Although starting with a focus on streaming digital music, this article in the Chronicle of Higher Education brings up key concerns related to the content licensing, the first sale doctrine, and the provision of library services.
More to the point, How Streaming Media Could Threaten the Mission of Libraries highlights what a number of librarians see as an “existential crisis.” The traditional role of developing collections of physical items like books, journals, CDs, etc. is giving way to the licensing of digital materials where the relationship between librarians and publishers is shifting, giving the later “far more power.” Permission to access content is replacing ownership and threatens the foundations of collection development. At least, that is what some librarians think.
There is a lot to consider in this brief but perceptive article. It’s well worth reading, not to mention thinking about. As always we’re interested in your take in things, so feel free to make a comment.
(And stay tuned! As the article also notes, the Institute of Museum and Library Services has agreed to fund a study of the possible effects of a digital regime.)
Tom is originally from Brooklyn N.Y but has spent his entire professional career in South Carolina, most recently as Head of Reference Services at the College of Charleston. As part of the Against the Grain and Charleston Conference team, he serves as the associate editor of the print ATG as well as the co-editor of the webpage. Tom’s conference duties include coordinating the Penthouse Suite interviews as well as the conference poster sessions.
He received his MLS from the University of Buffalo, SUNY and a second master’s in public administration from the College of Charleston and the Univ. of South Carolina. His wife Carol and he live in downtown Charleston and she is an artist and a tour guide offering historic walking tours of the city.