Library eBooks and the pesky wait factor [UPDATED]Published 9:43am Friday, April 20, 2012 Updated 11:43am Friday, April 20, 2012
As a part of our Technology Class series, we recently hosted a panel discussion on eReaders and Tablet Computers. Community members brought their personal device to the library, be it a Kindle, Nook, iPad or one of the Android tablets, and shared what they liked about it, including favorite features, etc. It was a great discussion. If you missed it, call the library (739-9387) and we’d be happy to set aside a time to talk with you about eReaders, or watch for an upcoming class.
During the panel discussion, we also chatted about the library ebooks and downloadable audiobooks available from the library’s website: www.fergusfalls.lib.mn.us.
Checking out a library ebook or audiobook on your device is a wonderful way to use your library virtually and, since the ebooks automatically return themselves, you don’t have to worry about overdue fees.
All you need to use the service is a valid Viking Library System library card.
Many of our panelists noted that they used the library’s ebooks. Indeed, since we launched in mid-April of last year, 322 unique Fergus Falls cardholders used the library’s Digital Downloads service and
checked out 2,329 ebooks and audiobooks.
The panelists also said they enjoyed the service and hoped that the library would continue to add more downloadable books to its collection, since sometimes they couldn’t find the title they wanted or there was a long waiting list for a book they really wanted to read.
Currently, the Viking Library System digital library has approximately 1,050 ebooks and 300 digital audiobooks available for checkout. At the library, we are monitoring ebook and downloadable audiobook usage and are adjusting the amount of money we spend on digital resources accordingly.
But, as you might suspect, there are also a few things going on behind the scenes that impact library
access to ebooks.
Currently, the ebook market is experiencing some growing pains, and publishers and libraries art working together to address piracy concerns and find a sustainable business model for library ebooks. In the interim, some publishers are limiting the number of ebooks available to libraries and some won’t let libraries buy their ebooks at all. Thus, although the digital publishing revolution is exciting, the old saying that “Rome wasn’t built in a day” also rings true.
All this to say, we hope you’ll bear with us as we forge into this new digital publishing environment. The library has always been a go-to place for readers and lifelong learners.
We take that role seriously and will continue to work to provide you with access to the largest range of information in the widest range of formats possible. If you’re interested in letting publishers know that getting ebooks from the library is important to you, here is a list of publishers that currently restrict access to ebooks for libraries: Brilliance Audio, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan Publishing, Penguin Group, and Simon and Schuster.
See you at the Library.
Erin Smith is the Library Director, Fergus Falls Public Library