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Old 08-14-2007, 12:44 PM   #1
George
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Default Library PDFs??

Awhile back in the forum, I was complaining about research I was doing, because so many of the books involved cost $150 to $175, even though a number of them were classic studies in the public domain. So if I need like 30 of them, the cost runs up.

The other day I stumbled on some on e-bay. They were PDFs – with like four volumes per CD-ROM at a cost of 99 cents. So with one I am considering, what I was expecting to pay over $200 on, now will cost me $4.99 with shipping. These CD-ROMs came out last year.

There’s a library not far from my house, and no one was using it, so they opened it to the public. Over 180,000 volumes, on beautiful grounds, Tuscany architecture – it’s like surreal being there, with never more than just a small number of people present. And they have an extremely fine collection of books on my subject research. But it so happens they are missing just some of the important 19th century works.

I wonder – are libraries interested in CD-ROM books?? Maybe, I should mention these discs to them, or even donate some copies. Or will CD-ROM books become popular in general with libraries in the future?? (Except the discs should be DVD-ROMs)




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Old 08-14-2007, 01:44 PM   #2
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george: I wonder – are libraries interested in CD-ROM books?? Maybe, I should mention these discs to them, or even donate some copies.
I'll bet they would be...certainlyl wouldn't hurt to ask them...

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Old 08-14-2007, 02:10 PM   #3
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Terrie:

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I'll bet they would be
They might be a little chary, because even if an author's works are out of copyright, the publisher's copyright in his presentation of the text may not have expired.

   
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Old 08-15-2007, 05:05 AM   #4
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Assuming the CD is legitimately made and sold, with any appropriate rights obtained, then the library may well be interested in it. If a publisher or author did still have rights to the work, then I suspect they'd stamp on this pretty fast. I guess you will know from the material and the nature of the seller whether they appear kosher.

The main problem for libraries that seek to preserve and conserve works is that digital media must be continually migrated to new physical formats.
Laser discs from the 80s? 5.25" floppy disks? 8-track audio cassettes? Try finding a hardware device that can read them today.
Then there is the whole issue of file formats.... Word Perfect v1.0, anyone?

Books: put them on shelf.
Data: Migrate to new format/hardware every 10 years.
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Old 08-15-2007, 09:51 AM   #5
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The main problem for libraries that seek to preserve and conserve works is that digital media must be continually migrated to new physical formats.
Laser discs from the 80s? 5.25" floppy disks? 8-track audio cassettes? Try finding a hardware device that can read them today.
Then there is the whole issue of file formats.... Word Perfect v1.0, anyone?
Then, you don't see or predict any trend for libraries going digital?? I was thinking they might be looking at PDFs. But you're right, formating always changes, which creates a problem. And then, what is the longevity of the discs themselves(?), which might be another problem. Still, I'm sure sooner or later it will happen one way or another.

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Old 08-17-2007, 03:46 PM   #6
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Then, you don't see or predict any trend for libraries going digital?? I was thinking they might be looking at PDFs. But you're right, formating always changes, which creates a problem. And then, what is the longevity of the discs themselves(?), which might be another problem. Still, I'm sure sooner or later it will happen one way or another.
At work (the technical services department of a public library), we buy many audio books on CD, and also provide audio books, music and videos via download. Your local public library almost certainly does this as well. So libraries are very much into digital! Where I work we don't purchase e-books, but they are available for download from our vendor.

In a public library the physical items, no matter what format, don't last long at all. We have not purchased videos or cassettes for several years, and the last of the videos have just been packed up and sent to the nearest prison for indefinite loan. We don't expect to get any back.

Mass market paperbacks last for the fewest loans, trade paperbacks of popular fiction authors last around 18 months, hardback fiction lasts for around 100 loans at most. And they will almost certainly have been repaired at some time during those 100 loans

CDs and DVDs have a very finite life. we sometimes discuss what people do with library CDs and DVDs. They all look as if they're used as coasters for much of the time they're out on loan. I just looked at a fairly new library DVD I've got here and it's already badly scratched, yet my own music CDs are scratchless, even the very old ones. When they come to the end of their useful life, we have to consider whether we need to replace them. Bear in mind that we have different bibliographical records for print and digital media, that a replaced CD or DVD has to be added to the holdings record, have a new barcode and RFID tag attached and programmed, and spine and title labels generated, printed and applied. It's very labour-intensive, and this would apply to the PDFs on CD that you are considering
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Old 08-17-2007, 03:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Benwiggy View Post
The main problem for libraries that seek to preserve and conserve works is that digital media must be continually migrated to new physical formats.
None of the digital media last long enough in a public library for the physical format or application software to go out of date.

   
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Old 08-18-2007, 07:00 AM   #8
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Ann,

That's all interesting. It's good to have librarian knowledge in the forum. I think one of the best courses I took in college was on library research. Amazing what libraries have and what goes on there. I had access to a computer once, that had a catalogue for all the libraries of North America and Europe. That was fascinating -- I used it a number of times.

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Old 08-18-2007, 08:11 AM   #9
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Default Lbrary service

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Originally Posted by annc View Post
... Bear in mind that we have different bibliographical records for print and digital media, that a replaced CD or DVD has to be added to the holdings record, have a new barcode and RFID tag attached and programmed, and spine and title labels generated, printed and applied. It's very labour-intensive, and this would apply to the PDFs on CD that you are considering
.
The Free Library of Philadelphia has a service that rents them the most current fiction and non-fiction books. The books appear rather quickly after publication, especially the political ones. I suspect that much of the work of preparing those books for loans is done by that service, but I don't really know. I never asked about the DVDs, but perhaps they are on the same service.

I am wondering if the same kind of service is available in Australia.

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Old 08-18-2007, 01:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by dthomsen8 View Post
The Free Library of Philadelphia has a service that rents them the most current fiction and non-fiction books. The books appear rather quickly after publication, especially the political ones. I suspect that much of the work of preparing those books for loans is done by that service, but I don't really know. I never asked about the DVDs, but perhaps they are on the same service.
We pay our suppliers to provide shelf-ready material. This means that when the items arrive, all we have to do is mark them off on the invoices and scan the barcodes to find out which library in the service they need to be sent to, and also to find out if any have been reserved by borrowers. The Harry Potter books arrived at 8 a.m. on the Monday after release, and were available for pickup by those who'd reserved them by the time the libraries opened. Not bad when you consider that our libraries are spread around a 1200 sq km local authority. We could have had them on Saturday morning, but as all were due to go straight out to those who had reserved them, it didn't seem worth the extra effort and cost to do that.

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Originally Posted by dthomsen8 View Post
I am wondering if the same kind of service is available in Australia.
Not that I'm aware of. It's probably quite expensive, and we just keep our costs down by offering mostly trade paperbacks covered with contact, which ensures they last at least as long as the initial heavy usage the popular authors' titles get.

   
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