What the Amazon’s Kindle 2 Release on Feb. 9 May Mean…02.04.09

4 02 2009

Here is a reasonable analysis of the upcoming Feb. 9 news conference by Amazon about Kindle 2 titled Amazon Library – Is Feb 9th bigger than Kindle 2.0?  from the Amazon Kindle, Books, Kindle 2.0… blog:

“The immediate assumption that everyone has made is that Feb 9th will be about Kindle 2.0. Here’s a question –

Why a Press Conference in a Library and Museum?

There has to be some symbolic significance. The two biggest threats to the Kindle’s future are Apple and Google

  1. Apple because of the threat of a 9” Apple Touch.
  2. Google because of the threat of Google Books.

Whereas Amazon does have the Kindle to ward off the threat from a 9” Apple Touch, it is endangered by Google’s soon to be court-approved arrangement with book publishers. It makes a lot of sense that Amazon is doing something to thwart Google, and that in addition to announcing Kindle 2.0, it is also announcing Amazon Library, a store for –

  1. Free Public Domain Books that Kindle Owners (and soon anyone) can access for free.
  2. In Copyright, Out-of-Print books that users can buy to read on their kindle, online, etc.
  3. In Copyright, In-Print books that Amazon is already selling in many editions.

This counters not only the threat of Google siphoning off a potential revenue stream (i.e. copyrighted, out of print books) but also the threat of Google expanding their do-gooder image into the domain of books and becoming the go to destination for books.

I’m putting my money on both Kindle 2.0 and Amazon Library being announced. The addition of over 7,000 public domain books for free in the Kindle Store is just one more clue.”


Thoughts on Reading Decline Relative to Libararianship…08.08.08

8 08 2008

In going through my aggregator’s 135 RSS feeds today about libraries and librarianshp, I came across an interesting July 28 post from Karen Calhoun entitled “Reading Isn’t What It Was–But Library Cataloging Is” [http://community.oclc.org/metalogue/archives/2008/07/reading-isnt-what-it-wasbut-li.html] which I feel is an important and relevant observation on the changing state of most readers, at least in North America

Here is an excerpt:

“…Libraries cannot win if they do not play in the idiom of the Web. More deeply understanding end users’ reading styles and preferences could help libraries know what practices to hold onto and what to give up or cut back. Like the standard tests of reading skill, library cataloging practices evolved in keeping with a reading style that is offline, linear, solitary and passive, extended in time, often text-only (few visuals), and single layered (that is, offers one point of view).  How much of library cataloging practice reflects the predominant reading style of the last few hundred years?  What still works about traditional cataloging practice, and what no longer suits the end user behavior and preferences associated with online reading, or with selecting what to read offline? 

It occurs to me that what we tend to chatter about on our lists and blogs — how much bibliographic data here, encoded in what way in our systems, with how many fields and what type of controlled subject access, and whether the whole qualifies as full, minimal, abbreviated or whatever — could stand to be assessed in light of the changing world of reading.  I am wondering how library cataloging and metadata professionals might begin to identify those practices that are likely to attract and sustain more attention to library collections, given the new age of reading that appears to dawning, at least among certain segments of the end user communities that libraries serve.”