Fun and cool facts, Part ??

Another year, another edition (and then some) of fun & cool facts gathered from my life as a library student.

  • Before the Google Books project started in the early 2000s, the average cost for a library to scan its books was $10/page. Now, Google has driven the cost to $0.10/page. $10 sure does sound like a lot, but this was the number cited to our class. 10 cents sound like too little — it must not be counting transportation costs (books off shelves, books on trucks, books loaded into scanners, books back on trucks, back to libraries) — but again, this was the number cited.
  • In US publishing history, there has only been two cases where preliminary injunctions were issued to stop the publication of works. One injunction was issued in the case of United States v. The Progressive where the United States government sought to stop the magazine The Progressive from publishing a work that purportedly includes instructions on how to make a hydrogen bomb. The government eventually dropped its case, and The Progressive published “The H-Bomb Secret: To Know How is to Ask Why” 6 months after its original publication date. The second injunction happened in the case Suntrust v. Houghton Mifflin Co. In this dispute, the Margaret Mitchell (of Gone with the Wind fame) obtained an injunction to stop the distribution of Alice Randall’s The Wind Done Gone on grounds of infringement. The injunction was eventually lifted. There you have it, hydrogen bomb on the one hand, and parody on the other.
  • The Torrance Public Library is currently not offering e-books to its patrons due to cost. According to its principal librarian, the cost for Torrance Public to acquire an e-book is roughly $30, while the cost for a physical book is markedly less. When the cost per circulation is taken into account, the cost for a use of an e-book can exceed that for a print book by a multiple (whole, strictly greater than 1).

Sources: the usual suspects.

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