Sunday, December 30, 2012

libraries and e-lending - publishers are the problem

npr | Have you ever borrowed an e-book from a library? If the answer is no, you're a member of a large majority. A survey out Thursday from the Pew Internet Project finds that only 5 percent of "recent library users" have tried to borrow an e-book this year.

About three-quarters of public libraries offer e-books, according to the American Library Association, but finding the book you want to read can be a challenge — when it's available at all.

Brian Kenney is the director of the White Plains Public Library in New York. He tells NPR's Audie Cornish about a library patron who wanted to check out a digital copy of Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs.

"It was a middle-aged guy, you know, had a high techno-comfort zone, he was carrying his iPad, and he approached the desk carrying the Isaacson bio and said, 'How do I download this,' " Kenney recalls. "And it was the classic case where I had to explain to them, 'Well, sir, actually, you can't download that from here.' And then ensues the discussion why, as though somehow or other the library was stupid or failing in its job."

In fact, Kenney says, it's not a failure on the part of the library — Simon and Schuster, which published the book, would not license it to the library for download.

You might think about all this as the Wild West of digital licensing — a frontier environment where every publisher has its own set of rules. Among the six biggest companies, Simon and Schuster currently licenses none of its e-books to libraries. The company says it simply hasn't found a model that works.

5 comments:

Ed Dunn said...

Now, if Starbucks sign a deal with Simon and Schuster and pay a licensing fee to create a digital "library" for their customers to check out books, can't we agree this an evolutionary step of Darwinism and creative destruction?

CNu said...

lol, why in the world I would ever imagine wanting Starbucks with it's preposterous slack-jawed "brand experience" to damage public libraries in any manner, form, or fashion escapes me at this moment. I personally despise starbucks and would never consider giving them a plugged nickel. Public libraries, on the other hand, have proven themselves a much beloved sanctuary to me since I was a little kid.



The big publishing firms are on their way out just like the big record companies. Good riddance. Their parasitic, non value-adding ride is coming to an end.

Ed Dunn said...

So you are finally admitting you are pro-library and biased on this subject?

The whole concept of borrowing e-books is artificial and it probably cost more money to create and facilitate the artificial time constraints of "borrowing" and "expiring" digital content already downloaded to the end-user device. The current library model is the same physical inventory model that failed every entity from Tower Records, to Borders Books and Hollywood Video due to creative destruction of iTunes, Amazon Kindle and Netflix.

Then the question is still outstanding, how are the libraries going to transform to accommodate the tablet/e-reader generation that can download books anywhere? How much it cost for public libraries to maintain tomes of information written in the last century? Why should Simon and Schuster, a for-profit firm accommodate an artificial process to appease physical book borrowers clinging onto nostalgia?

Taxpayers pay for libraries and aren't municipal and county budgets squeezed thanks to the decline of housing tax revenue? Shareholders are demanding the most profits from Simon and Schuster and would question why the accommodation for creating a borrowing model that does not appear profitable to them.



We have to be honest - the only true solution is either book publishers choose to pursue the for-profit route such as partnerships with Starbucks, or the country and municipal government will have to turn the libraries over to for-profit entities for more commercialized versions of the public library. That means public libraries with flashing and distracted digital signage promoting e-book titles for purchase, charge for VIP quiet rooms that are sponsored by local and global corporations and can be rented out for hip-hop parties on weekend nights.

Tom said...

Jesus. Me first, Mr. Farmer, slaughter me first!

CNu said...

Why should Simon and Schuster, a for-profit firm accommodate an
artificial process to appease physical book borrowers clinging onto
nostalgia?


rotflmbao...., I could clearly not care less whether Simon and Schuster survives what's around that signpost up ahead, than I could care whether or not tapeworms persist to parasitize humans who eat undercooked pork.

Shareholders are demanding the most profits from Simon and Schuster

You're really bound up with the "pimping other people's intellectual property" model of peak capitalist parasitism, huh? Tell me once again, exactly what did the record companies bring to the music industry http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2012/12/collapse-of-record-companies-not.html and what exactly is it that Simon and Schuster are bringing to book creation that anybody with two brain cells to rub together needs to worry about paying for?

That means public libraries with flashing and distracted digital signage promoting e-book titles for purchase, charge for VIP quiet rooms that are sponsored by local and global corporations and can be rented out for hip-hop parties on weekend nights.


If this is what Atlanta public libraries have deteriorated to, that would explain why the ATL is one vast dysfunctional padded cell straight form hell.....,

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