What Books are Libraries For?

(cross-postedĀ hereĀ at the Scholar Electric blog) Books take many forms, and that variety of forms constantly growing more expansive and fluid. This phenomenon is due in large part to the encroachment of digital technologies on the world of readers, writers, publishers, and other stakeholders. But one of the stakeholders often left out of public discussions (and most academic discussion, as well) are libraries and librarians. To the extent that you might…

September 14, 2012

What Makes a Book a Book? (A Working, Material-Operational Definition)

Let’s say that you’ve got two digital texts. One is a book; one is a website. You access both through a computer screen. Both are accessed via the internet. Both have visual elements that move. Both incorporate sound. Both have still images. Both have alphabetic text. Neither one can be changed; read-only. Maybe this is starting to feel like a trick question. Like I’m stacking the deck. Begging the answer…

April 17, 2010