FYI France

File 3: Ejournal and archive

by Jack Kessler,

February 15, 2013 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on February 15, 2013 -- and, a little later, on, and at Facebook-Jack Kessler's Notes

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Versions of the following have appeared online regularly, since 1992, as a feature of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which is distributed for free via email every month except August. Ejournal subscriptions may be obtained via email request to:

Here this file is one of a number made available -- hopefully attractively, all in one place, and relevant to libraries and online digital information work in France and Europe -- as part of FYI France (sm)(tm), an online service to which anyone can subscribe for 12 months by postal mailing a check for US $45, payable to Jack Kessler, to PO Box 460668, San Francisco, California, USA 94146 (site licenses also are available): please write your email address on the front of your check. And you can pay via PayPal, on the FYI France homepage:

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FYI France: new books, libraries & the digital


S ome new books, on libraries & the digital in France:

-- recommended here both for personal and professional interests, and to offer to others, including researchers and students ;

-- it grows increasingly-difficult to sort through the digital information overload, but the people who write the following are doing that job well in France, and it is interesting to see how they approach the task there ;

-- and, as always here, a few FYI France editorial Notes are appended to the entries, to entice & provoke & otherwise-interest -- so,



So it is not yet the case, anywhere, that the only interesting materials on this particular immense variety of topics are *online*. Sometimes, then, it still pays to pull the cascading bits & bytes together by backing-off and reading a thought-out, well-considered, comprehensive & congenially-formatted "book"... maybe an e-book, altho those mostly not-yet, still...

I am trying to become a fan of e-books -- so far unsuccessfully, but I do keep trying -- the marriages I've seen so far, however, between the speed & agility & flexibility of digital information, and the thoughtfulness & organization & sheer sagacity of the same information presented as print, have not been happy unions. I am all for access, but preservation's a problem too: we need to carry forward some part of the vast panoply of editorial exactitude, presentation sleight-of-hand -- mise-en-page -- marketing skills and structures, financial aplomb, and general wisdom, assembled over centuries by our traditional publishing efforts and industries. Otherwise digital information won't be able to pay its bills, sell in the first place, be readable, scale-up, or be able to spel. Nothing worse, then a verdammten auto-complete spell-checker which doesn't spel rite -- unless it's one that doesn't consider speling rite to be important, or one which refuses to spell wrong when you want it to. Cacaphonies...

So the EPub standard may solve many problems of l'édition. And the iPad may make the mise-en-page of iPhone-squinting more presentable. And gradually the whole process may come to make more sense financially -- currently it doesn't, as the same text can be procured for $7 or $70 or $0 and still in no case make a profit for anyone concerned, and libraries have lost their sense of purpose, as have bookstores, and people are "reading" both far more and far less, and in all cases are understanding vastly less of whatever they read.

So there's still room for a printed book or two. It still represents a completed thought, in a format designed for easy presentation and understanding. After a day, or longer, of sound-byte-chasing -- what passes for reading, in this early phase of the digital information world -- headline-scanning on GoogleNews followed by header-browsing and spam-filtering in email, then followed by YouTube clip-browsing, Pinterest image-pinning, MMORPG video gameboard chatting, tweeting and texting "Hey..." or "Wazzup..." or tapping "Like" to several hundred of our global thousands of Social Media friends... not in-depth relationships, these...

After a day of all that activity, anyway, it seems nice and even useful to sit down, regularly and even daily, to an old-fashioned, one-stop-shopping, well-considered & comprehensive & non-networked printed book, on a subject.

Do you remember the effect of a good "textbook", before and even after all that random and apparently-disconnected "secondary" reading, in a school or university class? The textbook initially presenting and later drawing back together all the wandering strands of a subject... That's a bit the feeling, now, of ending a day spent Internauting, negotiating the torrent of bits, wandering the backchannels of the chat groups -- concluding all that with a good printed book, which contains no tempting and distracting electric plugs at all, in or around it.

Happy reading, then. All this will change further, I am certain. But for now a few good printed books still may help. I am off to re-read Jarod Lanier's, You Are Not A Gadget (Knopf, 2010): maybe my print copy -- or maybe via my iPhone Kindle version, if that's out yet... so maybe I'll Google something while I read, or Like it, or Tweet it, or Pin it...


Jack Kessler,






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