Salim Fadhley from The Pod Delusion podcast talks with Sarah and Andy about the E-Book User’s Bill of Rights that they wrote and distributed for publication on February 28, 2010. (and we posted) here. You can read it here.
Last week the publisher harper-collins anounced that it’s ebooks would self destruct if libraries attempted to lend them more than 26 times. Libraries in the digital age are under threat from the publishers whose short-term profit-seeking goals are undermining their value to society. This is ironic, as most authors know that libraries are the biggest buyers and promoters of books – why then are the publishers set to undermine these important institutions?
Campaigning librarians Sarah Houghton-Jan and Andy Woodworth have written an eBook reader’s bill of rights – I began by asking Sarah why libraries find it so hard to deal with ebooks
Andy Woodworth and Sarah Houghton-Jan are perfect examples of what librarians ought to be – insted of curating collections of dusty old books, the new wave of librarians are campaigning for our rights to information access. As our society becomes more dependant on information, having somebody who can speak up for the information we need becomes more important than ever.
Listen to the Podcast
It runs about eight minutes.
By the way we couldn’t agree more that Sarah and Andy are two of the very best the library world has to offer in many areas of the profession including as campaigners and spokespeople for information access. They deserve a lot of credit for taking the time to share their views, write the eBook User’s Bill of Rights, and then support it with both interviews like the one linked above and what will most likely be a large number of presentations to both industry professionals and the general public.
We would like to disagree with one comment in the bolded paragraph above.
Librarians have many roles and one of them is curating collections of “dusty old books.” Yes, info access is very important but so is collecting, curating, preserving, and providing access to books and other print materials (maps, ephemera, serials, newspapers, etc.). We are nowhere close to digitizing “everything”* and print materials (dusty or not) remain essential research and reference tools and will continue to be essential for a very very long time. In fact, even IF everything was digitized (not anytime soon) print still will play a role. It’s easy to forget that at this point we have limited knowledge about long term preservation of digital information in terms of physical access to the ones and zeros. Also, even if the access is there will we have the technology to access?
See Also: Sarah’s “Librarian In Black” Blog
See Also: Andy’s Agnostic, Maybe Blog