Now that Penguin has pulled out of lending ebooks to libraries, that leaves 2 of the 5 big publishers left in the library lending ebook game.
I don’t know about you, but the whole situation depresses me. It’s not because there are less and less ebooks and not many way other ways to get ebooks into libraries, but because it feels like every time something happens in regards to ebooks and libraries, the same thing happens over and over again. People involved with libraries recommend that you:
- Cancel your subscription to Overdrive
- Quit buying physical books from these publishers
- Write the publishers and voice your concern
- Talk to your patrons about what the publishers are doing
- BoycottTweet/Blog/+1/Facebook a lot about it
And I’m not saying that any of these things are wrong. I’m a firm believer in people doing whatever they feel is best for them to do at that moment in time. But it all just feels like we’ve had these discussions before and it’s led to…the same thing happening.
I don’t have a clear answer of what libraries should be doing, but what I keep coming back to is this: The ebook wars have given us an excellent opportunity to forever change the idea of what a library means. Long before ebooks came along, we were doing so much more for our patrons (reference, the library as a space, programming) but we were still known as the “place where all of the books are”. Now that we can’t have ebooks, we can work towards getting rid of that stereotype. We can change our image to include everything we do: we provide space, we make stuff, we inspire people, and we lend out a lot of neat things.
To me, this is a beautiful way forward.
A model to work towards
His ideas make me want to try new things
These collected ideas are extremely valuable