Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Libraries, E-Books, and Legacy Publishers . . .

I often wonder why so many blogs that cover Reading, Writing, and Publishing don’t cover Libraries

Perhaps I just haven’t yet discovered the blogs that door, haven’t noticed posts about libraries in the ones I visit

To me, libraries are one of the focal centers of the BookWorld.

You can find the other posts I’ve done on this topic by clicking the words “Library” & “Libraries” in the Top Tags widget in the left side-bar.

And, I can’t help singling-out one particular post, My Friend ~ Micro-Fiction Writer & Prison Librarian.

But, I happened on a blog post by James LaRue (librarian, author, speaker, facilitator, musician, actor, and poet) called Myth-busting: libraries and ebooks.

Before I quote some excerpts from that post, I encourage you to, of course, read the whole post but also check out the Blog Archive in his side-bar


Here are Mr. LaRue’s Three Myths:

Myth # 1: Libraries just want to buy one copy, then give your book away to the world.

Myth # 2. Libraries steal sales from publishers.

Myth # 3. It’s too easy to borrow books from the library.

Then, concerning the issue of legacy publishers and e-books, he says:

“Partnerships—finding common cause in the connecting of reader and writer—is the way out of the current conflict between Big Six publishers and America’s public libraries.”

Do, please, if libraries mean anything to you, go read his full article
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6 responses to “Libraries, E-Books, and Legacy Publishers . . .

  1. Once August 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    When I retired from teaching five years ago, one of the more appreciative parents gave me copy of The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel. Sooner or later, I read that monograph with a kind of quiet delight that any English teacher might have in reading on the subject, and found that while the subject matter might seem dry to anyone in general, Manguel’s treatment of multiple possible avenues of approach to the idea and subject of libraries and their importantance in social development, read in stages, over a period of time and allowing oneself to focus on each chapter proved to produce a fairly wonderful effect in my thinking on the past, the present, and the future of these public and private repositories of human knowledge and achievement. Two “reviews” on this same book are below. In short, the book would be an unlikely choice in reading to most, but I found it opened doors to thought on the history of human consciousness and progress that simply did not exist for me before reading Manguel’s work.
    Inspired by the process of creating a library for his fifteenth-century home near the Loire, in France, Alberto Manguel, the acclaimed writer on books and reading, has taken up the subject of libraries. “Libraries,” he says, “have always seemed to me pleasantly mad places, and for as long as I can remember I’ve been seduced by their labyrinthine logic.” In this personal, deliberately unsystematic, and wide-ranging book, he offers a captivating meditation on the meaning of libraries.


    Editorial Review – Library Journal vol. 133 iss. 12 p. 112 (c) 07/15/2008
    This is a book for those who delight in books and libraries. In 15 evocative essays, Manguel (A History of Reading ), an Argentine-born writer and editor now living in France, explores the world of words, books, libraries, literature, and imagination. Libraries serve as his focal point as he weaves together quotations, memories, biography, mythology, and illustrations. In the chapter “Libraries as Shape,” the reader encounters details of stone masonry, images of a brain-shaped library juxtaposed with the first known floor plan of a monastery library, a history of reading room architecture, and snippets of biographies of Pope Clement and Michelangelo pulled together with wit and provocative insights. In “Libraries as Oblivion,” the author explores the notion of books read and forgotten alongside descriptions of libraries lost to war and destruction and readers lost through discrimination and denial of access. This is not standard library history, and its strength lies not in the details but in the connections, in the lyrical web pulling together odd bits into new ways of seeing the universe of books, readers, authors, and libraries. Published originally in Canada in 2006 …Recommended for most libraries and any librarian needing a reminder of the power of connections.—Jan Blodgett. Davidson Coll. Lib., NC


  2. Alexander M Zoltai August 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Thank you, So Much, for referencing this book and providing the reviews :-)

    I’m sure a few of our readers will benefit greatly from perusing this treasure


  3. janedarntonwatson August 22, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Ah, yes Once, I agree. I have ‘The Library at Night, too, it is a wonderful book. Actually in Australia we have a system called PLR or Public Lending Right. As its web page states: “Public Lending Right (PLR) and Educational Lending Right (ELR) are Australian Government cultural programs that make payments to eligible Australian creators and publishers in recognition that income is lost through the free multiple use of their books in public and educational lending libraries.” So, neither writers nor publishers suffer from any feeling of deprivation from libraries in this country I believe – we love our libraries …:-)


  4. Jamie LaRue August 22, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Thanks for the mention of my blog. I know that many writers have a fondness for libraries. But I suspect that most writers don’t know about the current attempt by the Big Six publishers to lock libraries out of the ebook market. See another blog post on the American Libraries site:


  5. Alexander M Zoltai August 22, 2012 at 8:11 am

    So, Jane, Australia compensates the writers and the (legacy) Publishers in the the U. S. try to rape the libraries


  6. Alexander M Zoltai August 22, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Ah, Mr. LaRue!!

    Thank you for coming over and, especially, thank you for providing another link concerning this issue


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