Should Libraries Get Out of the Ebook Business by Bobbi Newman

Bobbi Newman, who blogs at Librarian by Day, has an excellent editorial post about current Ebook conditions in public libraries.  She questions whether libraries should step back and wait for better options, quoting several other prominent bloggers on the subject.  It’s an interesting thought piece from a public library perspective.  The comments are just as interesting.

Here is a brief clip from the post – Should Libraries Get Out of the Ebook Business?

Or get out at least until there is a better system? I know what you are going to say, I can hear it already – “We can’t! Our patrons demand ebooks!” Except the truth is our patrons want a lot of things we can’t give them – to always be first on the waiting list for the new James Patterson, to not pay fines when their books are late, for the library to be open earlier or later, or to have a system besides Dewey because despite using it their entire lives they still cannot figure it out. When it comes to ebooks, we cannot give them what they want, not really, we cannot give them books from Simon and Schuster or MacMillian or new books from Penguin or Hatchet, and not more than 26 times from HarperCollins, and probably not many books from Random House. What we can do, what maybe we should do, is spend their tax money wisely, and I am no longer convinced that spending it on the current ebook system is a wise move.

One thought on “Should Libraries Get Out of the Ebook Business by Bobbi Newman”

  1. Wise move or not, Pandora’s box has been opened. In my humble opinion as not only a big fan of my Kindle and a small town librarian, I believe libraries have to start somewhere. My life experiences have proven to me that nothing comes free or simple and everything worth waiting for has its proverbial bugs. As a sufferer of carpal tunnel syndrome and mild arthritis in my hands it is impossible for me to hold a book for any length of time. My Kindle has been a blessing and being able to borrow ebooks from our library system is a wonderful thing. It’s my “wheel chair ramp” to our library. I question your suggestion that in offering ebooks we are not spending tax money wisely. I suggest that filling our small library with hundreds of second rate Hollywood movies on dvd is tax money poorly spent. I suggest that tax money spent on junky toys for our Summer Reading programs every summer is a poor choice. As a librarian I see where lots of wasted tax money goes every year. I say ebooks are the future so be patient and look for the “hope” at the bottom of Pandora’s box.

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