This post, by Martyn Daniels, originally appeared on his Brave New World blog on 6/20/11.
The library digital world is starting to undergo some serious consolidation and establish interesting partnerships. The market itself is quite diverse with public, institutional, academic, corporate and educational libraries supporting different usage and content needs and straggling not just books but learned journals, journals, reference works and information resources.
Overdrive announced a partnership arrangement with Amazon to offer the giant’s digital content through their increasingly dominant public library offer. This coupled with Amazon’s new and limited loan service begs many questions as to the exclusivity of the partnership, the long term ambitions of Amazon and their intent to move in this direction. The public library arena could become crowded with many digital supply offers and we still have Ingram in the US and many localised offers emerging around the world.
Google appears to be stuck with their settlement offer and intent to cloud cover the library world but their intent to be the information index of the world and their continuation to scan libraries and now grow their bookstore clearly indicates that they aren’t going away. However they have just announced and arrangement with The British Library to access a huge volume of out-of-copyright works for free for the first time on the internet and mirrors deals Google already has in place with more than 40 libraries around the world. The British Library deal covers some 250,000 texts dating back to the 18th Century. Google covers the cost of digitisation, producing one copy for its own use, an one copy for the library.
Smiths News bought Dawson Holding earlier this month.