Public Libraries as Publishers: Critical Opportunity

Author : Kathryn M. Conrad

Libraries have a long and distinguished history of publishing, since their earliest days. Traditionally libraries published to expose their collections through bibliographies, facsimiles, and catalogs.

While the Internet has made discovery and dissemination of library holdings easier than ever before, digital publishing technologies have also unlocked compelling new purposes for library publishing, including through Open Access publishing initiatives.

The self-publishing explosion and availability of self-publishing tools and services geared to libraries have heralded new opportunities for libraries, especially public libraries, to engage their communities in new ways.

By supporting self-publishing initiative in their communities, public libraries can promote standards of quality in self-publishing, provide unique opportunities to engage underserved populations, and become true archives of their communities.


Bibliodebout: a collaborative library in a social movement

Authors : Raphaëlle Bats, Marilou Pain

An unexpected political mobilisation leads to the occupation of a large number of public squares in French cities from the end of March to July 2016. In those Nuits Debout, a collective starts up BiblioDebout, a participative library working on a gift basis.

Trough participative observations and text analysis of the collective’s mailing lists, this paper studies how BiblioDebout expresses a specific relationship between knowledge and power, and, therefore, emancipation.

BiblioDebout is utopian, egalitarian, emotional and experimental, and so on could be an inspiration for public libraries willing to renew with their political vocation.


État des lieux et perspectives des jeux vidéo dans les bibliothèques de lecture publique

Auteur/Author : Sarah Perreau

Première industrie culturelle mondiale, le jeu vidéo prend une place de plus en plus importante dans notre société. Les transformations des pratiques des lecteurs amènent de nombreuses bibliothèques françaises à s’intéresser à ce nouveau support. Le jeu vidéo étant un secteur évoluant très rapidement, son rapport aux bibliothèques a beaucoup changé au cours des dernières années.

Ce mémoire abordera ainsi le contexte actuel des jeux vidéo dans le monde et en France, la place actuelle du jeu vidéo au sein des bibliothèques françaises et les perspectives et l’avenir du jeu vidéo au sein des bibliothèques.

URL : État des lieux et perspectives des jeux vidéo dans les bibliothèques de lecture publique

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The Impact of Public Access Venue Information and Communication Technologies in Botswana Public Libraries


A study on the impact of Public Access Venue (PAV) Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) was conducted in Botswana libraries with Internet connections. The main objective was to determine the impact of ICTs in public libraries.


Using the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework as a theoretical lens, the study used semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions to investigate the impact of PAV ICTs in 4 study sites, resulting in data from a total of 39 interviews and 4 focus groups.


The results of the study show that PAV ICTs had a positive impact on users in the areas of education and economic benefits. Within educational and economic impacts, social benefits were also found, pertaining to the use of social media and the Internet for formal and informal communication. The study also revealed a slight difference between school going users and non-school going elderly users where the use and acquisition of computer skills was concerned. Elderly non-school going users tended to rely on venue staff for skills more than the younger school going users.


The study recommends that PAV facilities should be improved in terms of skills offered and resources availed so as to appeal to both the younger school going generation and the older non-school going users. It is also recommended that education on ICT be improved to help curb rising unemployment in Botswana; such skills would enhance the income generation skills of the unemployed users as well as school leavers.

URL : The Impact of Public Access Venue Information and Communication Technologies in Botswana Public Libraries

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Public Libraries: Essential Infrastructure for the Public Humanities

« Public libraries are a key component in the delivery of local humanities programs in Maine. Stephen Podgajny, executive director of the Portland (Maine) Public Library, outlines how public library infrastructure and resources support the humanities as collectors of humanities-related material, conveners and presenters of humanities programs, as collaborators with other humanities organizations, and as conservators of local historical collections. The author also discusses the future of public humanities and public libraries. »


Accompagner les citoyens dans l’acquisition d’une culture numérique : le rôle des bibliothèques de lecture publique dans la formation au numérique

« Ce mémoire étudie l’opportunité pour les bibliothèques d’aider les citoyens à améliorer leur culture numérique. Depuis les années 1990, les politiques publiques se sont appliquées, en France, à donner accès à tous aux technologies numériques, sur la base de théories aujourd’hui remises en cause comme la « fracture numérique » ou les « natifs du numérique ». Les premières institutions à avoir proposé une formation, non seulement aux usages de base des principaux logiciels, mais également à des compétences numériques et à une réflexion critique, ont été les Espaces Publics Numériques (EPN). Bien que ce label puisse s’appliquer à des bibliothèques, la plupart d’entre elles commencent seulement à s’emparer de cette mission. Savoir s’il s’agit d’une mission prioritaire – et donc, quelles ressources peuvent y être affectées –, quelles sont leurs forces et faiblesses, quels partenariats elles peuvent et devraient développer, etc., nécessite encore une réflexion coordonnée au niveau national, mais également à l’échelle des territoires. »


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A Review of Public Library E-Lending Models

« The market for e-books and digital content is continually evolving and adapting, while simultaneously becoming increasingly global in terms of its interdependence and reach. Whilst many determinants of this evolving and decentralised information environment are beyond the control of any one actor, institution or organisation – there is significant scope for libraries to act as the architects of their own future by learning from the diverse spectrum of international e-lending experiences and practices to evaluate which models (and their components) deliver the best outcomes for library users. These e-lending business models include:

  • Library-managed platforms for hosting owned digital content
  • Library-managed platforms for aggregating multiple sources of licensed digital content
  • Third party platforms which offer either of the two services above
  • Library-led licensing arrangements with publishers, authors or aggregators (either through consortia or on an individual library system basis)

This research project will seek to produce a comparative analysis of different national/regional e-lending business models to identify key environmental, political, cultural, financial and logistical factors which are capable of fostering sustainable approaches to supporting e-lending and public access to digital content. It will endeavour to map a number of actors and initiatives across the international e-lending landscape as well as the common barriers which may restrict the future development of effective e-lending business models.

Whilst the resulting report will necessarily approach the e-lending landscape from a library standpoint, it will also attempt to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of each approach from the perspective of library users, publishers and authors – given that any viable long-term solutions in this space must effectively address the holistic concerns of all stakeholders. »

URL : A Review of Public Library E – Lending Models

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