Sunday, November 14, 2010

Media Week (Vol 3) No 46: Hay-on-Wye, Commercial Libraries, Bush Critics, Random House Film & Words.

The Telegraph will partner with the Hay-on-Wye book festival for the next three years (Telegraph):
Over the next three years, in these pages and throughout the Telegraph, you’ll be able to enjoy writers and thinkers of this calibre, and experience some of what the organisers of Hay have put on for those who have visited since it began. When I suggest to Florence that he is immune to the old parlour game about fantasy dinner guests because he’s had his fantasy several times over, he replies: “Yes, except it’s not dinner, it’s a picnic.” The green fields of Hay are “great levellers”, he says. The Hay organisers operate in the belief that a child who lives on the border between Herefordshire and Powys is entitled to the same world-class entertainment as a child who lives in Hampstead and attends Westminster School. And locals are now, he says, blasé to the point of comedy about celebrity.

Twenty years ago, one writer Florence had invited to Hay turned him down, on the grounds that his project was implausible – literature in Britain, the author replied, was simply not good enough to sustain a 10-day festival. Now Hay welcomes not just hundreds of thousands of people over 10 days in May, but hundreds of thousands more across the globe, trading in intellectual dynamism and productive mischief.

Hay’s expansion internationally is both an important part of its future and entirely in keeping with its founding concerns. It’s a way, Florence says, of “finding out about the world through its writers”. The guiding spirit of the festivals has always been, he adds, “scepticism, inquiry, going beyond what you’re told. Think again. Look twice.”
Nothing, we feel, could better match the perceptiveness and curiosity of Telegraph readers.
The Chronicle Review has a thought provoking article on the commercialization of libraries (Chron):

Libraries have already drifted too far down the commercial path: Research and educational values must be restored to their primacy of place. "Good enough" and one-stop shopping are no substitutes for systematic research. Technology cannot replace human expertise. The business world has many valuable tools and resources to offer, but libraries must insist that scholarly requirements take precedence over commercial interests.

The need to realign library values is especially urgent in the realm of monographs. Electronic publishing of academic monographs is still at an early stage, but it is growing fast. As it is developing, e-monographic publishing is following the path of e-journals and will, therefore, reproduce many of the same problems—spiraling prices, homogeneous collections, greater numbers of low-quality monographs. Libraries will provide access to titles owned by the publishers, who will offer them up in preset packages accompanied by complex licensing agreements that constrain their use. (Existing e-book licenses, for example, generally prohibit interlibrary loans.)

And what about the Bush book from several UK perspectives (Independent):

Tony Blair: 'Some of our allies wavered. Tony Blair never did'Seven years after the invasion of Iraq, George Bush and Tony Blair remained joined at the hip. Sorry is the hardest word for both of them. The former US president seems to have studied the former prime minister's appearance before the Chilcot Inquiry on Iraq in January. A headline flashed danger signals in Mr Blair's mind as he was asked whether he had any regrets. He did not want the headline to be "Blair apologises for war" or "Blair finally says sorry." So he said merely that he took responsibility for his actions. Mr Bush has been through the same thought process. "I mean, apologising would basically say the decision was a wrong decision," Mr Bush told NBC. "And I don't believe it was the wrong decision." Unlike his soulmate, Mr Bush does not do emotion. In his own memoirs, Mr Blair pleads for understanding from his critics, saying: "Do they really suppose I don't care, don't feel, don't regret with every fibre of my being the loss of those who died?" In contrast, Mr Bush says: "It doesn't matter how people perceive me in England. It just doesn't matter any more. And frankly, at times, it didn't matter then." Mr Blair was ready to ignore political opinion. Mr Bush offered Mr Blair a last-minute opt-out from the Iraq invasion when he realised it could bring his closest foreign ally down, saying he wanted regime change in Baghdad, not London.Revealingly, Mr Blair replied: "I'm in. If it costs the Government, fine." That unquestioning loyalty might have surprised some observers at the time. But Mr Bush already felt he had a sense of his British ally's character. It was a judgement he had come to on Mr Blair's first visit to the US president's Crawford ranch in 2001."There was no stiffness about Tony and Cherie," he writes. "After dinner, we decided to watch a movie. When they agreed on Meet the Parents, a comedy starring Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller, Laura and I knew the Bushes and Blairs would get along."Andrew Grice, Political Editor

Random House have launched a web site dedicated to movies and television made from their books (Word & Film)

From the twitter this week (@personanondata)

Elsevier Releases Image Search; New SciVerse ScienceDirect Feature Enables Researchers to Quickly Find Visual content. Press Release

The Australian: Local publishers invited to Apple's iBookstore.

Telegraph: Pearson to double number of language schools in China.

paidContent: Why Publishers Are Tracking The Costco v. Omega Supreme Court Case

MediaPost: NY Appeals Court Reinstates Amazon Sales Tax Suit 11/09/2010

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