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Darzian
08-03-2010, 12:23 AM
With the advent of ebooks, has anyone thought about potential ebook libraries? The same rules would still apply, of course (only one user may have the digital copy of the book at any one time). Do you think this would be a success? How could this impact sales?

alleycat
08-03-2010, 12:32 AM
My local public library already does that in a number of ways. The ones offered via Overdrive work the way you mentioned; they are "checked out" similarity to how other books are checked out.

orion_mk3
08-03-2010, 01:33 AM
The library where I work has a contract with an ebooks provider (ebrary) that gives us access to select titles that we've bought and paid for. In terms of purchasing, it works much like buying a regular book in that there's a flat fee, but it can only be accessed be on-site users or certain authorized people after logging in.

However, they force us to use a proprietary interface for the books, and printing or copying/pasting is difficult. The ebooks don't work with e-readers like the Kindle, either. I think that if faced with competition from something more user-friendly we might easily see a stampede. Most of our business book buying is ebooks already, while the English faculty don't like 'em.

xitomatl
08-03-2010, 01:36 AM
Where are you in Canada Darzian? BC already has something like this set up that you can access if your library is a participant (and to my knowledge, the vast majority of them are).

Medievalist
08-03-2010, 02:04 AM
UCLA libraries have been lending ebooks for ten years.

Textbooks, novels, and technical books.

Darzian
08-03-2010, 02:17 AM
Hmmm. Clearly my ideas are outdated. I haven't heard of such a feature at my local library. I'll have to check it out.

I think it would be interesting if this became more widespread. Maybe we'll be seeing many more books available through our libraries because there is no longer the issue of limited shelf space. And if library running costs can be cut down (due to the advent of ebooks), the additional funds may go to increasing the number of books accessible.


Where are you in Canada Darzian? BC already has something like this set up that you can access if your library is a participant (and to my knowledge, the vast majority of them are).

Toronto. I don't think my library has this feature (at least not for fiction) but I'm to check to see.

xitomatl
08-03-2010, 07:49 PM
Just did a quick search for you, here's what the Toronto Public Library has:

http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/ebk_index.jsp

It's pretty similar to the service we have here in BC. The frustrating part is, I think, is that they have a limited number of "copies" that people can take out. So you might be on a wait list for a while. Which, to me, kind of negates the whole purpose of an ebook, no?

Grrarrgh
08-03-2010, 10:24 PM
I borrow ebooks from my library all the time. While the process isn't perfect, I like it. The most frustrating part is that I have to download the books to my laptop; I can't get them onto my Kindle. Which I think is probably as much a Kindle issue as a library issue. Like xitomatl said, I don't understand how there can only be so many copies of a book and why I have to wait before being able to check some of them out, but it's still a new thing around here, so a few bugs are to be expected.
I may be able to download them onto the Ipad; I haven't tried. Mr. Grr usually takes the Ipad with him when he goes to work, so it wouldn't do me any good to have the books there.

Darzian
08-03-2010, 11:10 PM
Just did a quick search for you, here's what the Toronto Public Library has:

http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/ebk_index.jsp

It's pretty similar to the service we have here in BC. The frustrating part is, I think, is that they have a limited number of "copies" that people can take out. So you might be on a wait list for a while. Which, to me, kind of negates the whole purpose of an ebook, no?

Thanks!


I think it's very important that a single ebook purchased remains available to only one customer at a time (ie. just like a book). If a library can buy one ebook and give it to 10 people simultaneously, that would be disastrous for writers and publishers. If a library is going to offer multiple copies of a an ebook, then it must have bought each of those copies.

Terie
08-04-2010, 12:03 AM
Like xitomatl said, I don't understand how there can only be so many copies of a book and why I have to wait before being able to check some of them out, but it's still a new thing around here, so a few bugs are to be expected.

It's a licensing issue. The publisher and author get paid by the number of licenses a library buys, and, just like hardcopy books, they can't check out more copies than they've bought the rights to. It's still a huge savings, since the e-books don't wear out and need to be replaced, nor do they take up floor space.

But I'm sure you'll agree that the publisher and, more to the point, the author should still get paid!

NicoleMD
08-04-2010, 12:14 AM
I think I'd be more inclined to buy an ereader for use with rented ebooks. I still can't wrap my mind around paying $$ for a book that's just ones and zeros. I know it's the story I'm paying for, but there's something about seeing it on my bookshelf that makes me think I "own" it, and ten, twenty, thirty years from now, I'll still be able to read it. If I'm just renting, I won't care either way, I think. Just my own personal hangup.

Nicole

KTC
08-04-2010, 12:47 AM
With the advent of ebooks, has anyone thought about potential ebook libraries? The same rules would still apply, of course (only one user may have the digital copy of the book at any one time). Do you think this would be a success? How could this impact sales?

My local library has an extremely extensive online library of ebooks. I believe most Canadian libraries do have ebook libraries on their sites.

KTC
08-04-2010, 12:48 AM
I think I'd be more inclined to buy an ereader for use with rented ebooks. I still can't wrap my mind around paying $$ for a book that's just ones and zeros. I know it's the story I'm paying for, but there's something about seeing it on my bookshelf that makes me think I "own" it, and ten, twenty, thirty years from now, I'll still be able to read it. If I'm just renting, I won't care either way, I think. Just my own personal hangup.

Nicole

I used to think that way. Now, I just carry my bookshelf with me everywhere I go. It's light and practical and I'M IN LOVE.

xitomatl
08-04-2010, 01:03 AM
If a library can buy one ebook and give it to 10 people simultaneously, that would be disastrous for writers and publishers. If a library is going to offer multiple copies of a an ebook, then it must have bought each of those copies.


It's a licensing issue. The publisher and author get paid by the number of licenses a library buys, and, just like hardcopy books, they can't check out more copies than they've bought the rights to. It's still a huge savings, since the e-books don't wear out and need to be replaced, nor do they take up floor space.

But I'm sure you'll agree that the publisher and, more to the point, the author should still get paid!

Thanks you guys, I hadn't even thought about it that way (believe it or not!) and, yes, that makes total sense.

It'd be nice for libraries, maybe, to have a different licensing term. Of course I have absolutely no suggestions as to how that would work in order to make it both fair for the library and the author and/or publisher, so maybe I'll just shut my mouth ;).

Darzian
08-04-2010, 01:49 AM
Unfortunately, I don't think there's any way to work around it. If a library can offer a book to multiple people simultaneously, it's going to seriously affect writers. For example, I was on the waitlist for one of the Harry Potter books at my library. Eventually, I got tired of waiting and just bought it. I'm sure many others did the same. If the book had been available to everyone at the same time, there would probably have been less sales.

The only thing I can think of is this: If libraries end up going 100% electronic (not likely) then they could cut down on physical maintenance costs and use the additional funding to buy more copies of ebooks.

KTC
08-04-2010, 02:17 AM
Eventually, I got tired of waiting and just bought it. I'm sure many others did the same. If the book had been available to everyone at the same time, there would probably have been less sales.




My wife and I have been doing this for years and years...print and ebooks. Just last week she went out and bought a book that had some god-awful hold list on it about 20 people long. She bought the print version of the book she got tired waiting for. If it had been me, I would have bought the e version. Either way, I'm guessing a lot of books are purchased for this reason.