I'm on vacation in Minnesota near the Canadian border. My northwoods cabin is in a dead zone which does not have cell phone or internet. Every day I drive to the local bait shop and use the wireless hot spot (and also buy minnows, etc!). Taking advantage of the chance to go online, I decided to check my RSS feeds. One short post about libraries intrigued me which was titled "Boomers and Beyond: Reconsidering the Role of Libraries". Being a faithful user of the library at home, I thought ... gee ... what a great concept for a book (and research).
However, upon following the links I discovered the only way I could read this book was to throw down $55 and purchase the book. Hmm .... Do the authors understand the web? While their topic is a great one, I doubt many folks will spend that kind of money to read the book. While I understand the need to earn money from one's publishing efforts, might not the book also have been made available as a free digital download? Without this kind of more radical marketing effort, the book's opinions and research will be restricted to a very small community.
The owner of my local bait shop (Terry) on the other hand understands the digital age. After all Frontier Sports attracts people from miles around to purchase leeches, use the free wireless hot spot, and even purchase some cappuccino!
Perhaps this is one of the problems for libraries as we head into the future? There needs to be a better understanding of the digital age and how that affects a library's ability to gain customers.