Monday, July 11, 2005

Libraries and the Long Tail

I have been remiss in not pointing to John Blossom's helpful June 27 posting about the OCLC Symposium at ALA in Chicago. He was one of our panelists (he, Chuck Richard, Nancy Davenport and Chris Anderson made the Symposium a very interesting and successful event) and as you'll read, finds much positive for librarians in the application of the Long Tail.
Focus on the finite. The good news about "the long tail" is that it is likely to free up librarians to do what they do best - manage finite collections of content with high levels of expertise while leaving to others the managing of massively popular content and specialized collections beyond their focus. Rather than focusing on easily reproduced content available commercially in electronic formats librarians can focus on obtaining and preserving truly rare content that is most important to their local patrons' needs. The rest can be "borrowed" or licensed on a far more global level with lots of contextualization from local librarians and community enthusiasts to enhance its local value.

Read the rest here.

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