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Public Library Exclusively For Digital Media Proposed 90

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 Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @10:38AM (#42603025)

    One of us must be drunk.

  • by mcspoo ( 933106 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @10:53AM (#42603195) Homepage

    The big issues involve licensing for eBooks and the fact that publishers seem to engage in punitive pricing with Libraries. Example: One publisher declares that an ebook can only be checked out 27 times, then the license for that expires. Multiple publishers REFUSE to sell ebooks for Library use. Libraries are treated like pirates by many publishers.

    Now, different companies are trying different models. Kansas libraries spearheaded a massive campaign to control their own ebooks licensing, and they succeeded with an unprecedented project of contacting hundreds of Publishers and finagling acceptable licenses for public usage. Will the San Antonio folks be doing this? Do they expect 3M, Sirsi, or Polaris to do this?

    A tertiary issue is the license themselves. Typically in libraries, you cannot use a library owned computer to capture or transfer the license to an ereader device. This is because in the case of "USB required devices or items", the license exists on the COMPUTER itself. Downloading a license to a public computer currently violates all applicable copyright law for ebooks/eaudio materials because it makes the license available to all (or the license is lost when a computer reboots and doesn't save anything at all between sessions.)

    Intriguing idea, but the article doesn't include any comprehension of the issues involved in this. Just because it sounds "cool", doesn't mean it's doable.

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