a $1400 item on just because a student spent some time in it. We even asked what the motivators would be, how could we get to a model. The only model that surfaced that might be attractive in the reference world was reconciliation, where they could use titles throughout the year and then purchase them.

Polanka: Was there a demand for a pay per article setup?

Helton: We did talk a little bit about that, and, yes, there was interest. But it was divided because [the ARL directors] were worried about whether they would own the material.

Janke: Pay per article is working in the journals world, which is good for reference publishers because there’s a benchmark, the cost per article. But how do you commoditize a reference book article that’s 1000 words? You might charge 99¢, but just to do that transaction costs 82¢. From an infrastructure point of view, it’s really challenging.

Polanka: From the library perspective, it goes back to what Stephen [Rhind-Tutt] was saying. The only reason we’d want to do pay per article in the reference environment is if it will save money. We don’t want to buy a $1400 encyclopedia because we don’t think it’s going to be used more than ten times; we’d rather pay $10 per use.

Nielsen: Or it’s not what we want.

Bibel: That’s the whole thing with these packages. It would be nice if we could just choose the things that we actually need.

Mobile Reference

LJ: Many vendors now offer mobile versions of their websites or databases. Is it just younger patrons who fuel the demand for these resources? How can libraries better market these to all patrons?

Nielsen: I’ve got patrons of all ages. Some of them are students who are older, and some of them are just older, not students. I don’t think in a public situation we can assume that it’s student-driven. It’s people who just want to have easier lives.

Rod Gauvin, ProQuest: Our research has shown that strong proportions of digital natives use apps on their mobile devices. But it’s a question of maturation over time—later we’ll see other users, as well. All of the vendors are going to get there, and they’ll become device agnostic because none of us is wedded to one technology giving us the end result.

Menchaca: Our ebook platform works with mobile devices, and you can download articles to your iPad or your iPhone. It’s obvious: you want to be where people want to encounter you. It gets back to the discoverability question that Rolf [Janke] raised. It’s great if we make all of our material work with mobile devices. That’s pretty straightforward. But how do we as a community deal with the question of patrons really finding our material?

Nachtigall: And how do we deal with the fact that every time there’s a technology convention, there’s yet another new platform that we have to be compatible with? Apple’s announcement [that it will make e-textbooks available] means that there’s yet another format to consider. Do you go into the game as an early adopter or wait until you figure out that more students are going to use it? The challenge we talk about is how many formats are enough.


LJ: Discovery really is, as Rolf [Janke] said, the elephant in the room. How do we make content visible and encourage students to use reference products?

Polanka: Authentication is the biggest barrier. Within individual platforms and interfaces there are great tools, but getting people there creates barriers. So how can we make this material more discoverable and eliminate barriers yet make librarians happy because they’ve paid for it and it’s not publicly available?

Rhind-Tutt: As a small publisher, we recognize that we’re not going to be a player in the same way as many folks here. The result is that we feel that we have to be completely open and make it really easy for everybody to discover us. That ranges from Google exposure all the way down through having our metadata publicly available to anybody. But, as I said, for me the worst thing is that even with the excellent work that many around the table have been doing in discovery services, you still can’t put a link to our products in Wikipedia because you’re accused of driving commercialism. Wikipedia would be a far richer resource if it allowed those links.

Menchaca: Users would be the biggest winners in that ­scenario.

Rebecca Seger, Oxford University Press: At Oxford we’ve experimented with making some of our content freely available in these sites. Oxford Islamic Studies Center took the Dictionary of Islam, which is just a small part of that site, and put it outside the paywall. Then we worked with the authors to get them to link to that content on Wikipedia. We told them about the benefits; we didn’t do the linking ourselves because Wikipedia would cut that right out. Because the content is freely available, the links are persistent, and they stay in Wikipedia.

So part of it is embracing Wikipedia, because you can’t deny that users are going to go there. They should allow database links in there though, and let libraries that have access to that database turn them on.

Menchaca: We approached Jimmy Wales with this early on, and he said, “The truth is, the only thing I own is the idea and the name Wikipedia. If I partnered with you, my entire worldwide community would reject me.” I said, “Do you ­really believe that?”

Seger: On Oxford Islamic Studies Center, we saw a significant increase in traffic coming from Wikipedia to that free content. So that’s partly what we’re experimenting with in discoverability, that free layer of content.

Rhind-Tutt: Do you think that will mean that your frontlist reference goes free, and you’ll charge for your backlist and monographs and journals?

Seger: We’re not in a position to do that. Producing a four-volume reference work costs in the six figures. We’re a nonprofit, but we can’t lose money on everything we do or we won’t be around. I think you’ll see more freely available content. Free in-depth reference? I don’t see how we can do that unless a whole new kind of business model–author pays?–emerges for reference. And I don’t see that.

Nachtigall: That layer of free content, we do that [by providing] abstracts, even for our reference book content. It’s different from a journal abstract; very often it’s just the first paragraph of a reference book article. But it provides something that Google or another search engine can pick up so that users will be guided there.

