AADL Talks To Josie Parker

In June, Ann Arbor District Library director, Josie Parker, attended the second UNESCO World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries, whose "Focus 2011" was "The Book Tomorrow: The Future of the Written Word". In our conversation, Josie discusses what she brought back from her experience in this international arena, as well as her views - and those of fellow librarians, publishers, and authors around the world - on the future of digital publishing.

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AADL_Talks_To-Josie_Parker.mp3 40.6 MB


Thank you, Josie, for your report! And for seeing the Big Picture importance of this issue, beyond one community, or country, even. I'm an author and have been following the digital publishing revolution for a few years, but learned a few things here. As you point out, the global perspective is less well reported in the United States. Librarians and interested patrons might be interested in this free webinar on the topic tomorrow, by Digital Book World: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/625482328?et_mid=526869&rid=26912517

* How libraries can act as a “low risk” discovery channel (digital and otherwise)
* What publishers can do to best utilize their library partners to build buzz for their titles
* How to optimize your metadata and ebook files for the library market
* What libraries do in terms of educating people on how to “read digitally.”
* What are librarians doing to explain the often convoluted process of downloading and reading ebooks to people less familiar with devices?

(I have nothing to do with talk—just spreading the word. I think libraries are crucial in bridging the digital divide, which continues to widen.)


I appreciate your lending your point of view to the discussion about ebooks and digital publishing especially since the announcement yesterday by Penguin that it is not going to include its titles in Amazon's Kindle lending program and has asked Overdrive to disable the "Get for Kindle" functionality for all Penguin ebooks. Overdirve is the vendor used by most public libraries to provide ebooks to patrons.

Authors and publishers are struggling to come to terms, literally and figuratively, with the market forces brought to bear through digital publishing. Libraries are in many respects on the sidelines watching to see what happens. I agree with you that libraries are crucial in bridging the digital divide, but we have always managed to flex with whatever changes technology brings. I am confident that ultimately the general public will have access to ebooks through public libraries although the purchasing model will be very different from that which we are accustomed to today.