Future of Libraries 2010: The Consumer and Library E-book Markets

A must read post from the Librarian in Black blog, Future of Libraries 2010: The Consumer and Library E-book Markets, offers a summation from 3 speakers at this event held in San Francisco on September 21st.  They include Paul Sims, Ann Awakuni, and Henry Bankhead.

A few clips from the post:

Paul Sims, “He believes that eBooks have the potential to disrupt our ability to provide access to collections. He quoted the ALA Core Value about Access: “All information resources that are provided directly or indirectly by the library, regardless of technology, format, or methods of delivery, should be readily, equally, and equitably accessible to all library users.” eBooks are preventing us from meeting this core value.”

Ann Awakuni, “10/14 libraries she contacted that loan eBook readers are loaning Kindles, but more are moving to the Nook. She talked with a librarian in New Hampshire (Mary @ Howe Public Library) noted that libraries have no problems loaning out 5 $100 art books to people but freak out about loaning out a $200 eBook reader. Is it legal for libraries to loaning out eBook readers? Amazon has stated that we can loan out the readers, but not with any content or jail-breaking the devices to allow content copying. So far no one has received a cease and desist letter. She suggests that we need an exclusive library terms of service contract from Amazon and other eContent vendors.  Most public libraries loan out eReaders pre-loaded & don’t let users download anything else onto the reader. Some libraries, though, let the users select which eBook they want and then download it for them before checkout. One good tip: Make sure your Amazon account isn’t linked to your library credit card but a gift card (to protect credit card info & spending sprees). Toronto wants to pilot delivering eBook readers to homebound patrons too. Several college and school libraries are loaning out readers with titles by request. They’ve encountered student and faculty questions about how to cite an eBook (page #s don’t exist).”

Henry Bankhead, “Libraries need to change from curators of predefined collections to distributors of access. Physical DRM can be coupled with print on demand as just one of many formats, on compost-able cheap paper meant to be recycled once you’re done reading. Picture a future when you say “book” and you actually mean eBook, not the print book. We need an easy to use technology and an easy interface that works for users.”