Although starting with a focus on streaming digital music, this article in the Chronicle of Higher Education brings up key concerns related to the content licensing, the first sale doctrine, and the provision of library services.
More to the point, How Streaming Media Could Threaten the Mission of Libraries highlights what a number of librarians see as an “existential crisis.” The traditional role of developing collections of physical items like books, journals, CDs, etc. is giving way to the licensing of digital materials where the relationship between librarians and publishers is shifting, giving the later “far more power.” Permission to access content is replacing ownership and threatens the foundations of collection development. At least, that is what some librarians think.
There is a lot to consider in this brief but perceptive article. It’s well worth reading, not to mention thinking about. As always we’re interested in your take in things, so feel free to make a comment.
(And stay tuned! As the article also notes, the Institute of Museum and Library Services has agreed to fund a study of the possible effects of a digital regime.)