My library is introducing an e-reader lending program. The price of e-readers has dropped such that this is practical for a library in a community of our size. This is a good article about our new program, however it does adopt the cliche of libraries being strangers to new technology.
Library embracing new technology with e-readers
By SHERI REGNIER January 30, 2014 · Updated 11:48 AM
(Librarian Sam King demonstrated the versatility of the Trail and District Public Library’s new e-readers set for community circulation in a few months. Options on the portable device include large text and with the tap of a finger, a page can be bookmarked or turned. / Sheri Regnier)
How a future library will look is anyone’s guess.
But in this digital age, a library might become less about lending a book and more about transmitting text through less traditional sources.
The Trail and District Public Library reports an exponential increase of tech-savvy users in the last few years, aided by the addition of 12 public access computers, along with the circulation of electronic materials increasing by 63 per cent.
As local library users become more familiar with digitized information, the modern way to access materials through e-readers could mean books, CDs and DVDs become an antiquated resource for future readers.
The current 5,000-square-foot Trail facility is packed with countless tactile resources, so in response to not just a lack of space, but to keep up with the times, the library has added 10 e-readers to its stock of portable devices, and tens of thousands of books to its electronic library.
Overdrive is repeating it’s Big Library Read e-book program. This time it’s a J e-book
As part of the Big Library Read program, your library will be featuring “Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth” in both eBook and audiobook formats from September 16th – 30th. During this two-week reading period, Book 1 from the Nancy Clancy series will be available for every patron that wishes to read it—no holds, no waitlists.
By participating in the Big Library Read, you can join a global movement of passionate readers and library patrons who support the availability of eBooks and audiobooks at your local branch.
Some statistics from the first Big Library Read coutesy of Library Journal:
The Four Corners of the Sky, the 2009 Michael Malone novel promoted during OverDrive’s Big Library Read ebook initiative, was checked out almost 24,000 times from May 15 through May 23, according to preliminary data provided by OverDrive and publisher Sourcebooks. The title’s position on Amazon’s Sales Rank charts also rose dramatically during the promotion’s first nine days, moving up more than 50,000 spots from 67,198 to 16,798. The program allows any participating library to feature The Four Corners of the Sky on its OverDrive home page and enable simultaneous access for all patrons from May 15 through June 1.
“We want to demonstrate once and for all the enormous influence of the library demographic, and that when libraries put an ebook in their catalog it serves a valuable role in increasing exposure and engagement with an author’s work,” Steve Potash, OverDrive’s CEO, told LJ when the project was first announced on May 3.
After peaking at 3,321 on May 16, the second day of the promotion, checkouts have leveled off, remaining in a consistent range between 2,400 to 2,600 per day.
OverDrive and Sourcebooks to Launch Ambitious Ebook Data Experiment
OverDrive and Sourcebooks are preparing to launch an innovative and ambitious pilot program whose goal is to clearly demonstrate the impact library ebook lending has on book sales and author recognition.
OverDrive sent a letter today to about 35,000 librarians worldwide and invited them to opt in to a program that will run from May 15 through June 1 and allow all participating libraries to feature simultaneously on their OverDrive home page, at no cost, a single title from Sourcebooks.
The book, Four Corners of the Sky by Michael Malone, will be accessible simultaneously to all participating libraries’ patrons worldwide during the two-week program, which is called “Big Library Read.”
“We want to demonstrate once and for all the enormous influence of the library demographic, and that when libraries put an ebook in their catalog it serves a valuable role in increasing exposure and engagement with an author’s work,” said Steve Potash, OverDrive’s CEO.
During the 18-day program, data associated with the title, which will also contain a special “Dear Reader” note from Malone (see below), is going to be closely tracked.
From the “about” page of the “Uncovering eBooks” blog maintained by Christina de Castell:
Library staff across Canada are discussing eBooks, talking to vendors and publishers, and looking for solutions for buying, storing and lending eBooks. Under the umbrella of the Canadian Urban Libraries Council, the eContent Task Force began by developing a vision statement for portable and downloadable eContent in late 2010. Since then, CULC members have been meeting with publishers to share libraries’ vision and communicating current issues to library staff and publishers at conferences and meetings.
Top Libraries in U.S. and Canada Issue Statement Demanding Better Ebook Services
Over 70 library systems from the United States and Canada — including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Toronto, and Chicago — today issued a joint statement demanding vastly improved ebook services for library users in North America.
The statement, dubbed the ReadersFirst Initiative, outlines four principles the libraries want e-content providers — the middlemen between publishers and libraries — to follow in order to lift content restrictions and also make the borrowing experience less cumbersome.
“Libraries have a responsibility to fight for the public and ensure that users have the same open, easy and free access to ebooks that they have come to rely on with physical books,” the statement reads. “They face two major challenges. The first is that, unlike print books, publishers are not required to sell e-books to libraries – and many do not. This is a complex and evolving issue. The second, addressed here, is that the products currently offered by e-content distributors, the middlemen from whom libraries buy ebooks, create a fragmented, disjointed and cumbersome user experience.”
I believe Ranganathan would agree. The website for ReadersFirst is: http://readersfirst.org/