Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Librarians

Libraries Win Again; And, So Do Writers . . .


Click this image to compare e-readers…

This makes the 42nd post about Libraries on this blog and the 35th post about Smashwords.

But, this is the first post I’ve done about Bibliotheca’s cloudLibrary

Bibliotheca’s site says:

“The world’s leading eBook and audiobook solution, cloudLibrary is designed to be accessible to library users wherever they want to read or listen.”

So, the big news was on Smashwords’ blog:

Smashwords to Supply Nearly 300,000 Titles to Bibliotheca cloudLibrary.

In case you were unaware, Smashwords “…is the world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks.  [They] make it fast, free and easy for any author or publisher, anywhere in the world, to publish and distribute ebooks…”

And, here are just a few excerpts from that Smashwords’ blog post (those who are or want to be self-published writers really should read the whole post…):

“…bibliotheca, operator of the cloudLibrary™ digital lending platform…serves over 3,000 public libraries in the US, Canada, U.K. and Australia.”

“Smashwords offers indie authors and small independent presses unparalleled distribution to approximately 30,000 public and academic libraries around the world.  With the addition of bibliotheca, the Smashwords distribution network reaches most major library ebook platforms including OverDrive, Baker & Taylor Axis 360, Gardners UK (Askews & Holts and VLeBooks) and Odilo.”

“The cloudLibrary service is made available to library patrons as an app.  The app supports desktop and mobile devices including PCs, Macs, iOS devices, Android, Chrome and some Kindle devices.

“Patrons download the app at then select their country, state and local library, after which the patron enters their library PIN code into the app.”

“Libraries will also have the option to expose the complete Smashwords catalog to patrons so patrons browse the full catalog and suggest titles their library should add to their collection.”

Any librarians reading this can check for further information here <——

As recently as last October, one of the most savvy folks on the book-beat said  that libraries are “…one of the last remaining channels that remains fairly difficult for an indie author to access.”

It certainly seems Smashwords is changing that situation
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BONUS BLOG POST ~~~ It’s National #Library Week in the USA!

It’s a good thing I have multiple sources of information bombarding my e-mail in-box or I might have missed National Library Week. National Library Week

And, even though I haven’t been in a library for years, I’ve had plenty of visits in my nearly 7 decades of living—plus, I worked in a library when I was an adolescent—and one of my closest friends is a Librarian

For lots of info on how to celebrate check out the National Library Week Page on the American Library Association Web Site.

And, now, a “true-to-life” video tale about a rather amazing small-town librarian…

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Libraries at the Literary Divide ~ Print & Digital

This post will make it 34 articles I’ve written here about Libraries

As far as I know, my novel (to the left in the side-bar…) is only in three libraries, so far; but then, I self-published.

More on that in a bit

First, let’s look at some ideas from an article in The Washington PostReaders win when libraries add e-books, but preserve print, as well (this article focuses on the USA & I’m hoping a few readers in other countries can even things out in the comments…):

“As demand for e-books soars, libraries are expanding their digital footprints. Spending on e-books nationwide has expanded from 1.7 percent of public library budgets in 2010 to 7.6 percent last year, while money devoted to print collections has decreased.”

“Print still matters, and many libraries are experiencing as much demand as ever for old-fashioned offerings.”

“The good news is that finding a middle ground seems possible — when libraries have the money.”

“With the necessary resources, libraries can take the right steps forward into the digital age without jettisoning too much of the printed past.”

While there are certain initiatives to influence traditional publishers to lower the exorbitant prices they ask for e-books, self-published authors now have an easier path to getting their books into libraries.

C. S. Lakin’s blog has a guest post by journalist and publishing consultant Porter AndersonIntroducing Authors’ New, Free Entry into Libraries: SELF-e.

Here are a few, brief excerpts:

SELF-e is an all-new discovery platform that authors can use to get their ebooks into the American library system.”

“Here’s how it works:

  • You use a PDF or EPUB version of your ebook to upload your ebook here. It takes 10 to 15 minutes.

  • As you go through the process, you’ll be asked for your state of residence.

  • Non-US residents writing in English are welcome to submit, too: they just hit “Outside the US” at the bottom of the drop-down of state names.

  • Once your manuscript is submitted, the Library Journal editorial evaluators do their work.

  • If you’ve indicated that you’d like to be included in your state anthology of curated ebooks, your work is automatically placed there and made available to librarians in your state system.

  • If you’ve also indicated that you’d like to be considered for the special SELF-e Select curated collection to be offered to the national system, Library Journal’s evaluators will take that into consideration.”

There’s a lot more to that article and I heartily encourage those who’ve self-published (and, those who plan to do it) to read the whole thing

So, do e-books in libraries bother you?

Should publishers make it easier for libraries to share e-books?

Will print books disappear?

Or, will humanity find room for both print and digital?

Hope to hear from you in the Comments :-)
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Will Public Libraries Ever Just Disappear?

