Via AL Direct comes this good news press release from ALA.
â€œOpening up American Librariesâ€™ searchable PDFs at www.ala.org/alonline/ is just the first step toward making all future features and columns available on the site in HTML format in 2009,â€ said Leonard Kniffel, editor in chief. The current issue of the print magazine will be open to all, as will back issues through 2003; they were all formerly accessible only with a member log-in. The revamped AL website will link content to the AL online forum [hot link http://al.ala.org/forum/] where readers are encouraged to express their opinions about professional issues, news and controversies.
I wonder if this means that AL Direct will be archived and linkable online? American Libraries also has their own blog where they talk more about the decision to open up more of their content.
A few people had sent me a link to LibriVox before I left on the trip and it was in the queue to look at when I got back. I ran into Hugh McGuire at the Open Content Alliance Open Library Launch (his blog notes) and was happy to be able to say “Hey your link is in my inbox” and then get to talk to the man himself about the work that he does with group of dedicated volunteers. With a tagline like “acoustical liberation of books in the public domain” you’ve got to believe they have big plans. The specific project involves volunteers recording chapters of books and making the audio files available. The broader vision is to have “all books in the public domain to be available, for free, in audio format, on the internet.” You can have a copy of Call of the Wild to use however you want and whenever you want, thanks to LibriVox and the four volunteers who read and recorded the chapters. What are you waiting for, go volunteer to read something! Hugh is also on the board of Canda’s oldest lending library in case you were skeptical about his librarian cred.