Check Out ‘Big Library Read’, an Online Book Club

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Big Library Read is an online book club from OverDrive. It connects readers from around the world with one eBook at a time and offers a place to share your thoughts, comments, and questions of the book with other readers.

This round’s title is Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic, a memoir written by stand-up comedian Michael McCreary who shares his experiences of living on the spectrum and dealing with trying situations as someone who doesn’t “look” autistic.

I think it’s a great idea, and be sure to download the Libby app so you can borrow books from your local library.

Check Out ‘Big Library Read’, an Online Book Club

Book Publisher Macmillan Cancels Plan to Stifle Libraries

· Andrew Orr · Link

The Big Five book publishers had a plan to hurt consumers by imposing limitations on eBook licensing to libraries. One of them—Macmillan—is backing out.

There are times in life when differences should be put aside,” Macmillan CEO John Sargent wrote in a memo to librarians obtained by Publishers Weekly. “Effective on Friday (or whenever thereafter our wholesalers can effect the change), Macmillan will return to the library e-book pricing model that was in effect on Oct. 31, 2019. In addition, we will be lowering some ebook prices on a short term basis to help expand libraries collections in these difficult times. Stay safe.

You have literally no “differences” with libraries other than money. And implying that you’re doing this because of the coronavirus is, to put it politely, shady. Not to mention all the libraries boycotting Macmillan. No, this is entirely a gesture of good will because of “these difficult times.”

Book Publishers Artificially Limit eBook Lending in Libraries

· Andrew Orr · Link

Major book publishers impose limits on how libraries handle ebooks, with short-term licenses and contracts.

Because only one reader can check out an ebook at a time, and because the cost of licensing an ebook is prohibitively high for libraries to invest in hundreds of copies for every new title, library-goers have become accustomed to long waits to check out ebooks, particularly bestsellers. For publishers, that’s the point. If you have to wait weeks to check out a new ebook, you might just cruise on over to Amazon and pay $14.99 to have it delivered immediately to your Kindle or the Kindle app on your phone.

Expensive college textbooks and dumb eBook rules are two good examples of how ripe for disruption this space is. It’s also shortsighted. The point of digital media is to make it so easy to access that people don’t feel the need to pirate anymore. But practices like this is partly what drives people to pirate.

Libraries Work to Scan Public Domain Books

· Andrew Orr · Link

Right now, books published in the U.S. before 1924 are in the public domain. This means they are publicly owned and everyone can use and copy them. But there’s a loophole in copyright law which gives up to 75% of books published between 1923 and 1964 secret public domain status. It’s hard to figure out which ones they are, so a group of libraries, archivists, and volunteers are finding these public domain books, scanning them, and uploading them to the internet.

Richardson notes that much of that heavy lifting is being done by volunteers at organizations like Project Gutenberg, a nonprofit effort to digitize and archive cultural works. These volunteers are tasked with locating a copy of the book in question, scanning it, proofing it, then putting out HTML and plain-text editions.

LinkedIn Violates Library Privacy With LinkedIn Learning

· Andrew Orr · Link

Many states have laws in place to protect the privacy of libraries. But LinkedIn is violating this with LinkedIn Learning, formerly known as Lynda.com.

Currently, when Lynda.com is accessed through a library, a user logs in with her or his library card and a PIN. No other personal information is required.

Under the new LinkedIn Learning policy, library users would be required to create a personal, publicly searchable, profile and agree to LinkedIn’s user agreement and privacy policy before being able to use LinkedIn Learning.

Checking off the user agreement grants LinkedIn the power to share the information contained in a personal profile with whoever LinkedIn wants.

Libraries are a bastion against corporations, where you can get free resources and just hang out without having to buy anything. I hope this gets resolved in the library’s favor.

Library App Libby Now Works With CarPlay

· Andrew Orr · News

Libby is an app that lets you read ebooks and listen to audiobooks from libraries, and it recently announced support for CarPlay.

Free Video Streaming in New York Public Library Going Away

· Andrew Orr · Link

Two years ago the New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library partnered with free video streaming service Kanopy to give free access to patrons. But they are ending the partnerships on July 1.

Ultimately, this came down to a decision by the libraries, and where to focus their strategic priorities right now. We have witnessed incredible growth in user demand at these libraries over the past couple years and worked with the NYPL, BPL, and QPL to devise innovative new models that give them certainty and supports their budgetary needs.