This week’s 4cast:
1. Supply, Demand & Reality
A new ALA report titled “Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study” finds that space limitations, flat budgets, and inadequate staffing (among other factors) have America’s public libraries struggling to keep up with the public’s appetite for Internet-based services.
- Despite demand, libraries won’t add PCs (Associated Press)
- U.S. Public Libraries Pressed By Public Demand For Internet Access (InformationWeek)
- ALA Study on Internet Use (Stephen’s Lighthouse)
- ALA releases report on technology access (North Texas Regional Library System)
2. Throw the eBook at ‘Em
Amazon and Google are taking different approaches as they enter the eBook business later this year. The Kindle is a proprietary, stand-alone device that will connect wirelessly to an Amazon eBook store. Google, on the other hand, will simply index select titles and charge people to access/download them (a project separate from Google Book Search). Most observers seem to scoff at anything eBook-related these days.
- Envisioning the Next Chapter for Electronic Books (New York Times)
- Still Not Betting On An eBook Revolution (Techdirt)
- e-Books, Yet Again — Amazon Gears Up To Fail (Silicon Alley Insider)
- How Amazon’ s Kindle might HARM e-books, unless… (TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home)
3. Go Free or Go Home
The New York Times is ending its TimeSelect subscription service, and will make all of its current content and most of its archives freely available on its website. Some are interpreting this as another sign that people are increasingly unwilling to pay for online content.
- New York Times to end paid Internet service (Reuters)
- Will Anyone Pay for a Newspaper Online? (O’Reilly Radar)
- The End Of The Pay For Content Model Is Nigh (TechCrunch)
- Search Traffic Influences The New York Times To Drop Subscription Fees (Search Engine Land)
4. This Fog is Getting Thicker (and Wikipedia is Getting Larger)
- Wikipedia Publishes 2-Millionth Article in English (InformationWeek)
- Top 10 Wikipedia Tricks (Lifehacker)
- Beyond Wikipedia: 20 References You Can’t Do Without (Scholastic.us)
- Wikipedia is HUGE! (UW Libraries Blog)