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Won’t Get Fooled Again: Day 33

We have a number of community action items to get people engaged in Civic discussions this week. Today, it’s a summit meeting at the White House about fiscal responsibility; tomorrow it is Obama’s first State of the Union address, and Thursday/Friday it is the release of the federal budget.

On another note, interesting article on a university choosing to go without textbooks. An event that has some deeper meaning for libraries I think.

See you on Day 34.

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  1. dcornwall says:

    Hi John,

    Is your library or any you know of scheduling events around the opportunities you listed? It’d be great to hear about them.

    On the subject of Northwest Missouri State University going “without textbooks”, I think you’ve made an error that you’ve warned us against more than once — confusing works with containers.

    The university isn’t going without textbooks, rather it is going to digital textbooks and issuing Sony eReaders to their students.

    I believe that this will open up opportunities for libraries, and for Federal Depository Libraries (or other libraries with doc specialists) in particular. Since the eReader supports PDF files in addition to their proprietary format, students can visit their library on the web and download the latest govdoc titles related to their classes. Or, if they’re researching materials not yet available electronically, like pre-1980 Federal Register or pre 1990s Congressional hearings, they can use their local library or Government Information Online to have a PDF file created for download to their reader.

    I bet you anything that the folks at the Missouri Northwest Owens Library are already brainstorming about how to take advantage of all the eReaders on campus. Since they appear to have a generous e-book collection, it shouldn’t be too hard for them.


    "And besides all that, what we need is a decentralized, distributed system of depositing electronic files to local libraries willing to host them." — Daniel Cornwall, tipping his hat to Cato the Elder for the original quote.

  2. shuler says:

    Perhaps for the sake of brevity, it might seem I confuse containers with works. I should have been more clear and used the terms “paper and print” textbooks. My point still stands — by switching out paper containers with digital containers, the university’s actions suggests interesting implications for the library — as your thoughtful reply indicates.

    I do not have any list of libraries who are building programs or services around the civic events I highlight in my blog entries. I am hoping to encourage this kind of meta-organizing by reaching out to our readers and reporting their activities.

  3. blakeley says:

    I love your thoughts about downloading the latest govdoc titles related to their classes into their E-Readers! I would love to see higher education institutions give E-Readers to the students so that this would be possible. Our library has a huge collection of E-books (E-books don’t get moldy or damaged by hurricanes!) so this would be great for that collection, as well as for the FDLP! Let’s hope that when budget cuts aren’t so bad that libraries and higher ed. institutions can work on this.

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