Ereaders changing library models

2010 August 18
tags: ,
by Karen

So I got in conversation on Twitter last with David Lee King and Jason Griffey about ereaders and libraries. My main point of interest today was ereaders and reserve materials and how we could make it easy for students to get reserve materials to their ereader. DLK chimed in and said ILL materials would be good to think about as well since they too are often scanned. Griffey point out that to get epub format which is the nicest thing to have for ereaders one needs to OCR what is scanned. This isn’t the current practice in libraries so scanned materials would be PDF which isn’t ideal because one can’t resize and reformat on ones reader as easily.

For my part, I’d like to see it dead easy for student to get their ILL and reserves. As easy as it is for me to get new books. Meaning if at all possible I don’t need to play games of hook my device up to my computer and load things. Cause maybe my ereader is the only thing I carry around with me.

Sitting Tweeting Griffey and DLK I remember seeing something about students and Nooks on the Barnes and Noble site. It took a minute to find NOOKStudy, which looks like a cross between an ereader application and course management software. There are some very interesting and appealing thing about it. Particularly in the vein of going where your users are. Digging through the website several possible opportunities for libraries jumped out at me. Particular the Research Online functionality which is highlight seems like an ideal opportunity for libraries to provide content to users. I could definitely seen how one could integrate the WorldCat Search API into this or even just WorldCat.org. Being able to integrate with library resources and add library material to this would be really cool.

Not long after my conversation the new issue of Library Journal came out with a series of articles on ebooks and libraries from Jason, Eric Hellman, Barbara Fister, and Char Booth. The articles are a precursor to Library Journal’s eBook Summit, which I’m keenly interested in. I hope the summit discussion raises a wide array of issues and that traditional models and workflows are questioned. Ebooks present an variety of challenges to libraries and I hope the Summit will get people to think outside the box.

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