PlaysforSure @ Your Library

I had gotten a little behind on my podcast listening due to my recent vacation. So I have been catching up on Open Stacks this week. This afternoon I listened to “Open Stacks #11(Open Stacks #11)”:http://openstacks.net/os/archives/000823.html. Greg gives his take on “Cory Doctorow’s take(Fairfax libraries waste tax-dollars on DRM )”:http://www.boingboing.net/2005/04/28/fairfax_libraries_wa.html on the “Audio Book Issue in the Fairfax County Public Libraries(Audio Book Issue in the Fairfax County Public Libraries)”:http://www.his.com/~pshapiro/audiobook.html. If you need more background, go read “PlaysforSure and Audio Books(PlaysforSure and Audio Books)”:http://www.libraryplanet.com/2005/02/07/playsforsure. And then for full disclosure, go read about “my mp3 player(Rave-MP STYLE: ARC2.5)”:http://www.libraryplanet.com/2005/03/14/rave. First off, the waste of taxpayer money argument is specious. I hear the same thing around here everytime someone complains that we buys music on CD and they only have a cassette player or that we buy movies on DVD and they only have a VHS VCR. Libraries have limited budgets to work with. We have to work within our selection policies to choose the most efficient and cost-effective method of doing so. We are never, ever going to make everyone happy when we try. Do I think playsforsure is cool? No, I do not. Would I rather get the books DRM-free? Absolutely. Do I think libraries like Fairfax and mine are making a mistake getting something that won’t work on an iPod? Who knows. Frankly, in our community, I don’t even know how many there are. I saw more in Washington, DC than I have ever seen around here. No one has complained to me about the lack of compatability yet. And just for the record, Recorded Books were very upfront about the issue during the presentation. They (and I am quite sure Overdrive as well) would be quite happy to support other technologies like FairPlay if Apple would let them. Do I think OCLC /Recorded Books and Overdrive are going to change to a DRM-free version? Absolutely Not. Because the publishers would never allow them to do so. Buying and using an MP3 Player is not for everyone, now how matter “how inexpensive(Less than $100)”:http://www.playsforsure.com/AdvancedSearchResults.aspx?searchtype=BrowseDevices&cat=PricePanel&index=1 they become. But accusing libraries of wasting taxpayer money is not a charge supported by anyone who understands any of the facts.

Posted by Michael K Pate

Michael K. Pate tends to spend a great deal time of time around computers. He has been a Librarian since 1997. Michael was born in Avon Park, Florida in 1966. Except for a couple of brief periods in his life (once in Tampa and once in Winter Haven/Haines City), he has been a life-long resident. Originally, he planned on a career as a Computer Programmer and therefore graduate from Webber College with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems in 1988. However, unhappy with career opportunities at the time, he soon returned to school and received a BS in Social Science Education from the University of South Florida. He began his career in education at Avon Elementary and later Avon Park Middle working as a Computer Lab Coordinator. While technological challenges were interesting, he found himself more and more interested in becoming a Media Specialist. He began work on his MLS in 1995. However, a summer internship at the Sebring Public Library in 1996 soon made him reconsider just what his career should be. Upon graduation in 1997, he secured a position as a Media Specialist at Eastside Elementary in Haines City. Eventually, the position he was looking for opened up and he returned to SPL as Reference Librarian in 1999. In 2003, he became Assistant Director of the Highlands County Library System, serving in that role until the position was eliminated during a late round of budget cuts in 2010. Since then, he has been the Computer Support Specialist for the Heartland Library Cooperative. In 2011, he began serving on the Board of Directors of the Tampa Bay Library Consortium.