What about the patrons?

Story: Open source library system Evergreen rewards the communityTotal Replies: 4
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Apr 15, 2014
10:27 AM EDT
This is all well and good for professional library staff, but this article, and related article links, reveal little in the way of benefits to library patrons. I was able to find nothing benefiting patrons wanting access to a library's stock of ebooks.

As a longtime Linux user, it's almost impossible to get ebooks without resorting to either M$ or Apple software. My Nook makes a passable doorstop, as there is no way my two local libraries know how to lend me ebooks in any shape or form. What good is Calibre if one must run Windows/Mac only Adobe software to get any kind of access. Adobe's Digital Editions is mandatory software for lending ebooks to library patrons and Adobe makes no Linux equivalent. Where's the open source version?

Apr 15, 2014
4:37 PM EDT
I agree with you nb. Forcing the public to use proprietary software to access ebooks is an outrage.

Apr 15, 2014
6:04 PM EDT
This may be about books, but an even bigger resource in scientific libraries is the professional paper that traditionally was published in a plethora of journals. Access to them is essential during research, but what has happened is that the "on-line versions" (almost always in pdf) have been hidden behind paywalls run by "private companies" with a profit motive.....and so papers that were freely contributed to the journal with no thought of payment are now blocked from researchers, unless you can locate a hard copy and obtain a photocopy. I've had personal experience of this happening to my own work, and it makes me exceedingly angry. I gave those papers freely to the scientific community, and now someone has the utter gall to destroy that freedom.

What seems to be happening here in Australia, however, is that more and more of the journal publishers are beginning to sidestep the situation and placing their journals on line....>>FREE. At least one journal I know and use no longer publishes hard copy with enormous savings as a result and so all papers are now available free.....and all are in pdf, so anybody can access and read them. To my mind, proprietary software and ebooks should be on opposite sides of the great divide - preferably with proprietary software falling off the cliff. I can understand a fee to access an ebook, but I cannot understand why that book should only be able to be read via proprietary software. It's disgusting.

Apr 16, 2014
1:38 PM EDT
"Private companies" like JSTOR.

Aaron Swartz, RIP.

Apr 18, 2014
5:05 PM EDT
I can see where a private organization would want to recoup costs and make a profit when publishing papers and journals. Unfortunately they seem to have let greed control their actions.

How hard would it be to charge a modest price for access to any one journal, and then have a yearly "all you can eat" subscription cost that is also modest for someone that reads lots of the papers? Say (the equivalent of) $5 USD for one paper, (the equivalent of) $25 for a yearly subscription - which would automatically come into play when one loads one's fifth journal, or which one can choose immediately. I bet nobody would complain about that.

The problem is that then the publishers wouldn't be able to afford their custom racing yacht on the proceeds.

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