I thought the TWILIS topic from two weeks ago re: the differences between roaming the virtual and physical stacks was interesting and quite relevant to our current e-reading initiative. Equally interesting was the type of comments the writing inspired.
Along those lines, I wanted to follow up and extend that original conversation to continue discussion about the differences between electronic and print books, and the corresponding value of each.
Whether you consider yourself an advocate for e-reading or someone who prefers reading printed books, it’s important to have a good understanding of what the implications of those decisions are.
When you purchase a Kindle book are you under the assumption that you own it? Think again. (Thanks to Sasha Griffin for the reading recommendation here.)
A further examination of the bookless library concept that was introduced in TWILIS and additional commentary about the library launching in Texas that was mentioned in the comments. What I find particularly interesting about this article is the commentary from Sarah Houghton, library mover and shaker who blogs under the pseudonyn “Librarian in Black.” Ms. Houghton is definitely an advocate for technology in libraries, and yet she does not feel the time for bookless libraries is coming soon.
For those of you who are interested in statistics about device usage and the current state of e-reading in the United States, I recommend you check out this report released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project at the end of December.
Reflections on the current state of e-books and libraries (mainly from a public library perspective) in terms of price and access. Written by Christopher Harris and Jamie LaRue, two leaders in the field who addressed Iowa librarians at last fall’s state conference.
And finally, my very favorite piece on e-reading, a follow up to the above problem of pricing and access to popular content for public libraries.
This article details the current deal that the Douglas County Library system has struck with Smashwords, leading self- and independently-published e-book distributor. This is all part of a larger project started by the DCL called Evoke
Evoke is a pro-active rather than reactive response to increased expectations and problems that come with digital content in libraries. The project is described as follows on their website:
Here’s our idea: libraries need to learn how to manage several emerging channels of digital content. We’re doing that in Colorado. At this site, you’ll find all the tools and aids we developed to help ourselves. Everything we have — from legal framework to information architecture to the list of our publishing partners to the open source code that makes it all work — is freely offered to the library community. We firmly believe that this is the most exciting time in the history of our profession. We also believe that librarians should be significant players in this revolution.
In closing, I hope the above references are informative and thought-provoking as you consider the role that e-books have in our ever-evolving academic and personal lives. I also hope that you have taken the opportunity to get involved with our e-reading initiatives this month, it’s not too late to get on board. Check out the lis.luther.edu/reading for more information about this week’s workshops and the opportunity to log any e-books you’ve read this month as part of our contest.