Oh, what a lovely tea party this ebook experience is, am I right? With prices constantly shifting, publishers competing, and the overall industry flopping over to a new way of reading, who would not get stuck in this mire? Well, here I come to offer up a little round of thoughts I like to call "Screw'em." Libraries are a foundation in the community. For at least 100 years, the library has been a fixture in almost every city and town across America. The library to the community is a point of civilization, as a bookshelf is to a home. Think about a home without a bookshelf: an empty dwelling with one bare, hanging light and from one corner of that dank room, small cries are heard. You do not want to go into that house.
The library represents the willingness of a community to not only think for itself but also to grow by allowing free representation of ideas and information. By taking away the danger aspect of "being left behind," libraries should really review the following five reasons they should not use ebooks yet:
1. Most libraries will not have the tech support to handle every device.
Ebooks are still a relatively new field. When the Internet gained popularity and libraries with the money began getting computers, sure there were some hang ups. But I bet you dollars to doughnut-holes all those computers had only one operating system (Windows or Mac) that by week two most of the staff had a handle on enough to teach every yokel that came in how to get an AOL email. There were even books to teach you, most of them pointedly describing their readers as "dummies" and "idiots." But look at the landscape of ereaders. Every version of every device has its own features and whats-a-doodles, and let's not even get into the formats. To expect every patron with every device to be serviced just as they are with the library website and books is absurd because every ereader is not created equally.
2. Most libraries will not have the tech to support the service.
3. The ebook industry is constantly changing.
|I taught them all they know.|
I know, I know, it will always be changing, publishing took decades to get to a stable place, I got a paper cut. Yeah, I know all that. But ebooks just became really profitable. What Harper Collins has just taught us is that the industry wants a piece of that sweet, sweet action and they do not want folks to give it away for free. Think about it, once they sold you a pbook (paper book, trademark Banned Library productions) you could give it to a friend, throw it away, hell, use it to light a Thanksgiving parade mascot on fire, they already had your money. But what they learned from Napster over a decade ago is that digital content can be a huge money maker as long as you tighten the reins* to the breaking point and never, never let the college kids get a hold on it.
4. The patrons that use ereaders the most use the library the least.
Think of all your swanky non-library friends and their fancy ereaders. Try to recall the last time you saw them in a library beyond the odd function or two. There may be an exception that proves the rule, but not by a long shot. People who can afford ereaders and are knowledgeable enough to use them have no use for the library once they are out of college. They do not use library services out of spite or anything, not most of them anyway, they just have no need because their home Internet connection and ability to spend a few bucks on an instant download override a trip to the library, either for information or entertainment.
5. Skynet, man.
|What? You think I would go an entire article with legitimate points?|