“Profound change”

A delegation of the American Library Association (ALA), led by its president, Molly Raphael, spent some time recently meeting with senior management at several of the larger trade publishing houses. Those visited included Penguin, Macmillan, Random House, Simon & Schuster and Perseus.

After the meetings, the ALA released a statement that alternately expressed its appreciation for the dialogue and identified some of the areas of both agreement and continued differences. What struck me, though, was the hope in part of Raphael’s assessment:

“It was agreed that we—publishers, libraries, intermediaries and others—operate in an ecosystem that is experiencing profound change. At the same time, a thorough understanding of the ecosystem backed by reliable data is not readily available, and deserves increased attention from ALA and others,” she said.

Okay, it’s just a press release. Work remains. But the leadership of a national association, having spent a week in close quarters with publishers who have shown little love for libraries, walked away saying “to sort this out, we need to create data we don’t yet have.”

Ecosystems, data and collaboration. Mark February 8, 2012 as a good day for data geeks.

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.

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