Seger: You want to be found where the users are researching. You know they’re using Google and Wikipedia. So you try to find a way to elevate your results through freely available content and metadata hubs. It’s tricky trying to make some of your content freely available because sometimes it doesn’t authenticate to the library. They get the content, but it doesn’t trigger a usage at the library, and statistics might start to go down a little bit there.

Nachtigall: But getting on the first two pages is still a barrier.

Helton: We’ve taken the same approach [at Credo] to having some freely available content that our publishers have allowed us to offer and created what we call Topic Pages. We have 10,000 of them, and they’re based on Google’s most searched terms and on current events. We have a button that allows you to find your library and then guides you to its other resources. What we found is that we had to bring someone aboard our team to help with the SEO [search engine optimization], and we’re in the process of revamping so that we hit the right place.

We know that Google has already proven reference necessary. Otherwise why would Wikipedia be the first entry on every page? The other thing we’re doing that brings it full circle is we have agreements with the discovery system vendors to treat our content differently so that it rises to the top in searches, much like Wikipedia does. Those vendors are starting to recognize that they need their own Wikipedia, so to speak.

Nachtigall: One of the things that was talked about in Charleston was the whole question of discovery services and reference—there was some concern among librarians that discovery services aren’t identifying reference as reference. I’d like to ask the librarians here, how much is reference recognized as reference with your users and how do we get around Wiki­pedia [being] the first result patrons find? How do you get people to think about a different kind of content when we’re trying to improve discoverability? How do people know that a reference article and a book chapter are different?

Janke: That’s an interesting question. There are wonderful discovery services, and there’s a lot of technology involved with that. But if we put 20 professors in a room and say, “Name five reference sources in your library,” could they do it? And students get their research assignments from faculty. So if the faculty is somewhat agnostic—in some cases apathetic—to what’s in the library, then we’re screwed.

We always talk to librarians who say, “Help us market your content to faculty. We’re not in business. We don’t have marketing degrees.” We need to make our content more discoverable to the faculty so that it filters down to the students.

Gauvin: You’re right. Last year’s ERIAL [Ethnographic Research in Illinois Libraries] study, which covered five universities, pointed to this very issue, which is that a very small percentage of students actually start with the library. One of the greatest tools we’ve got is discovery. But if we can’t get them to the doorstep of the institution or even its web page, we’re cooked.

Bibel: We have issues with faculty, too. We’re up the street from a community college that has a lot of students who are new to the country and have limited English skills. They take an Introduction to Business class there from a professor who tells them they have to look at Moody’s in print. We’ve contacted the professor over and over and explained that it doesn’t exist anymore.

Nachtigall: Faculty is a big part of it. We can’t promote directly to students. Having the relationship with the librarian is important, and we market to faculty to sell them textbooks. But we don’t have an integrated conversation that makes these resources a part of their research.

Nielsen: One of the most frequently requested things in a public library setting still is Rosetta Stone because people found out about it through [consumer] marketing, not through us. During that brief, beautiful two years when I could offer it, it was something that I didn’t have to sell, and it was valued. The importance of reference is impressed upon users when a teacher advises them that it’s something they must use, even if it doesn’t exist anymore, or when they see a big Rosetta Stone ad every day on the train platform.

LJ: What else can libraries do to promote discovery?

Menchaca:Libraries haven’t carved out a role for themselves as the provisioning agent for the entire university. We had a group come in during the summer: provosts, library directors, deans, and CFOs, too. We got into the question of purchasing and uniting faculty material and library material. One of the provosts said, “The only people sitting around this table who really understand how to purchase for an entire community are the librarians. They’ve got the ability. They’ve got the track record. They understand how to buy for a consortium.” The CFOs said they would love that. I’m surprised that at least at the university level that hasn’t taken shape, as we have all this downward pressure on budgets. Libraries could step back and say, “We’ll purchase information and learning the way we purchase electricity.”

Janke: Social media is starting to help with brand awareness. So at least people who weren’t familiar with SAGE now know what we do and want to know more about it. I don’t think it gets to a granular level, but brand awareness alone is halfway to discovery.

Nachtigall: We do that a lot with key consumer brands. The “For Dummies” list goes head to head now with all the free video that’s available. We’ve got a brand that’s very well established in the print world, and we need to figure out how to migrate that to a revenue-generating digital space. We have to convince people that sometimes it’s good to just get the book and open it up when you’re trying to change a tire. We use social media for other purposes, but for this content, that’s taking away from the revenue potential.

Menchaca: Why aren’t libraries hiring twentysomethings to tweet?

Nielsen: There’s a trend toward that, but we’re working with limited resources.

Polanka: Some do. We don’t have a position. We just have our web team that manages anything that is not physical. But I know at my alma mater, the University of Dayton, they just hired someone who is responsible for communication.

Vendor Marketing

LJ: Have vendors helped you to market reference? Are there marketing models that have been particularly effective?

