|A whole new world...|
Last week we did a little thought experiment to come up with 5 Reasons Libraries Should Not Use eBooks... Yet. During that lovely discussion, we theorized that libraries were ill equipped to handle a market so in flux even it does not agree on a pricing model just yet. But hey, that's no reason to stop talking about the subject like civilized, grammar loving Americans, now is it? So how's about we take the other side of the fence and come up with a few reasons to adopt this new fantabuloso format for freading (really "reading" but I love alliteration). Any whoosle, hit the jump for 5 Reasons Libraries Should Use eBooks... Now.
1. The Public Expects Us To.
Just like any other information technology out there, the public expects the library to be on top of whatever comes out. Plus, we done books for years! Why the hell not ebooks, too? Makes perfect sense to anyone, just ask.
|Like Johnny Applescreamer, here.|
2. We've Adopted Worse, It's a Learning Experience
I heard a story of a small town library that was so excited to get a dial up Internet connection. Then, just a few weeks later, the schools cut a deal with the cable company and got a broadband line. I am all for the tortoise beating the hare, but when you are talking Internet speed dial up might as well go on and hire a guy to whack the broadband in the knee then cry about its laces. That's a Tonya Harding joke, kids. I digress. The library learned its lesson and sought out the best tech after that.
|She really did become a tortoise, I hear.|
Libraries in general put a lot of pressure on each other, much like that kid in grade school who made fun of you for wearing off brand instead of Air Jordan's. Peer pressure is a great motivator. When the cool library in the next county has ebooks, we gotta have them, too. Keeping up with the Jones' Counties is hard work, but if it is done right you can get page one in the features section.
|Now we're kickin'|
4. The Media, Man
Tied heavily to the public, the coverage in the media can shape library services. If the big story is a resurgence of the 1882 Bolivia Monkey Pox, you better start stocking up on books on obscure South American diseases. Same goes for every service. If the media begins an ebook blitzkrieg, tighten up the hatches and get ready to spend that "fix the hole over the biographies" money in the budget.
|Watch it all go down...|
5. Old People Are Dying
Fun fact: everyone under the age of 20 who lives in an area that poops inside has no idea of a life before the Internet or cellphones. They have lived their entire lives in a cloud of 1's and 0's. Here's another idea to horrify you: They are the growing majority. The competition is death. Folks that remember rotary phones and "Papa getting the Sears and Roebuck to go to the outhouse" are quickly becoming the minority. Soon, the old people will be gone and nobody will be reading print. Libraries must embrace this society that never knows a paper cut less we become just another term for them to Google. That sounded dirty.
|Google me, I dare you.|