Adventures of an InfoMage in Training
by Darci Chapman



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Sunday, July 06, 2003

Between a recent Supreme Court ruling on Internet filters and several provisions of the Patriot Act, many librarians see themselves on the front line of a battle that pits public safety against intellectual freedom. It's hardly the first time. Join host Lynn Neary and her guests to discuss the role of libraries in American life and politics.


Matthew Battles
*Author, Library: An Unquiet History
*Coordinating editor of the Harvard Library Bulletin

Judith Krug
*Director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom at the American Library Association

Anne M. Turner
*Library Director, Santa Cruz public libraries

Audio link available here (be sure to scroll down a bit).

6:34:18 PM    comment []

The larger topic here (the RIAA and the "evils" of downloading music for free) is somewhat off-topic except for this little bit from an article by Janis Ian titled "The Internet Debacle" just published in the Portsmuth Herald which I quote at length here (though it's a pretty long articel overall):

Or take author Mercedes Lackey, who occupies entire shelves in stores and libraries. As she said herself: "For the past ten years, my three "Arrows" books, which were published by DAW about 15 years ago, have been generating a nice, steady royalty check per pay-period each. A reasonable amount, for fifteen-year-old books. However... I just got the first half of my DAW royalties...And suddenly, out of nowhere, each Arrows book has paid me three times the normal amount!...And because those books have never been out of print, and have always been promoted along with the rest of the backlist, the only significant change during that pay-period was something that happened over at Baen, one of my other publishers.

That was when I had my co-author Eric Flint put the first of my Baen books on the Baen Free Library site. Because I have significantly more books with DAW than with Baen, the increases showed up at DAW first. There’s an increase in all of the books on that statement, actually, and what it looks like is what I’d expect to happen if a steady line of people who’d never read my stuff encountered it on the Free Library - a certain percentage of them liked it, and started to work through my backlist, beginning with the earliest books published.

The really interesting thing is, of course, that these aren’t Baen books, they’re DAW - another publisher - so it’s ‘name loyalty’ rather than ‘brand loyalty.’ I’ll tell you what, I’m sold. Free works."

In another article I ran across yesterday at the Interesting People mailing list archives was one titled "Where Have All the CDs Gone?" In this article (which can also be found at the online version of the Sound and Vision Magazine) the author, James K. Willcox, points to what George Ziemann considers to be the two key causes for the slow-down in CD sales:

1) that the labels raised CD prices during a down economy, and
2) that they slashed the number of new releases by almost 25% during the past three years.


8:26:08 AM    comment []

Matthew Price of the Boston Globe reviews Library: An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles.

The history of libraries, as Battles records it, is a bizarre dialectic of preservation and destruction. He takes a somewhat philosophic view: ''[T]here is no library that does not ultimately disappear,'' he concedes. Still, a faint air of anxious gloom hangs over his sometimes indulgent meditations; his book is much more episodes than a complete history.

7:56:20 AM    comment []

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