Tuesday, May 24, 2011

E-Books in the Library

Electronic Books are adding a new wrinkle to the library business and libraries are having a tough time keeping up, says the Vancouver Sun’s Janet Steffenhagen:
The book-lending business at public libraries used to be a simple affair: Buy books, catalogue them, loan them out and keep them in good repair. But that’s all changing with the soaring popularity of ebooks.
According to Steffenhagen, libraries are increasingly offering e-books and, in some cases, making e-readers available to their patrons. Despite confusion from the book industry and roadblocks from some publishers, the demand for e-books from library patrons is growing rapidly.
About 1,800 cardholders with the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) now borrow ebooks, and last month they registered a total of 3,000 such checkouts, said Christina de Castell, the VPL’s manager of online information and news. While that’s only a tiny fraction of the library’s print circulation, it’s been growing by about 20 per cent each month this year.
Steffenhagen looks at how one region is dealing with the challenges here.

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