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Friday, January 28, 2011

eBoook News

The big news throughout the book world late yesterday revolved around this announcement by Amazon that in the 4th Quarter of 2010, eBooks outsold paperbacks.

I have talked about eBooks here in the past.  I have mixed feelings about how and if I would use eBooks personally, but in terms of library usage, we are moving forward full steam at the BPL to integrate eBooks and eReaders.

In the next few months, we will have one of each of the major eReaders available for patrons to use in the library.  We will have them near the RA desk for patrons to touch, play with, and to use to help patrons trouble shoot problems with their personal readers.  We are going to train the staff to use all of them and to help patrons.

The next step will be that we have an undetermined number of Sony eReaders for patrons to check out.  We are unsure whether they will be preloaded with books also, but for sure, patrons will be able to use their library card to download an eBook from OverDrive.  We will even do it for you at the library so that before you leave, your books are loaded and you are shown how to read them.  This will begin in late fall or early summer.

A word about the Kindle though.  We know that the Kindle is the most popular eBook reader, but unfortunately it is also only works with Amazon.  It is incompatible with every other system.  The Sony eReader is the most library friendly device and will work with OverDrive.  As I mentioned above though, we will have a Kindle to help patrons who own them.  We will have it loaded with free eBooks so that patrons can see how it works, but we do not have plans to have any available for check out right now.

So, don't worry, as eBooks are gaining steam, the BPL is ready to help you navigate the growing world of digital books.  And, they will coexist happily right next to the paper ones.

Let me know what your library is doing to prepare for the eReader boon.  If you are a reader, how are you using your eReader.  Is it compatible with your library's eBooks?


Rebecca said...

I'm annoyed because I got a Kindle last year, and I can't believe they still won't play nice with libraries. It's very upsetting! Here's hoping that they will see the light soon.

Also, I've just started writing a regular column for Public Libraries magazine - the next issue will have my first column, which is all about sites for free eBooks. Look for it when it comes out!

Becky said...

I will definitely look for your column Rebecca. Hopefully I can RSS feed it like your blog.