Wednesday, January 25, 2012

David H. Rothman, Co-founder and Editor-Publisher of contacted SOL to explain that though he runs an e-book related site and supports digitalization of libraries, he is opposed to the plans set before the board. He wrote an article about the Rockford debate that can be found here:

There are a lot of interesting articles about the digital divide, the idea of a national digital library system, and more with the opportunity to post and/or share essays.


  1. Thanks for the link, Rachel. Either tonight or tomorrow I'll add "Save Our Rockford Library" to the blogroll at

    Your group is doing a great job, and we'll hope that the Rockford library system listens--and won't even consider 95/100 without addressing the library needs of low-income people and others. The basic e-book gizmos can cost less than $100, tough for cash-strapped households, though not as much as iPads. But all kinds of issues can arise even then, such as the costs of connections. Not to mention such matters as technical support. And a choice of devices. Not everyone enjoys the E Ink screens on the Kindle, for example. And how many loaner Kindles would be needed? A mere 50 or 100 just wouldn't do. I'd also hope that the library officials would work with an open-membership citizens advisory group that could offer advice on how fast and how extensively to digitize beyond the current e-books.

    Long term, given all the money that libraries must pay to e-book middle people like OverDrive, the real solution would be a well-stocked national digital library system with enough bargaining power to use with publishers. That 95/100 ratio would be a real laugh otherwise, since some publishers don't even want to make e-books available to libraries (and then there's the pesky issue of older books not yet digitized). contains details about the national digital library proposal, which Bill Buckley, my political opposite, pushed in two "On the Right" columns as far back as the 1990s. See .

    Very best of luck! I hope others will sign up for your blog's email list.

    David Rothman

  2. Please see my developing conversation with David Rothman at

  3. Congrats to Rachel and Andy on their great contributions to the Register Star. My own commentary is at:


    Whether it's longer branch hours or e-books (with decent at-home access for low-income people), let's hope that Rockford officials will catch on so library usage rates can go up. Literacy rates, too!