Thanks to my fellow blogger for the link to Fister’s article. I recently came across an article (linked through that splendid online publication brought to us by the Chronicle of Higher Education, Arts and Letters Daily) that offers more food for thought. Titled Better than Free,this thoughtful piece by Kevin Kelly of Wired discusses how we might be able to add value to the vast amount of free information now available – value that people will be willing to pay for. He says that "The internet is a copy machine….When copies are super abundant, they become worthless. When copies are super abundant, stuff which can’t be copied becomes scarce and valuable. When copies are free, you need to sell things which can not be copied. Well, what can’t be copied?" He discusses eight "generative values" that are better than free:
immediacy, personalization, interpretation, authenticity, accessibility, embodiment, patronage and findability. All of these are relevant to librarians as we adjust our skill sets to provide information available on the internet.
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