Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Libraries

In Praise of #Libraries


I’ll start with a praise of libraries from Columnist and Author, Caitlin Moran in her article, Libraries: Cathedrals of Our Souls:

“A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination.”

If you have the time, do go read her full article…

Now, a rather ironic offering from the site, No Shelf Required, What’s the Best Way to Get Indies into Libraries?

Just a few excerpts:

“…ever asked why your library had a Kindle bestseller title in print but not as an ebook?”

“…while libraries focus their acquisitions efforts on books from the Big Five, there is a parallel universe of publishing that generates bestsellers and sells them to the public. Some of these bestsellers get into library collections, but not all.”

“When an indie author is ready to publish a book, there are several options for creating and then distributing the ebook edition to major retailers and library sales channels.”

“There is no reason libraries can’t provide their patrons with ebook editions of most popular indie authors.”

Now, I’ll link to just a few of the many past posts about libraries on this blog:

E-books, Libraries, and the False Notion of Digital Scarcity…

Little Free Libraries All over the World

Even Small Town Libraries Can Afford to Self-Publish

Readers & Libraries

To read more about libraries, scroll down a bit in the left side-bar and click on “Libraries” in the Top Tags widget :-)
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E-books, Libraries, and the False Notion of Digital Scarcity…


My recent experience with libraries depends on two things, both not optimum for gaining comprehensive knowledge:

— I haven’t used a library seriously for many years…

— I have a friend who’s a librarian in a prison, which is a totally different world…

Also, there is much floating around that is positively confusing about e-books…

Luckily, I found the site No Shelf Required.

Their self-statement:

“Portal on all aspects of ebooks and digital content and for all creating, reading, publishing, managing, curating, and distributing the written word and other content in digital format, including publishers, writers, editors, content developers, distributors, educators, librarians and information science professionals. With contributions from book and library professionals and thought leaders in the United States and around the world.”

So, to find information and explanations about e-books in libraries, this would seem a good Space; especially with Mirela Roncevic on the staff…

Just a bit about her:

“…Mirela launched the Free Reading initiative, which brings developers, publishers, and sponsors together to turn public and private spaces into zones where people have free and uninterrupted access to books…”

“Previously Mirela was Senior Editor at Library Journal, co-editor of ALA’s online journal, eContent Quarterly, instructor of ALA’s popular Understanding Ebooks class…Managing Editor of Salem Press’ acclaimed Critical Insights book series, and Director of Content for a number of content platforms, which she helped build and maintain.”

In Mirela’s article, Great to See Major Publishers Embrace Alternative Ebook Models in Public Libraries, but Let’s Give Credit Where Credit Is Due, there’s a wealth of information.

At one point, she says:

“I’ve had the privilege of working with vendors that cater to all types of libraries and have seen first-hand how difficult it is to crack the public library market in particular. My experience has shown that the vast majority of libraries are simply not ready or are not willing to work with new (unfamiliar) companies providing high-quality services (and models that are actually revolutionizing access to books)…”

One of the troublesome factors some e-book publishers inject into the library environment is the one-book-one-patron fiasco.

Physical books are naturally one-book-one-patron—if there are three copies of a book, three patrons can have it out at the same time, the fourth person must wait…

Certain large publishers have demanded the same for e-books, along with charging exorbitant amounts for each e-book “copy”…

After discussing various factors surrounding this issue, Mirela says:

“When a library director gives a newcomer a chance and adds a new platform to its ebook offering, even without the presence of the Big Five bestsellers,  he/she has the power to introduce a mighty new player into the market. It only takes one library innovator to break the ice. Librarians’ actions, therefore, are more impactful than they may realize. Does this mean they sometimes must learn from  mistakes and the shortfalls of each new model? Certainly.”

For a broader view of different e-book licensing models, try this Publishing Perspectives article
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Read Some Strange Fantasies
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Need to Think Like a Reader? Start Thinking Like a Librarian…


One of my good friends is a librarian.

