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Unintended Consequences of Digital Books

Picked up form The Director’s Blog:
The June 2007 issue of Harper’s Magazine covers books in the “Harper’s Index” in June:
Some stats there in June:
Minimum number of different books sold in the U.S. last year, as tracked by Nielsen BookScan: 1,446,000
Number of these that sold fewer than 99 copies: 1,123,000
Number that sold more than 100,000: 483.
So even though more than 1,000,000 books get written, few are read at any substantial level.
Few are bought for individual libraries as a percentage of the total corpus.
Now book discovery is changing.
What will be the impact of OpenWorldCat on discovery? What percentage of all books get in there? It’s loaded or working in Google, Amazon, Ask, Yahoo!, MSn, etc…? Does this metadata enhance use and discovery?
Many books are showing up in fulltext now through the Google Publisher program, Amazon, Google digitization, Project Gutenberg, Alouette Canada, the Open Content Alliance, and other digitization projects workdwide.
Are we on the edge of being able to find the unread!? What woild be the unintended consequences of millions and tend of millions of books online in our near future?
Putting hundreds of millions of articles and websites online changed stuff, eh. Forever. Remember binding budgets and print indexes…?
Just wondering …
Stephen

Posted on: August 28, 2007, 11:23 am Category: Uncategorized

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