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Wow, what a morning. The best part of this ebook summit has been following the tweets and chats with some incredibly knowledgeable and creative librarians. So many good ideas for ebooks in libraries. My highlights have been on twitter, so feel free to have a look @spolanka or follow the conference at #ebooksummit.
Added to blog post 9/30: There are some addtional summaries of various Summit presentations from the Library Media Diva and the Librarian In Black blogs. Thanks to the folks at LJ for recording some highlights from the session I moderated – Ebooks and Academic Libraries: Toward a new Best Practice.
The most shocking statement thus far was from Eli Neiberger, Associate Director for IT and Production, Ann Arbor District Library, who said quite bluntly, “libraries are screwed.” His presentation went on to discuss how the basic premise of the library business is based on owning and loaning print content and that this format is outmoded. He also said that the value of library collections is in local copy and in a global digital world, the notion of local and copy is worthless. He believes we will survive if we find ways to reinvent ourselves beyond the circulating collections. He suggested that libraries become publishers and bring their local communities to the 21st century world by providing a platform for unique experiences.
All presentations are being archived and will be available beginning next week.
I’m really curious about this, and reading a blog post from the Librarian in Black, which summarized a library futures event has gotten me even more curious.
Most public libraries who are lending eBook readers (at least those in the news) are loaning Kindles. Why aren’t they lending nook, Kobo, COOL-ER, and SONY readers? Kindle readers are not compatible with any of the library eBook aggregator content and require that libraries purchase titles again, in the Kindle format. But nook, Kobo, COOL-ER, and SONY readers ARE compatible with some OverDrive and NetLibrary titles because they are in Adobe Digital Editions or PDF formats. Am I missing something here? Isn’t is plausible that a public library with large OverDrive and NetLibrary collections could pre-load already purchased content onto a compatible device and lend the device and the title to the patron? The Kobo reader comes loaded with 100 free titles. Many free eBooks can be loaded onto these devices as well (even the Kindle is open to some of these).
Is it the fine print? Is it the content? Or is it lack of knowledge on devices? Your input on this issue is much appreciated.
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.” Continue reading