Monday, November 14, 2011

Out with the Old

In library lingo, weeding is the process in which a librarian must decide what materials should be retired from the collection in order to make room for new materials. Maybe the book, journal, or movie in question is not used very often (or ever). Maybe it is out of date or a new edition has come out, or it is simply old and falling apart. Whatever the reason, the books just got to go.
What happens to the books after they are weeded, though? I'll give you a hint. Getting all the stuff library staff put in books to make them shelf ready- bar codes, alarm sensors, those stickers on the spine- must be taken out. The process to un-shelf-ready a book is expensive.
Was that enough hint?
In this blog, S Peter Davis tells the sad tale of what happens to weeded library books. It's not pretty.
But it's all part of the collection development process.


So e-books are pretty wild. But this is just crazy!

Check this out.

This article is about a machine that prints books on demand. The espresso book printing machine. Woah.
Users can (for a fee) print a book they wrote or a book already in print. These machines are not for printing Harry Potter size books. More like a 200 page or so book.
When the book is completed, it will have a cover and be trimmed to a specified size. The claim is that the books will be library quality. In about 5 minutes. Again, woah.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I really like my Kobo. I just thought I'd throw that out there. However, there is nothing like reading from a physical book. I have been reading The Land of Green Plums by Herta Muller, and it feels nice to turn the pages. I like alternating between the two book forms. They are two different experiences, and both are enjoyable.
This got me thinking about what I would do if I saw the library had the same book in both digital and physical format available. I say available, because if one was checked out I would obviously go with the one I could read right away. I have not decided what I would do in that situation. Maybe I would choose the one I could check out for longer. If I were traveling, I would probably go with the ebook. Maybe I would base the decision on how heavy or thick the book is. If it's small, might as well get the physical book. If it's too big to carry around in my bag (I've mentioned my bag issues) then probably the ebook. Or maybe I'd ask the librarian which form is most popular for that particular book, and take out the least popular one. That way the popular form would be available to others. I suppose I'll find out when the situation arises.
What would you do?