"Eager to attract digitally savvy patrons and capitalize on the growing popularity of electronic readers, public libraries across the country are expanding collections of books that reside on servers rather than shelves.Now there are a number of issues to be settled it seems. One is that these books can not, in the vast majority of cases, be downloaded to Kindles, because of Amazon propriety software. So let me see...if I choose an Evil Kindle, rather than the growing number of other e-readers, I cut myself off from major source of free books. Seems like more of an issue for the Kindle than the library or e-readers as a whole.
The idea is to capture borrowers who might not otherwise use the library, as well as to give existing customers the opportunity to try new formats."
Then there is the issue that most libraries treat e-book loans like print copies, each 'copy' loaned out to one person at a time. So for a popular new book, there may be a 'line' just as there is for print books now. So the reader has a choice, as they do now, to buy it immediately or wait for a bit to get it free from a library.
And also there is the matter of now publishers feel about this issue of libraries and e-books.
"Publishers, inevitably, are nervous about allowing too much of their intellectual property to be offered free."I am not really sure how that is any different from the issue of libraries and print books now. Can someone explain the difference to me? But regardless, if this format become more popular, which seems inevitable, I am sure in time it will all be settled.
I must say, I found this article quite thought provoking. Now, you know about my many concerns about e-books. No secret there. But if you combine the convenience of being able to instantly download a book, read it anywhere, anytime on a wide variety of devices from a PC to an e-book device to a cell phone for a 'loan' period of several weeks and then you make it FREE...ok, I must admit it, now you have my attention!
But I can't get that image of that prep school with the empty shelves from my mind... ;-)