Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ebook Notes

Oh, do I have a lot to catch up on and finish finally for CPD23, but until then let me touch on the topics that have been on the forefront of my mind dealing with ebooks:

Kindle for Libraries is now available through OverDrive! Our member libraries were SO thrilled when this happened. It also gave me an excuse to finally buckle down and work with Jing for some tutorials on borrowing and returning ebooks on the device. These videos actually went up on our website, so feel free to take a look.

On the flip side, many are concerned about the ramifications that the amount of control Amazon has in the checkout and borrowing process, about patron privacy, and the usual fears about not keeping up with demand. Bobbi Newman at Librarian By Day says "We Got Screwed"; Library Journal had an editorial that it was a "triumph of practicality over principles". Many librarians, including me, think that Amazon already has their Kindle owners by the *ahem* device, so are patrons really thinking about what information is passed on or stored? Does that give us a license to not care either, or will it be even more important to educate our patrons and remind them we do support their privacy?

I know that in the Kindle Library of my Amazon account any books I borrow through OverDrive are archived there. On the plus side, this also facilitates the storage and retrieval of any notes or highlights if I borrow or buy the same title. On the negative side, how do I know it was a library book? It says it was a library book in big orange letters:

Now, I can delete these titles from my Kindle Library, but who is going to actually do that on a regular basis? Also, if I delete them, will that mean all my notes and highlights will be gone if I do decide to purchase or borrow the book again? Will anyone think it is worth the trouble?

This was a small part of the discussion in yesterday's Library Journal/School Library Journal Ebook Summit, titled Ebooks: The New Normal. How libraries are purchasing, promoting and using ebooks are just a few of the topics that were presented. I was happy to be able to listen to the discussions from the panels through the day, and it led to some great Twitter conversations along the way. Check out the hashtag #ebksmt, and I will definitely be going back into the archives to catch some more of the details. There are some great notes available on from Sharon Moreland's Lybrarian blog.

Did anyone else attend the Summit? What did you bring away?

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