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Monday, 29th May 2006

Business Week Says: The Library: Next Best Thing to an MBA

Professional Reading Shelf
Public Libraries--Business Services
Source: BusinessWeek
The Library: Next Best Thing to an MBA
"(A)n increasing number of would-be entrepreneurs are turning to their local public libraries for help in every aspect of launching their businesses. According to a 2006 study conducted by the American Library Assn. (ALA), a Chicago-based trade group, 61% of small-business owners living in the U.S. said libraries were important in helping them get started."
See Also: More Positive Press About Business Research Ser vices at the Johnson County (KS) Public Library (via KC Business Journal)
See Also: The J.J. Hill Business Library in St. Paul, MN, offers many excellent services to entrepreneurs and small business owners. Most of them are accessible remotely. For example, HillSearch.org offers a robust set of databases at a very low cost plus (most importantly) access to the J.J. Hill librarians.
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Broadband--United States--Study
Source: Pew Internet & American Life
Home Broadband Adoption 2006
"Adoption of high-speed internet at home grew twice as fast in the year prior to March 2006 than in the same time frame from 2004 to 2005. Middle-income Americans accounted for much of the increase, along with African-Americans and new internet users coming online with broadband at home. At the end of March 2006, 42% of Americans had high-speed at home, up from 30% in March 2005, or a 40% increase. And 48 million Americans -- mostly those with high-speed at home -- have posted content to the internet." Direct to Full Text (PDF)
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eBooks--Public Opinion
Source: International Digital Publishing Forum (via KnowThis.com)
eBook User Survey 2006 (PDF; 235 KB)
"eBook retailers seem to have built shopping experiences that satisfy their customers and that the general experience of reading an eBook is a good one. There seems to be some room for improvement for respondents in areas of pricing and selection of eBooks. In regards to DRM issues (ability to move content between devices and lending), there seems to be less satisfaction, but interestingly many respondents seemed to find it far more important to easily move content between devices than to lend content to friends and family. Last, while questions of multimedia, read aloud and assistive technology questions ranked low in terms of satisfaction, a very large majority marked these areas an unimportant to them. There does not seem to be a lot of consumer demand for multimedia eBooks and audio functions in eBooks. Also, not particularly surprising is the fact that assistive technology is not important to a consumer audience that does not require this technology to read."
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Conference Presentations
Source: SOLINET
SOLINET Annual Membership Meeting: Will Libraries Matter in 2020?
Presentations available (PDFs) include the following:
+ Advocacy: Working with Public Officials
+ Library Marketing with Meaning: Keeping Up with the Future
+ User-Driven Libraries: Understanding the Perceptions of Current and Future Library Patrons
+ How Libraries Are Applying Blogging, Podcasting, and RSS Technologies
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Libraries--Copyright
Source: UCLA Law Review (Tushnet; via LibraryLaw Blog)
MyLibrary: Copyright and the Role of Institutions in a Peer-to-Peer World (PDF; 6.5 MB)
"Today's technology turns every computer -- every hard drive -- into a type of library. But the institutions traditionally known as libraries have been given special consideration under copyright law, even as commercial endeavors and filesharing programs have begun to emulate some of their functions. This article explores how recent technological and legal trends are affecting public and school-affiliated libraries, which have special concerns that are not necessarily captured by an end-consumer-oriented analysis. Despite the promise that technology will empower individuals, we must recognize the crucial structural role of intermediaries that select and distribute copyrighted works. By exploring how traditional libraries are being affected by developments such as filesharing services, the iTunes Music Store, and Google's massive digitization project, this article examines the implications of legal and technological changes that are mainly not directed at libraries, but are nonetheless vital to their continued existence."

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