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ERIC Number: EJ786510
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jul-15
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0363-0277
Serving the Niche: Viewing Libraries through Chris Anderson's "Long Tail" Lens
Mossman, Katherine
Library Journal, v131 n12 p38-40 Jul 2006
The increasingly famous "Long Tail" is essentially a modernized version of the 80/20 rule, something with which most have at least a passing familiarity. The rule (credited to Vilfredo Pareto, a 19th-century philosopher) hypothesized, for example, that 80 percent of the property in Italy was owned by 20 percent of its citizens. That rule is now turned on its head, Chris Anderson observed in his groundbreaking article "The Long Tail" in "Wired" magazine (10/05). Chris Anderson uses the "Long Tail" to describe the economic models of online businesses such as, NetFlix, and Rhapsody, which thrive on selling fewer of a larger variety of objects to more people than brick-and-mortar stores can. Librarians have taken note of Anderson's work because libraries were, in fact, among the first entities to serve niche markets. In "The Long Tail," Anderson is mainly concerned with the profitmaking possibilities that exist in niche markets. Although libraries do not strive for profit, they would not have survived all this time if all they had offered were the Danielle Steels and John Grishams of the publishing landscape. Through their own deep, historical collections and far-reaching services like interlibrary loan and email document delivery, libraries can offer their customers access to an extensive number and variety of materials.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A