Polanka: Not necessarily. The key is getting to faculty, making sure they know that the library is the best resource and getting them to direct students there. Obviously, library instruction plays a big role in that, but what do you do for the professor who gives an assignment and doesn’t mention the library because they don’t know anything about what we have?

I would love to see reference book articles indexed in journal databases because they would be so much more discoverable. Ideally, everybody would love to have a discovery tool that searched everything we owned and brought it up. But it costs the price of a full-time staff person, and we’re not ready to give up that person yet to buy one of your tools.

Helton: What would your recommendation be for marketing directly to faculty? Are there particular places that you would like to see us talking to them?

Polanka: From a librarian’s perspective, what bothers us the most is when someone goes in and says, “Tell your librarian to buy this journal or to buy this book,” and then they come in so excited and we say, “I’m sorry, we have no money for another subscription.” We’d prefer a focus on, “Here’s what our resources can help you with. Here’s how our resources can promote research and learning. And here’s how we support this and that in your classroom.” Talk more about how you’re supporting overall learning versus saying, “Go buy my product.”

Helton: One of the things that we’re trying really hard to do with the release of our new platform is to market the library to the community.

Nielsen: Many of our databases are provided through our consortium, so a lot of the impact of what you’re doing might be diluted, because dispersing information among 50-something libraries is difficult. But we’re always looking for help. If it helps you, it helps us. Some of the best results I’ve had are with patrons using the most difficult databases. I teach one lawyer who learned how to use Westlaw, and then he tells the guy in the next suite that there’s this lady at the library who can help you! Whatever you can provide for us to make that one-on-one easier will be great.

Duncan: The question about targeting public libraries is, where is the 25-year-old man? Is he coming in? So we’ve done ads during the broadcast of the [University of Texas at] Austin football game. We’ve seen spikes in usage that way. But then the spikes die back down. We did radio ads in Texas [on country music and rock stations]—the state library helped us channel which radio stations to go after. We did a couple of thousand ads just talking about [cuts to the] Texas State Library, TexShare, the databases. We’ve tried that in about 30 states now.

Nachtigall: We should open up reference kiosks in airports. You have to go to the people. We are marketing a product but not in the way consumer companies do. We don’t have the budgets, and if we charged less so that we could get rid of the whole PDA conversation, we’d have even less. It’s hand-to-hand combat getting reference into people’s awareness, and yet we hear reference librarian positions are being cut back across public and academic libraries.

LJ: We reported about a Broward County Library, FL, program that offers public domain ebooks at airports. Would you consider offering, say, business reference to business travelers in airports?

Nielsen: We already do something like that. We put out ­paperbacks at the train station.

Seger: New York Public Library has a little outdoor library in the park behind it where you can publicly check out books.

Menchaca: I think Houston Public Library System, TX, does a really nice job with this in small pod libraries in buildings that house social services, for example. Rhea Lawson, the director there, was talking about setting up a branch in the airport where people can go and check out a print book or ebook and get on a plane. We have to think about ourselves differently. We still think about ourselves within the confines of a physical space and largely in terms of physical interaction when the rest of the world has moved on.

Faculty Instruction

LJ: I met a librarian yesterday whose new tactic is to market to faculty because employees can be obliged to undergo library instruction, whereas with students at her institution, it’s voluntary. Would you think about doing that?

Gauvin: I think the evidence with regard to faculty would suggest otherwise. There’s been an attempt to build institutional repositories for the last decade. The most recent study, which came out of ITHAKA last year, showed that only 20 or 25 percent of the faculty populate those repositories, even if the administration has been asking them to do that and it’s in their contract.

My experience with my daughters going to the university is very different. Years of trying to get them to use databases, and I could never break through. The University of Michigan librarians turned them around, so that by the end of the second or third year they were serious students. That all happened as a result of the information literacy program. I worry that we’re giving up too soon by thinking such programs are not effective. There’s been such a pull from the open web that it dwarfs good activities that are happening within ­institutions.

LJ: The ERIAL report that you mentioned found that students are too confident, and not only do they not know about the resources, but they don’t even think that they need them. Is that something you’ve had to get around?

Bibel: No. I mean, they’re coming to us because they haven’t succeeded.

Polanka: Your comment made me think about watching the Super Bowl last year. There was a web company that advertised once during the game, saying, “You can ask us any question, and we’ll answer it for only 99¢.” And I thought, “What the…? We’ll do it for free!” What if we collaborate and put out a “Go ask your librarian” ad, sponsored by publishers?

Janke: I totally agree with the collaborative focus. I think we’re protecting our own environment, whether nonprofit or commercial. That’s what we’re paid to do. But it’s still a small enough industry that we can collaborate. We can’t make it about just the one-to-one anymore, because you can’t get out there and put kiosks in the airport just for one publisher. It’s about the information and the community of information.

This article was published in Library Journal. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Henrietta Verma About Henrietta Verma

Henrietta Verma (hverma@mediasourceinc.com, @ettaverma) was formerly reviews editor at Library Journal. Etta, who is from Ireland, has also been a reference librarian and a library director and is the mom of two avid readers.

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