This new project has been getting a lot of buzz in the late couple of days:
New: Unglue.it. "The site uses a crowd-sourced funding (or "crowdfunding") model to raise enough money to pay book authors to open up their books as ebooks for free. As described on the site:
Unglue.it is a a place for individuals and institutions to join together to give their favorite ebooks to the world. We work with rights holders to decide on fair compensation for releasing a free, legal edition of their already-published books, under Creative Commons licensing. Then everyone pledges toward that sum. When the threshold is reached (and not before), we collect the pledged funds and we pay the rights holders. They issue an unglued digital edition; you're free to read and share it, with everyone, on the device of your choice, worldwide.
This follows the model of sites like Kickstarter.com, where individuals pledge various amounts to support projects. Like KickStarter, Unglue.it offers various rewards pegged at specific pledge amounts as compensation to contributors. Also like KickStarter, each book "campaign" on Unglue.it has an end date."
I remember the speaker at the Library Tech Conference saying that Kickstarter has raised more money for projects than the National Endowment for the Arts or similar funding type agencies so it seems like a likely model.
So...should libraries channel funding from collecting a book to supporting its change to open ebook?