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Re: Ads in online journals, was: Re: CBC and Liblicense list


The following message, my first here, is a wake up call of sorts - be it a
bit on edge and "counter culture" to what I'm seeing in this discussion.
I've been lurking on this list for a few weeks, and I'm scratching my head
with shock at the nature of some of these comments. Mine is an attitude to
promote the freedom of expression and the free-marketplace of ideas. I was
under the impression that libraries are for "access" --- yet most of you
want to be playing gatekeepers of old school methods. 

Hold onto your hat. Reactions welcomed.

>I agree with Ann's concerns.  By subscribing to the product we may be
>implicitly endorsing the products being advertised. 

You must then unsubscribe your library from every newspaper and popular
magazine published. You must unplug all computers from the internet. You
might as well poke out your eyes, plug your ears and live life through
your nose.

> If the cost of
>aggregation and distribution are covered by advertising we should not have
>to pay anything.  In that case, we would add a disclaimer stating that we
>do not endorse the products.  Miriam Drake

Take a ride down the road -- notice the billboards. Notice the handbills,
perhaps near the door to your library and/or around campus.

I'm going to take an unpopular stance here -- but I have the impression
that the people who walk into libraries have brains between their ears. 
Readers are smart and can think for themselves without "added disclaimers
stating that YOU do NOT endorse the product because of this AD." 

In another post an acquisition librarian wrote:
>We seem to be using terms like "sponsorship" and "advertising" almost
>interchangeably here -- but am I wrong in thinking that the two are
>actually very different?  

Yes. The two terms and the meaning of each are very different.  However,
if one is sitting high in an ivory tower or riding on a "high horse" --
they might look to be the same. 

>I'm thinking of the difference between the
>underwriting that you see with public broadcasting (where sponsors are
>mentioned and their products or services described, but there's little or
>no "hyping" of the product itself) and the advertising that you see on
>commercial TV or in magazines. 

Might you be in a dream world? Hyping? Who wants to carry around a

> I'd feel more comfortable about seeing the
>former in online journals than the latter, although I'm not sure I can
>justify that feeling philosophically -- after all, most of the print
>magazines and many of the journals we provide to patrons are full of
>traditional advertising, so why should anyone expect an electronic product
>to be different? 

You shouldn't. You are right. Advertising is in the magazines and popular
press things. Advertising is everywhere and you can't and should not bat
another eye at its presence. 


I'm a publisher. Over the past 15 or so years I've put out products
(books, (hardcover, softcover, trade paperbacks, workbooks) videos,
software, magazines, E-books, and even a few subsidized titles) I've been
miffed by various librarians and even bookstore managers who have rejected
some of these titles out of hand because of their back-cover advertisings.

Case in point. We published a 400 page trade paperback with 300
illustrations by 4-time Olympic water polo coach. This is the very best
book ever on the sport by far. I've given away more books in Pennsylvania
(my home state) than I sell. Then there is a whole season's of practices
from a N. California for Masters Swim Team. Both books have back cover
ads, and they would not have been put into print without a bit of help
from those advertisers. One firm sells fins and the other firm does swim
parkas.  Neither book had a hope of being published by S&S.
I'm a very small publisher. Those backcover "sponsorships / ads" paid to 
get the covers printed. 

Those books are not in some libraries now because of block-headed thinking
(in the past) by those in the library marketplace. Yet, the big
publishers, Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated -- well, those titles are in
libraries and bookstores.

How-to tactical books SHOULD have advertisments within the books, and even
on the back-covers. The popular newspapers, magazines and even Journals
should have advertising. And, folks, so to should all the electronic media
outlets too.

>From Belgium writer:
>As to the question of ads in online journals, I am very cautious
>about it. In the United States, advertising is present in every
>human activity since a long time. Here in Europe, the invasion
>is more recent. 

Yes, but the American folks here (overstatement) don't realize that ads
are present. They seem to think that they are a watch guard for propaganda
and a disclaimer agent too. 

>Only naive people can really think that such
>an introduction is for the sake of quality. It is for profit and
>nothing else. 

Well, naive people think that they can think for others and influence the 
business world too.

>I think it is dangerous because it may divert
>young uncritical souls from education and leave them like sheep
>in a society of wolves.

"It" being advertising in above statement. Perhaps, ads in journals. But,
in America, we already have ads everywhere, as stated above. 

How about STATE RUN PRESSES. Does that suit the fancy of the folks here? 
If we only had state run presses and all ads had to go through a screening
process -- some here might be very happy, right? 

Here is another point I'd like to raise. Do you ever consider that the
authors themselves might have agendas too? Important scholars often rule
their whole fields of study by selecting and killing certain articles for
peer-review journals. Research that challenges their positions is never
welcomed. This happens too, and the only way to get out the word to a
flock of sheep being starved by a large tooth leader can occur in the
advertising realm. This then makes ads a flashpoint for freedom.

My position is not to defend ads. My position is to say that those in
professional roles need to provide access and let the people think for
themselves. We all make decisions every moment in life. And, FWIW,
institutions and people have already made the decisions that ads,
sponsorships, grants, scholarships, state-aid, fee-based subscriptions,
subsidy-works, web sites, white papers, and what not are fine sources for
information access -- and ads are here to stay in all endeavors of

Mark Rauterkus, Publisher          E-books work in classrooms!           

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