For our next report studying the changing role of public libraries in the digital age, we’re supplementing our usual nationally representative phone surveys with online surveys to draw out the deeper, richer stories behind the data. If you check out or download e-books from your local public library, please take the survey and tell us about your experiences!
“Per the Latest Pew Study, the Most Social Way to Read Is Still in Print” - Megan Garber, the Atlantic
Google is taking a big new step in bringing all of its content arms under one roof — and that new entity is called Google Play. Starting today, Google will begin a rebranding of the Android Market, Google Music, Google Books, and its video offerings. Until now, all of those content hubs had more or less resided under the banner of the Android Market, and it seems like the company is interested in making users understand those disparate pockets of content as a unified whole. A company spokesman called Play “an evolution of Android Market.”
From Amazon’s press release:
The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library continues to grow rapidly, now offering more than 100,000 books that Amazon Prime members with Kindles can borrow for free—including over 100 New York Times Best Sellers like The Hunger Games trilogy—as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates.
Three months of library drama are coming to a climax this evening as big-six publisher Penguin announced that it is ending its relationship with digital library distributor OverDrive. Starting [February 10], it will stop offering e-books and digital audiobooks to libraries—at least until it finds a new partner.
With this move, Random House becomes the only big-six publisher to allow unrestricted access to its e-books in libraries—though it will raise prices beginning in March.
After an “upbeat and productive” meeting with leaders of the American Library Association on Tuesday, Random House reaffirmed its commitment to library lending of the company’s entire portfolio of ebook titles.
At the same time, the company has announced that effective March 1 it is raising ebook prices that it charges library wholesalers such as OverDrive, 3M, and Ingram, which set the ultimate price libraries will pay to lease ebooks.
[ via paidContent: Random House Will Keep All Its E-Books In Libraries, With A Price Increase ]
But one of the main problems with borrowing books is expressed in Matt Hamblen’s article — that because of increased demand (and decreased budgets), libraries are having trouble meeting the needs of the readers who want to use them.
I can’t blame the libraries. They have to allocate their resources where they can, and e-books can cost (according to Hamblen’s article) anywhere from $12 to $25 each. I look more toward publishers, who either are requiring books to be repurchased after an arbitrary number of uses or, in some cases (for example, Scribner or Simon and Schuster), aren’t making new books available for purchase by libraries at all.
The article linked within the blog post is also worth a read.