Finding Books

Image Courtesy of Pawe Sobociñski ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/Sobocinski-40805

He’s also a writer—read his interview here

I think he might like today’s post :-)

So…

Melodee Elliott got a Master’s degree in Library sciences; then, she wrote a novel…

Then, she wrote an article on the Reedsy blog called, Using Tricks of the Librarian Trade to Market my Book.

And, as usual, I’ll share a few excerpts that I hope will entice you to take that last link and read her full article…

Early on, she says:

“…allow me to put on my librarian hat while I…explain how my Library Sciences degree helped me effectively market my book, and share learnings that will help you market your own book.”

She continues:

“While marketing is a multi-faceted process, I would say that part of my success was due to going back to basics and revisiting the four steps of information retrieval we covered in Library Sciences:

Find
Identify
Select
Obtain”

She gives fascinating commentary on each of those steps; then, says:

“Books remain in the virtual bookstore for a very long time. Every reader on a search for the next great read will go through the actions of Find, Identify, Select, and Obtain, and it’s up to me to make sure those steps lead them to my book.”

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


E-Readers

Click this image to compare e-readers…

This makes the 42nd post about Libraries on this blog and the 35th post about Smashwords—and taking those last two links will show this post at the top of both lists of posts…

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 yourcloudlibrary.com 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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A Library in A Taxi ?


“Fairly small, up on a pole, books inside, and saying, ‘Take A Book – Leave A Book’…”—that’s a quote from a post I did about Little Free Libraries.

While they can be almost anywhere, I haven’t yet heard of one in a taxi…

And, from an older post called All About Libraries, there’s this word history for “Library”:

place for books, late 14c., from Anglo-French librarie, Old French librairie “collection of books” (14c.), noun use of adj. librarius “concerning books,” from Latin librarium “chest for books,” from liber (genitive libri) “book, paper, parchment,” originally “the inner bark of trees,” probably a derivative of PIE root *leub(h)- “to strip, to peel” (see “leaf”). The equivalent word in most Romance languages now means “bookseller’s shop.” Old English had bochord, literally “book hoard.”

So, a “place for books”, a “collection of books”, and “book hoard” all seem to allow libraries to exist in taxis; and, they already do in the city of Tunis, capital of Tunisia.

Quartz has an article called, Tunisians are being Encouraged to Read by Turning Taxis into Libraries.

Here are just a few excerpts:

“Scattered on the seats and lining the dashboard are slim volumes of poetry, fat novels, and psychology books. Stuck on a side door is a decal that says, ‘Attention: This Taxi Contains a Book.’”

It’s explained that the tag-line on the decal is from the book-sharing platform, YallaRead.

And, concerning reading in Tunisia:

“More than 80% of the adult population is literate, and many Tunisians are fluent in both Arabic and French. But 75% of households have no literary material aside from the Qur’an or newspapers, and only 18% of Tunisians bought a book in the past year.”

There’s also this to consider:

“YallaRead’s 24-year-old cofounder, Ahmed Hadhri, thinks Tunisians are abandoning books in favor of time online, a cheaper option. ‘Books in Tunisia are expensive and unavailable’, he says. ‘There isn’t Amazon, and we don’t find a lot of books in bookshops—people are obliged to ask their friends abroad to make purchases.’”

A bit more about YallaRead and initiatives in other countries:

“Hadhri launched YallaRead last spring; the platform lets readers post the contents of their personal libraries online and meet up with other bookworms. It follows in the footsteps of programs like Australia’s Books on the Rail, which has left 300 books on trains, buses, and trams in Melbourne. Last year, book-wielding commuters in one Romanian city were given a free bus ride.”

And, finally:

“More than 16,000 cabs serve greater Tunis’ 2.5 million residents, according to the ministry of transport. YallaRead has placed books in Arabic, French, and English; ranging from poetry to self-help; in five taxis so far. The only rule is no religious books, Hadhri says. YallaRead is actively seeking funding and book donations so they can expand to all cabs in Tunis.”

Anyone out there ever been in a taxi with a library?

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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com