Monday, October 25, 2010

E-books in Public Libraries...where will they end up next?


Well, I guess it was a matter of time.  What's that you ask?  Oh, E-books have infiltrated Public Libraries.  Now, before we jump right into the implications of what was just read, lets take a closer look at them.  E-books are digital version of printed books which in turn, are accessible only by computers or digital devices such as E-readers. So, as you would expect, this advancement in technology took the world by storm.  *Yawn*  Forgive me for not being impressed.  It is just that I am a "printed book" connoisseur and advocate and I feel that E-books are a cheap thrill (and they hurt my eyes).  Yes, I am aware of the benefits of E-books.  However, I appreciate binded, printed books more.  I digress....

While I understand how important it is to our microwave society to have access to information as quick as possible, I believe this may pose a huge problem for authors and publishers.  Think about it.  Being able to download E-books from your local Public Library with the only requirement being, "Can I have your library card please?"  How would the E-book be returned?  What about copyrighting issues?  Who would ever buy another book again, if it were available to you for free in the digital version at your local library? 

According to OverDrive, a large company who massively produces E-books (and is making a killing), its system would only allow members to download E-books onto their home devices remotely by employing a passcode supplied by the library.  They also have a  "one-book, one-user" model on lent books, meaning only one borrower could access the title at any one time.  Really??  That's it? I'm sure you can see the problem with that...I do.  However, some libraries have decided to take further precautions by requiring library cardholders to physically visit the library to download their E-book instead of granting them remote access.  Ummm, yea that solves the problem.  I really hope that they have thought about the potential threat this may cause to authors and those who invest in them.  The problem being the possibility of adverse affects of E-book lending placed on revenue generated for authors.  With the competition and economy in its current condition, I can see this being a new issue for them to be concerned about. 


And, I didn't even begin to discuss the fact that E-books in libraries may act as a deterrent to check out those wonderful, creative, masterpieces called BOOKS!!  Just my thoughts.  What are yours? Please leave comments below. Thanks!

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