Goodereader.com – “When ebook platform Bilbary launches sometime in March or April, it will have something that can’t be found in one uniform web location: ebook access from all of the Big Six publishers. Currently, the negotiations surrounding Bilbary’s partnership with those and some 2,300 other publishers are for ebook purchasing, although some of those major publishers are already at work on lending the ebooks to users for a rental fee rather than a purchase price. Founder Tim Coates, the former CEO of Waterstone’s, Sherratt & Hughes, and WHSmith and a long-time advocate for public libraries, developed Bilbary with the intention of bridging the current divide between public libraries who wish to lend ebooks to their patrons and the publishers who have to guard the interests of their companies and their authors. “In all the years that I’ve been involved with books, I’ve never seen a year like last year. Four or five major battles, almost wars, were going on in the industry,” said Coates in an interview with GoodEReader.
Press Release – “LexisNexis UK a leading provider of content and technology solutions, today announced the release of its first U.K. legal applications. Combining the trusted content of LexisNexis and the ease of use and seamless design of mobile applications, LexisNexis is proud to be the first major content provider to create apps for its U.K. subscribers: Legal Terms and On the Case. Following feedback from customers about the increasing need to access information on the move, LexisNexis has developed two quick and simple iPhone apps that are user-friendly and give customers fast and accurate information. These apps can also be accessed on the iPad in iPhone format.”
NYT – “Before you text “I luv u” to your partner on this Valentine’s Day, you might want to visit the newly digitized collection of correspondence between the Victorian poets Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett for inspiration. (Warning: These letters are likely to make you far less sanguine about your own relationship’s fire.) Wellesley College and Baylor University collaborated on the project, which began today with more than 1,400 letters by the poets available online. Of those, 573 represent the complete set of love letters, and at least 1,500 additional pieces of correspondence to other people the couple knew are to be up by summer.”
Overdrive Blog – “Despite recent changes by some publishers regarding their policies for library lending and continued review of pricing models and digital book lending issues, the 2012 outlook for growing your digital book catalog with more options for your readers is encouraging. I share this opinion following dozens of advocacy meetings with executives from trade and educational publishers, publishing associations, author groups, library directors, consortia and leadership from ALA and PLA, as well as state and regional library groups.”
Bloomberg – “Vance Alexander sent 35 query letters to publishers and agents to pitch his book, a historical novel about a young slave in 1801 Connecticut who escapes to Canada. No one bit. So the retired architectural designer decided to publish it himself. He joined more than 100 aspiring authors at the library in Darien, Conn., on a recent Thursday night for a demo of the technology ready to fulfill their literary ambitions: the Espresso Book Machine.”
Mercury News – “They waited in the rain with the kind of excitement usually found at Apple product launches. Hundreds then surged forward as the doors of the new Los Gatos Library opened to the public for the first time Saturday, a moment that captured the enduring importance of repositories of treasured information to community life, even in the Age of the App. The 30,000-square-foot, two-story building quickly flooded with bodies — toddlers, teens, civic leaders. Its inviting interior — slate floors, wide-open spaces and floor-to-ceiling windows — surely would have found favor with the late Steve Jobs had he built a library. Rather than offering the latest in fashionable gadgets, however, the library will provide something far more lasting: aisles of soft-page books revealing ancient tales and important histories. There are also corners for reading and reflection.
NYT – “A member of the Occupy Wall Street movement filed a claim on behalf of the group Thursday that the city had damaged or destroyed $47,000 worth of books and other property while clearing its protest site at Zuccotti Park last fall. The notice of claim, filed with the comptroller’s office, is a preliminary step toward lodging a civil lawsuit.”
AJC – “Inspired by his mother, a civil rights activist in Atlanta during the turbulent 1960s, George “Ray” Mitchell took a courageous stand in 1971 in the South Georgia library district where he was newly hired. “There was a sign that advertised story hours. He put another sign up saying, everyone is welcome at the library,” said Mr. Mitchell’s daughter, Sarah Yates of Savannah. Mrs. Yates said she and her siblings were not told the details of what happened next, “but I know at the board level and in the community, he stood them down – my father was very strong. First of all he was 6-foot-4, a tremendous person to be in the presence of. He was not much for words. But they knew he meant it, and no one fought it in the end.”
TNW – “Since Twitter launched in 2006, there have been tons of unique uses of the platform, including fundraising, live tweeting the State of the Union, and now thanks to Penguin, a book club. I’ve seen some corners of Twitter take to using hashtags to create a conversation on the platform. While it can be difficult to follow a conversation on the service, especially in real-time, Penguin thinks that the time-shifted hobby of reading books is a perfect way to bring people together.”
Houston Chronicle – “A grass-roots caravan from Houston to Tucson – filled with writers, students and activists – will bring prohibited books back to Arizona over spring break. When Tony Diaz heard that Tucson schools had dismantled a popular Mexican-American studies program and yanked Hispanic history books from classrooms, he began organizing a protest. Adding fuel to his fire: Two of the titles now prohibited in Tucson classes were published by the University of Houston’s Arte Público Press. Diaz coined a word to describe his new mission: Librotraficante – or “booktrafficker.”