Many blogs have a Top Tags Cloud—a widget that gathers the keywords the blogger’s given to posts and displays them—larger words for more posts, smaller for fewer—often, hovering your cursor over them shows the number… 


Image Courtesy of Holger Dieterich ~

This blog has a Top Tags widget, further down on the left side-bar—condensing over 1,100 posts into clickable topics; and, “Library” has 36 posts (including this one)

I’m sure there are folks who have never been to a public library; and, some who remember when all there was were libraries and bookstores

I’ve been collecting links to articles about these places defined as, “A large organized collection of books for reading or reference, for use by the public or by a specific group…”

I have a small library, right next to my laptop desk, about 100 books, “haphazardly organized”

I have a tablet with over 200 books (organized however I choose…).

I suppose you could think of Amazon as a “library” since you can avail yourself of their Lending Program.

But, what about those places you can actually walk into, spaces dedicated to print books, thousands of them, meticulously organized on shelves—books you can take home for awhile

Think they’ll disappear?

I found an article in the Daily Chronicle called Why We Still Need Public Libraries.

It describes a movement back to public libraries and it’s worth reading in its entirety; but, this bit stood out for me:

“…we still need what urbanologists call ‘third places’ – that is, public spaces other than work and home. Public libraries are third places, along with cafes and old-fashioned bookstores.”

Also, The Boston Globe has the article, Life without Libraries Would Be Unimaginably Poorer—another worthy read—with these ideas:

“The ability to browse goes to the essence of the library experience, along with the egalitarian access that puts books in plain sight of all comers.”

“Clicking links on an electronic device is efficient, but it can’t replace the tactile engagement of wandering the stacks, pulling a book from the shelf, reading the dust jacket, flipping through its pages.”

And, if you’re one of the people who doesn’t mind thousands of e-books tucked into the spaces housing thousands of print books, you’ll be glad to know about the article in Publishing PerspectivesW.W. Norton Offers Entire Ebook Catalog to Lending Libraries.

Also, if you like the words, Magical and Majestic, you should follow these two links:

19 Totally Magical Libraries To Visit Before You Die

25+ Of The Most Majestic Libraries In The World

Do you love public libraries?

Do you still visit them?

Do you wish there was one close to you?

Are you a librarian?

Do you know a librarian?

Do you think more public funds should be invested in libraries?

Do you have warm memories of your local public library?

Feel like answering some of those questions in the Comments…?
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Rare Book School

Whether you’re a Reader, Writer, or Publisher, today’s post may be just what you’ve been looking for

Yesterday I published the post, Sometimes Writers Have To Go Back To School . . .

Today, I’ll introduce an extremely unique school

Would it be interesting to attend courses with “…academics, antiquarian booksellers, book collectors, bookbinders, conservators, curators, rare book librarians, teachers, and professional and avocational students of the history of books and printing.”?

What if you could take courses with folks like that and the only prerequisite for most of the classes was “…a genuine interest and commitment to the subject…”?

What if you could study subjects like:

The Printed Book in the West to 1800

Medieval & Early Renaissance Bookbinding Structures

Book Illustration Processes to 1900

15th-Century Books in Print & Manuscript

History of the Book, 200–2000

Those subjects were taken from the 2013 course schedule at the Rare Book School.

Unlike the free educational opportunities of yesterday’s post, the courses at Rare Book School will cost upwards of $1000 and you’ll have to arrange travel to and accommodation at one of the campuses in the U.S.A.—Charlottesville, VA — New Haven, CT — New York City — Philadelphia, PA — Washington D.C.

From their About Page:

“Rare Book School (RBS) is an independent, non-profit and tax-exempt institute supporting the study of the history of books and printing and related subjects, governed by its own board of directors. Founded in 1983, it moved to its present home at the University of Virginia in 1992.

“At various times during the year, RBS offers about 30 five-day, non-credit courses on topics concerning old and rare books, manuscripts, and special collections. The majority of courses take place in Charlottesville, but courses are also offered in New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Haven, and Washington, DC.

“The educational and professional prerequisites for RBS courses vary. Some courses are broadly directed toward antiquarian booksellers, book collectors, bookbinders, conservators, teachers, and professional and avocational students of the history of books and printing. Others are primarily intended for archivists and for research and rare book librarians and curators.

“Over time, it became increasingly clear that RBS was not just a collection of non-credit courses on bookish and bibliographical subjects, but the mainstay of bibliographical education in the United States and the English-speaking world. In 2004, an Association of Research Libraries (ARL) task force singled out RBS in its report as ‘providing an essential service’ to the profession of librarianship: ‘Rare Book School has become the leading program in the country for training new rare books librarians and furthering the continuing education of experienced practitioners.’”


I usually try to hit the golden mean in my posts—publish what most anyone can use


Today’s offering was just too Rare to avoid :-)
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