Everybody's Libraries

December 9, 2007

We the mediators

Filed under: meta,publishing — John Mark Ockerbloom @ 10:36 pm

Back in early 2006, Peter Brantley (now the director of the Digital Library Federation) got a lot of interesting folks in libraries and publishing together in one room to talk about issues related to reading in the digital age. While libraries and publishers have different focuses and priorities, we both serve as mediators between authors and audience, and both kinds of mediators are seeing dramatic upheavals and innovations in the ways we carry out our missions.

So the meeting touched off an interesting series of discussions. I’m having a hard time finding the “official” presentation pages from the original meeting, but here’s a short summary from me and a more detailed list of talk summaries from Tim O’Reilly. After the meeting, discussions continued on a mailing list of participants that over time added a number of other folks in publishing and libraries.

A number of the folks involved, mostly on the publishing side of things, have now started a group blog to take many of these conversations public. The blog is called Publishing Frontier, with the tagline “a raucous public discussion of the publishing revolution”. Its starting contributors include folks who’ve worked at trade publishers, scientific imprints, commercial research labs, and grassroots book digitizing.

The blog promises to be an interesting forum and chronicle of the digital revolutions in communication, largely from publishing perspectives (much as I hope this blog to be another such forum and chronicle, largely from librarianship perspectives). I encourage readers here to check it out.

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