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Magazines > Computers in Libraries > September 2012

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Vol. 32 No. 7 — September 2012
Up for Discussion
by Dick Kaser

The theme this month is Going Digital. In the call for papers, we painted the subject with a broad brush, for we know that libraries have been managing the transition from print to digital for many years now.

In fact, over the past couple of decades, we have watched the card catalog turn into an OPAC. We have seen bound indexes turn into databases, directories turn into information services, copies turn into scans, and now, books turn into ebooks.

As we have seen so many times in recent techno waves, it is not always as easy as it sounds to get from here to there. So, as these things go, the library community has focused much well-deserved attention the past several months on publishers’ business models for lending ebooks to library patrons.

In this issue, authors Maria Brahme, Patricia Delich, and Elena Heilman add a twist to this discussion by providing their unique perspectives on how to bring ebooks that live outside the offerings of the business models of gigantic, commercial publishers and big ebook distributors into your library’s collections and make them accessible to students and other patrons.

The whole concept of information discovery and access is where most discussions about digital collections wind up.

That point is driven home by Donald Phillips, who tells how The National Archives (U.K.) developed a user interface to the archives’ digital collection that not only “support[s] all the questions asked by users but also recommend[s] interactions that extend the user’s activity in ways that make his or her journey through the system more effective and satisfying.”

I would encourage you to enter into the discussion of where technology is taking us by submitting a story proposal of your own. We have just released our new editorial calendar for 2013, and there are many themes that we are seeking your input on. It’s easy to submit your story idea online by visiting our website at

As always, the conversation continues at our conferences. I look forward to seeing you at Internet Librarian in Monterey, Calif., and at Internet Librarian International in London next month.

Dick Kaser, Executive Editor


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