ALA Annual 2011: Ebooks: New Strategy Required, Now
(Reported by Heather McCormack for Library Journal on June 26th:) A sign of a good panel in New Orleans is one that snaps you out of heat exhaustion and a sugar coma, if only for 20 minutes. Saturday afternoon at ALA, I took in “The Future Is Now!: Ebooks and Their Increasing Impact on Library Services,” one of a handful of sessions at this year’s annual conference on a highly charged issue facing both librarians and book publishers.
Four panelists spoke in succession: Bob Bocher, Library Technology Consultant with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Division for Libraries, Technology and Community Learning; Jamie LaRue, director of Douglas County (CO) Libraries; Chris Harris, coordinator of School Library Systems, Genesee Valley BOCES; Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive; and Peter Brantley, director of the Bookserver Project at the Internet Archive.
Their messages represent what I’ve come to view as archetypes in the debate; in other words, we’ve heard it all before in other forums, but the reiterations are important because—as the standing-room and sitting-on-the-floor-under-the-projection-screen turnout indicated—librarians are still hungry for information on how to launch and build the best ebook collections possible.
From left to right, Bocher, Harris, Brantley, LaRue, and Kahle