Monday, May 14, 2007

Libraries, publishers, marketing and money

Sunday's New York Times had an article on how book publishers receive little feedback from readers. Because publishers have to guess what readers will like, the industry has to rely on blockbusters to fund operations. Why don't libraries sell their circulation stats? It should be possible to strip out personal id information and datamine by pub date and class number. OCLC could promote Worldcat as the central book blog and make programs to identify trends. If Amazon can do it, I can't see why a bunch of smart librarians can't.

Courthouses and municipalities sell information to landlord groups and information brokers. If the personal id information is stripped out, I cannot see any objections.

1 comment:

Betsy McKenzie said...

Dear Jacqueline,
You have a fascinating idea! Law libraries, of course have a disproportionate number of titles that don't circulate. So the first thing that comes to my mind is that publishers need to be reminded that the circ stats only cover circulating items and leave out the reference materials and other titles that are used in-house rather than being checked out. But this is a great-sounding idea if the records can be stripped of individual patron info.