Tag Archives: Public Libraries

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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Comics & the ‘Young Adult’ Misnomer

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Legends in Exile
Fables: Legends in Exile

I opted against a secondary-education degree because I chose not to suffer the politicking of a school-board or the – in my opinion – backward mores of parents-with-their-child’s-interests-at-heart. I thought it a crime to put highschoolers through what we humored by teaching an abridged Huck Finn that omitted whole chapters and “niggers”. While I would probably think thrice about putting Vampire Porn (Laurell K. Hamilton!?) on the shelves in the Young Adult section, I don’t suppose I’m going to scar anyone if there is a non-explicit sex scene or the wonderfully expressive “oh, – shit.”

So, my first batch of graphic novels for the library arrived the other day. This sub-section was previously reserved for Manga – which I don’t really object to – but I reckoned I’d populate it with some of the Westernmost GN best-reads – Neil Gaimans and Alan Moores; Batmans and Marvels and Fables.

Earlier this morning I caught a tad bit of flack because Fables: Legends in Exile has the nude upperback of a woman and some foul language. My argument is that this section is reserved to young adults, complete with the unabridged Twains and Melvilles and the Ellen Hopkins books (which are great, but certainly not childish!) – let alone non-fiction sexual education stuff and, worse yet, Britney Spears biographies! To reshelve Fables in the hallowed aisles of Adults 741.5 means, not so much a hypocrisy, but just a general ignorance and archaic stigmatization of books with pictures. Agh.

I ought to point them to Chris Wilson’s The Graphic Classroom and reestablish the tired case that Comics have literary merit