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Library Blog

“Open access + digital publishing will help get us to a sustainable world…”

"Scholarly publishing's role in the world must be de-linked from print publication. The print book must become the exception, not the rule, as soon as possible."

Michael Jensen, the Director of Strategic Web Communications for the Office of Communications of the National Academies and National Academies Press gave an inspiring speech at the recent AAUP (American Association of University Presses) annual meeting. He makes some important connections between "a) the survival of scholarly publishing, and b) the survival of civilization." Environmental, rather than simply economic, concerns lie at the heart of his call.

Text of the speech available here. Via if:book

What will e-books look like in the future?

A French publishing group, Editis, produced this short film imagining the future of e-books: reading them, getting them published and even buying them in bookstores. No subtitles, but not really necessary to get the idea.

Possible ou Probable via if:book.

Expensive textbooks may go the way of typewriters and carbon paper…

Still an unrealized dream, perhaps, but the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources just received a $1.5 million grant to expand its work, which focuses on increasing the number of free, online textbooks and training community college instructors on how best to use such books.

It manages the Community College Open Textbook Project with a growing membership of community colleges and other free/low-cost textbook projects like Flat World Knowledge. They hope to significantly expand the number of freely available digital textbooks it makes available.

Read more about the project announcement and future plans here.

Intersession - Change in Library Hours

Please note the change in library hours during summer intersession.

The Library will be open on these days and times, August 10 through September 9, 2009:

Monday to Friday: 7:30 - 4:45 pm

Saturday & Sunday: closed until weekend of Sept. 12

Monday, Sept. 7, Labor Day: closed

Regular schedule resumes on September 10.

Free Multimedia Sources

Great list of free media sources (photos, video, audio, images) via Mashable.

We believe in the freedom to read

"We believe in a way of life based on the free exchange of ideas, in which books have and will continue to play a central role. Devices like Amazon's are trying to determine how people will interact with books, but Amazon's use of DRM to control and monitor users and their books constitutes a clear threat to the free exchange of ideas..."

From an online petition organized by the Free Software Foundation saying that we as "readers, authors, publishers, and librarians demand that Amazon remove all DRM, including any ability to control or access the user's library, from the Kindle." (via Boing Boing)

The Future of Book Banning?

Farhad Manjoo wrote a good summary of the recent Amazon/1984 scandal in Slate, pointing out that the issue of greatest concern is not Amazon's poor handling of the incident, but that the technology enables easy remote deletion of files on your device:

"...Zittrain writes: "Imagine a world in which all copies of once-censored books like Candide, The Call of the Wild, and Ulysses had been permanently destroyed at the time of the censoring and could not be studied or enjoyed after subsequent decision-makers lifted the ban." This may sound like an exaggeration; after all, we'll surely always have file-sharing networks and other online repositories for works that have been decreed illegal. But it seems like small comfort to rely on BitTorrent to save banned art. The anonymous underground movements that have long sustained banned works will be a lot harder to keep up in the world of the Kindle and the iPhone." from: Slate via EFF