Prospects for screen textbooks are advancing at MicroSoft and Barnes and Noble and at Apple. Apple has an FotB address (dot blogspot).
The Kindle can be the equivalent of a free parking space at a shopping mall. The incentive is first to facilitate visitation and then to facilitate the widest range of shopping opportunities. Amazon will act as the mall developer. Kindle will be a fulfillment device much like a card-swipe device.
in the cards
“Every screen is a touch screen, and when it’s not they get confused as hell. Kids expect instant delivery of everything. If you can’t get it right that second, it doesn’t exist. When you tell them that a thing they want doesn’t exist digitally, that it’s a physical thing and that’s it, it blows their mind. If there is some book they need to write a report on, say, Mayan culture, and it’s not online, they get mad.” Librarian in Black
Librarians are mediators between the physical and virtual. This legacy role is also futuristic but the role is increasingly difficult as we depart from a more stable print library.
In the print library both the books and their access utilities were less mortal than the librarians themselves. Systems were established to sustain library operation beyond the individual motivations and uncertain careers of the librarians themselves. Book formats and card catalog formats were used by generations of librarians.
There has been a reversal. Now the library media and their access methods are more mortal than the librarians. Logic can suggest that sustainability can emerge from a new standardization, not of the ephemeral formats or access methods, but from a cohesive librarian motivation. Librarians are default, standardized mediators between the physical and virtual and between books and screens.
A suggested premise for this newer LIS agenda is the inherent interdependence of physical and virtual, book and screen, library services. Neither will flourish with out the other. A whole agenda, departing from binary debate, can build a methodology of mediations across the varieties of library service. There is a whole terrain between rushing ahead and standing still.