Should Libraries Get Out of the E-Book Business?
This article (and the one it links to) addresses some of the problems arising for those libraries that are following the model of lending E-Books and looks at whether libraries should be investing large sums into a product that is very much in a state of flux. I'm not sure which side I agree with but I do think that until UK libraries can lend ebooks compatible with Kindles they are going to be fighting an uphill battle.
I seem to be spending a lot of time thinking or talking about e-books at the moment, not least because they are cropping up a lot in both the regular and publishing news.
I love the fact that I have several different views on the subject and experience from a number of different perspectives. I'm an academic librarian working with the JISC FE e-books and currently building our own collection purchased off our regular supplier. As an ex-public librarian I know the pitfalls and expense of systems like Overdrive and have been following the recent developments regarding publishers and books rights with interest. I also use Overdrive to borrow books for my Sony E-reader and my husband has a Kindle for which we obviously use Amazon. At work we've just got some Kindles for use with the book club and I'm currently figuring out how to administer them and loan them to students.
I always struggle to find something that I want to read when I go to download books from my public library. As a borrower I want as many books as possible to be available through my library but I also understand why the it's less and less likely I'll be able to get the popular best sellers this way. Public libraries lending e-books represent a huge threat to publishers (or at least the publishers seem to think so!) so more and more of them are refusing to come out to play with us. I'd like to think that eventually their mothers will give them a clip round the ear and boot them out to get some fresh air but my instinct is that this might be a while off. In the mean time the academic libraries have the option of purchasing those books that they can afford (so mostly not the mainstream textbooks) and the public libraries (and their borrowers) will have take what they can get.