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Public Library Exclusively For Digital Media Proposed 90

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the don't-copy-that-book dept.
CowboyRobot writes "In San Antonio, a judge and a precinct commissioner are proposing (PDF) a plan to create a library called BiblioTech that offers electronic media exclusively, offering patrons only e-readers and digital materials. 'BiblioTech intends to start with 100 e-readers that can be loaned out, 50 pre-loaded e-readers for children, 50 computer stations, 25 laptops and 25 tablets, with additional accommodations planned for the visually impaired.' But the economics have yet to be ironed out. 'A typical library branch might circulate 10,000 titles a month... To do that electronically would be cost-prohibitive — most libraries can't afford to supply that many patrons with e-reading devices at one time. And expecting library visitors to bring their own devices may be expecting too much.'"
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Public Library Exclusively For Digital Media Proposed

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  • by khb (266593) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @10:45AM (#42603105)

    Probably a lot of people can't. However, it seems rather daft to me to go "paperless" for libraries. My local library system has a fairly extensive ebook collection, has experimented with loaning readers (albeit only for the toddler set) and still has a large supply of traditional paper.

    Adding ebook titles as funding permits, and perhaps having a "nook corner" for borrowing kindles, nook or whatever (perhaps corporate sponsored, a chance for them to get demo units in the hands of the public who might not be early adopters ;>) seems to me to a much sounder strategy especially given the DRM and relatively high costs of ebooks (artificially so) to libraries.

    Also, as much as an Apple store is a wonderful design for *selling* things, it's far from clear to me that it's really a good environment for the things we have come to expect from libraries (children's reading circles? book clubs? study areas??). Indeed, it's the polar opposite of what I expect from a library.

    And yes, I have iDevices aplenty, as well as a BN Nook, and a large room full of books and more in boxes. So I'm neither a luddite nor such a techophile that I can't appreciate the worth of a well bound dead tree.

  • by ios and web coder (2552484) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @11:00AM (#42603291) Journal

    The Internet Is Shit. [internetisshit.org]

    As someone who uses (and relies upon) the Internet regularly, I don't share this person's views, but they make some extremely good points.

    Many of these same points could be applied to eBooks vs. paper books.

  • by xclr8r (658786) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @11:43AM (#42603933)
    1. Story time, Kids are occupied with the librarian while you are not the direct focus of your child.
    2. Meet new people, have your kids meet new people and interact with an adult other than their teacher or you. It's actually nice for a kid to see that not all adults want something out of them (teacher - homework, parent - chores)
    3. Librarians keep up on the latest books and some of the classics that you or your child might be interested in. Monthly selections on all sorts of books and media that you might not think to look for but there it is displayed for you to peruse.
    4. Book clubs for adults - these can be enlightening and fun if you get the right mix of people and similar interest in titles. Not everything can be translated over text on book forums/amazon reviews.
  • by tilante (2547392) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @12:33PM (#42604797)

    Well, I have been to the public library lately... and generally, they don't have the books that I want. Their fiction section is okay, but small. Generally, when I'm looking for something specific, unless it's by a major author or won an award, they don't have it. Their nonfiction, though... if you want something that's truly in-depth on anything, most likely they won't have it. Sometimes there are gems there, though, so I still look. However, I find I do most of my borrowing from the local University library. I pay $50 a year for the privilege, but I don't mind that, since they have a much, much better selection of books.

    And... ask a librarian instead of Google? Sure. Let's look at the questions I've had that I've searched Google for answers on lately, according to my browser histories. (Reformatted as actual questions, instead of just a list of key terms.)

    How much does PVC electrical conduit cost?

    What is the history of mail order shopping before the Internet?

    Why do LEDs appear to flicker on video?

    Who are well-reviewed roofers in ?

    What year was Poul Anderson's "Three Hearts and Three Lions" published?

    Does chlorophyll include any metallic elements?

    What are Florida's statutes on firearms?

    What are some examples of good-looking lightsaber props people have made from plumbing supplies, and what parts did they use?

    What's the supplied voltage of an NiMH AAA battery?

    What are the dates for GenCon and DragonCon this year?

    What are the laws in the various states of the US with regard to slower traffic having to move aside for faster traffic?

    How do I get a list of all tables that aren't views in a MySQL database?

    What are the rules for lightsaber dueling in lightsaber clubs?

    Most of these, I got the right answers for by searching Google, then clicking one link. Sometimes I didn't even have to click a link - the answer was in the sample text being shown from the page. A few of them, I had to click multiple links for - but in some cases, that was because I wanted to see multiple answers (e.g., the roofers and the lightsaber props). Two of them, I wasn't able to find good answers for in the time I wanted to take - searching for the history of mail-order shopping before the Internet gave me lots of brief one-or-two paragraph summaries, and a few in-depth pieces about the beginnings of mail-order shopping back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but neither of those was what I wanted. Searching for rules for lightsaber dueling gave me a lot about fictional lightsaber dueling, but I only found a couple of threads from forums about clubs doing it and their rules, and neither of those was very helpful.

    So... two cases where a librarian might have been more helpful than Google, but it's doubtful in both of those cases. For the rest, it would have taken longer for me to get ahold of a librarian and ask the question than it took me to find the correct answer via Google.

    Honestly, the only time a librarian has ever successfully helped me find anything, it was by letting me go back into the area where they had books that had been turned in, but not yet put on the shelves. And before they'd let me back there, I had to physically prove to them that the book in question wasn't on the shelf, and that the online catalog said that it had been turned in by someone that day.

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