Tuesday evening, I attended a focus group at the Scottsdale Library. Here is the invitation I received from them.
The Scottsdale Public Library invites you to participate in a focus group session on public libraries and e-book content.
We are interested in getting your view on a variety of topics including:
+ Where do you get e-books?
+ What works about current e-book services and what could be changed?
+ If you self-publish/plan to self publish, what software do you use?
+ If a statewide self-publishing/e-book program was developed, what would you like to see in it?
Experienced focus group facilitators will walk the group through these questions and more to help us improve our services. We value the opinions of our local authors. Please consider sharing your experiences with the Scottsdale Public Library.
It was an interesting discussion and my being involved in ebooks before there was software to do it automatically really seemed to help the facilitators in gaining the information they were looking for.
There is a little confidentiality that I am sworn not to violate, but what I can say is the libraries in Arizona are forward-looking and trying to be proactive about ebooks. One of the main problems for local authors is that we can contribute paper books, but the very same book cannot be placed into the system in electronic form. that is one of the issues we raised.
In terms of what we (indie authors) would like to see in terms of programs/services the library system could offer, the authors present all said visibility. I hope they will at least take that to heart, because libraries should be to independent authors what film festivals are for independent filmmakers.
I expect I will get a follow-up contact at some point, but kudos to Scottsdale and the other Arizona cities involved in this outreach planning for the future.