As an employee, I find most of these articles about NYPL to be rather unnecessarily hysterical, and the comments almost irrational, all based on not-to-careful reading of the plans.
Concerning the physical alterations, virtually all of these will affect parts of the building that are currently not open to the public - in order to make them into public spaces (that's why cataloging staff was moved out to Queens).
Offsite storage: Yeah, it's inconvenient, but what is the alternative - stopping the acquisition of books? The public has never allowed the public to browse the shelves. The Library of Congress has many millions of items offsite as do many other major libraries. Maybe the people in New York are a bit too provincial? How much effort does it take to know what books you want and order them a few days in advance?
In other words, what's happening to NYPL is exactly the same thing that's happening to libraries across the US.
This is a collection of books and long-form articles curated for professional athletes by professional athletes, primarily San Diego Chargers' kicker Nate Kaeding. I first heard about it on Slate's podcast, "Hang Up and Listen":
It's an interesting project on its own, though it's also nice to see a professional athlete self-identify as a librarian, at least in the sense that one who creates a library is playing the role of librarian.
In addition, I think it's interesting to think about the software that would make the most sense for Keading and his collaborators to use should they wish to expand this project beyond Twitter and make it more browse- and sortable. They'd likely want to be able to collect metadata not only about the texts, but also about the people who add the texts to the library and the people who rate the texts' usefulness. For instance, wouldn't it be interesting to learn that kickers and designated hitters and three-point shooting specialists all find themselves drawn to books on Buddhism? Or that offensive tackles and catchers and power forwards like the same articles about sports medicine?
It seems like software that serves this purpose would also be useful in more traditional libraries. But I'm not sure there's any existing software that provides this sort of utility.
Background: Markdown was created by John Gruber, with help from Aaron Swartz. They wanted a way to markup text that felt natural (it was inspired by the conventions that were already in use for email, Usenet, etc.) but would also lend itself to conversion to valid HTML.
This conversion process was built in from the beginning (the conversion demo was introduced at the same time as the spec) -- http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/dingus -- though Gruber created Markdown specifically with his own needs in mind, specifically the publication of his popular website, Daring Fireball.
Markdown caught on in a big way and has been forked multiple times, though Gruber has implicitly refused to serve as a Linus Torvalds/Guido van Rossum-like benevolent dictator. When he first created Markdown, Gruber created a Markdown mailing list, which he used to monitor actively, but he hasn't posted to it in years.
Given Markdown's popularity, it might be helpful to have someone or some group helping to establish interoperability standards. The post I've linked to, by Fletcher Penney, the creator of MultiMarkdown (one of the more popular Markdown implementations), discusses the difficulties involved in creating a standard for Markdown.
There's a matter of dealing with journals who request an exclusive license. For this idea to gain wide traction, issues of publications and how they relate to tenure/promotion also have to be addressed.
tl;dr: eBooks, as they're currently marketed, undermine every enduring library value (e.g. access, sharing, preservation). There's no reason they have to be implemented this way, but the situation isn't going to change unless we help to change it (cf. the serials crisis).
I wish I could give this more than just a single upvote. Andromeda takes the podium about a minute into this video...
...and kicks butt non-stop for 10 minutes. You don't really need the slides (there are just 14 of them and she's smart enough to keep them almost entirely free of text), but if you want to follow along, they're posted here:
He makes some good points, but also makes several assertions that are almost certainly wrong (even though many people believe them). This is an interesting companion piece to Paul Graham"s new post, "Defining Property":
My question: How many library software vendors would be included in Alex Payne's list of "companies doing it right"?
One other note: Alex Payne is making a point I tried to make in a Library Journal-hosted discussion with ILS vendors a couple of years ago, he's just doing a better job of it. Here's a link to the article...
...and here's what I said to a table full of ILS vendors: "I'm making a commitment to try not to buy anything where the pricing isn't on the website, where I can't go and say, 'This is what I'm paying.' Because when I talk to my colleagues, I want to be able to talk to them about the value that I'm deriving from the money that I'm putting in. And so if the pricing isn't transparent, my trust is not there for you."