So I had the idea to complement a display with a digital collection supplemented by novels licensed through Creative Commons, and on a whim–just to be honest: to see if it’d get through–I emailed Cory Doctorow (Little Brother / Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom [my thoughts] / I, Robot [etc …]) to pick his brain for digitally likeminded authors, because I’d come out of the gooters (that’s google + gutters) with only the vast gutenberg.org-bible of lit-in-the-public-domain and fanfic.
He wrote that none sprang to mind – said authors are still pretty rare, and YA publishers will probably bottleneck creative commons. “That said, I think it’d be pretty easy to find at least a back-catalog in ebook form donated by writers for use on library terminals only…,” — huh, as through programs like Adobe Digital Editions, which requires the owner [say, the library] to manually authenticate the computers the files can be read on and printed from. The latter is the biggie – would authors let their ebooks be printed? Maybe – if for library programs only. Then, Cory: “Hey, Michael! I wouldn’t want to use Adobe DRM (or any DRM!). I wasthinking more like, “Here’s a password-protected site that we ask you not to share access to …,” which made a lot of duhhh sense to me….
The other day, I accessed my Greenstone Digital Library for the first time through SSH via PuTTY, which required a headache and a beer and an entirely new prompt vocabulary as a crash course. The biggest obstacle among poorly budgeted and highly politicized smalltowners [re: libraries] against a digital collection beyond the scare around a whole new system of cataloguing is its cost.
I figure that if you could supplement a collection with works licensed under creative commons and those already in the public domain (the classics), then a library could build a pretty substantial (if modest) collection available through its website, racking-up the hit counter while sparing their savvy patrons the pain-in-the-neck of DRM.
Sometime over the next week I think I’ll start work collecting public-domain and CC YA oriented works to supplement the library programs with online analogues at the BL[ing]–“the Bradford County Public Library Youth & Teen Services 2.0” that Could Use Some Color!–and at the end of my semester with Dr. P J[orgensen], when [if] I’ve my head around Greenstone, I’ll transfer the “collection” to the digital library I will have built through the University.