Print, beware! — &c — “pure digital”

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[ported from S is For Somewhere]

— have been participating in fairly entertaining trolling on PubLib (Public Library Listserv) (entitled: “Missing the Boat (or at least Getting Wet)”) regarding the threat of irrelevance to libraries who resist digitization. Trust me, while it sounds dull (lowercase-d) in hindsight, when at an isolated reference desk, defaming sacred cows at an institution of cattle herders relieves the pure and outright Dull (capital-d).

Caveat: — I was taken aside by the director (my thread above in question) and warned about my usage of “ad nauseum” when paired with customer service.

Anyway, I now read in Ars Technica that

Even if print survives the next subscription renewal process, it’s clear that Nordin doesn’t think it can continue indefinitely. ACS’s experience has been that, given the choice, enough of its readers prefer digital that print becomes hard to maintain.

“Once you start printing less than 1,000 of anything, you really have to question your business model,” Nordin said.

The options for making print work better are also unpalatable; “No one wanted to give up color—nobody wanted to dial the clock back—and nobody wanted to add author charges for color.

“Obviously, we’re somewhere on the road to pure digital,” Nordin concluded. Still, even with an insider’s view, he was hesitant to predict the trajectory of the transition. “We really don’t know where [we are on that road], and we’re waiting to be guided by our customers.”

which, I’m guessing, Nordin’s thinking right.

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