Libraries Belong in the eBook EcoSystem

Fabulous post, and summary of the Digital Book World Conference thus far, from Eric Hellman.  He reports on a panel discussion from DBW today, moderated by Josh Hadro at Library Journal.  LJ has a great summary article of the discussion as well.  The topic – why libraries belong in the eBook ecosystem.  Panelists included OverDrive CEO, Steve Potash, New York Public Library Deputy Director Christopher Platt, and big 6 vice president, Random House Director of Account Marketing Ruth Liebmann.  I followed some of the tweets today, which were great.  You can see the stream at #dbwlibrary and #dbw11.

4 thoughts on “Libraries Belong in the eBook EcoSystem”

  1. From a business point of view I see nothing wrong with the decision from Macmillan. Is there actually any studies done to show that library use stimulate sales, or is at least not a net negative? Above all for digital goods?

    I’ve read some of the tweets from DBW and the arguments offered do not impress. Other than personal anecdotes there is a confusion of correlation with causation. The fact that there is some overlap of heavy book buyers that are library users does not establish what library defenders seem to think. It is the same confusion evident with some defenders of the ‘piracy is a net positive’ argument.

    Then there is Amazon’s seeming total lack of interest in library lending. The one thing Amazon does not lack is a nose for business. Perhaps they do not appear to hold the view that libraries are much good for stimulating sales? I would not hold my breath for them offering library support any time soon, see:
    choice excerpt:’ Do you feel there is any hope at all that Kindle will ever allow library books?’
    The quick answer would be – No, not really. Not unless Amazon loses its head. Not unless another company starts beating it on the basis of library book support. Not unless there’s a gun put to its head.

  2. Willem,
    Thanks for your comment and the link to the blog post at It’s a great post and offers a lot to think about. Maybe libraries should support nook, SONY, Kobo and other readers that are more open, and offer these devices for loan instead of the Kindles.

  3. This email is in reference to the Kindle. Question: 1. Is it possible to use the Kindle on a Smart Board for an entire class?
    2. Will it connect to speakers, so that the entire class can hear it?
    3. Can the students use it as a dictionary, if there is vocabulary they desire research as they read?
    4. Are maps available for research as they read?
    Thank you!

  4. Joan, I’ve not tried to use the kindle in this way, but I’m thinking this is not possible. The only input/output on the Kindle seems to be with the USB and that doesn’t offer the VGA option to connect video to the projector. You’d be able to see the drive and files on it, but not the actual Kindle screen.

    Kindle does come with a built-in dictionary, the New Oxford American Dictionary. I’m not aware of any maps, but if you have the wifi/3G options, you should be able to connect to online maps assuming you are in a hot-spot (wifi). More info on the kindle specs is available here:

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