About this Author
Ernest Miller Ernest Miller pursues research and writing on cyberlaw, intellectual property, and First Amendment issues. Mr. Miller attended the U.S. Naval Academy before attending Yale Law School, where he was president and co-founder of the Law and Technology Society, and founded the technology law and policy news site LawMeme. He is a fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Ernest Miller's blog postings can also be found @

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January 15, 2004

Book Publishing in Every School and Library

Posted by Ernest Miller

The Shifted Librarian is trying to bring more attention to library policy in Illinois, particularly a new plan from the governor to give one book a month free to every child from birth to five years old (Giving a Child a Book Versus Giving a Child an Entire Support Institution). At the same time, however, the governor is cutting funding for existing libraries. I agree with Jenny that the state certainly shouldn't be cutting library funding at the same time it is giving books to children not yet old enough to read. However, I really like the giving books away part.

Why not split the difference?

What if Illinois spent at least part of the $26 million for the book give away program to install book publishing equipment in every library in Illinois? Then, just like the Internet Bookmobile, children would be able to walk into a library and walk out with a book they could keep. Frankly, I think every school and library should have book publishing equipment. Given enough scale it is probably cheaper to print out most public domain books and give them away then deal with the costs of checking them out and restocking. Heck, you could have an option: check the book out and be subject to possible late fees, or pay $1 or so and keep the book. Might work out pretty well.

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Culture


1. Joe on January 15, 2004 11:48 AM writes...

This is such a great idea! It would be even better if the Internet Archive could package a system that libraries could (easily) install and maintian... then all sorts of kids could get PD books! This would also increase demand for these books and more like them... there could even be a program where authors could make their books (or out-of-print oldies) available for this distribution. It's like p2p for books...

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2. Aine on February 5, 2004 01:43 AM writes...

I think book publishing equipment in libraries is a great idea, and one that could result in some much needed funding in libraries (provided the price was just slightly above publishing costs) to provide extras that current funding doesn't now cover. Having served on a Library Board for five years, I understand all too well the difficulty libraries have with ever increasing expenses and trying to maintain services.

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