This is the abstract:
Twentieth century libraries were funded to provide content to their communities legally, easily and free. In the twenty-first century, new online competitors supply home consumers – legally and illegally – with what libraries traditionally were best at providing to library users – free and easy content. This paper suggests that library staff arguing for the value of contemporary libraries should be aware of the quality, methods and material of “hidden competitors”. Some “hidden competitors” discussed include “blackmarket” journal article sharing, BitTorrenting sites, online textbook sharing sites, self-distributing artists, programs to strip Digital Rights Management from ebooks, Amazon’s ebook distribution and fan fiction. Possible future models for both “hidden competitors” and libraries – and implications of these – are suggested.
There is much,much more in the formal peer-reviewed paper that will be published in a couple of days and available on the VALA site for the session.
We are hoping to start a conversation, that maybe can be continued at Library Camp Australia on Friday.