But the cost of acquiring e-readers and book apps, the inevitable learning curve for library staff, and rampant budget cuts complicate the central question: How can public libraries increase adoption of e-books?
To find out, tune into our discussion on Twitter, Thursday, June 10 from 4 to 5 pm EDT, for this week’s #followreader chat.
Our guest will be Bobbi Newman, otherwise known as @librarianbyday, a librarian, teacher, techno geek, and video game junkie who is dedicated to helping libraries find their place in the digital age. Her professional interests include digital and technology based services, the digital divide, 21st century literacies and the role of all libraries in equal access and opportunity for all. She blogs about these and other topics at http://librarianbyday.net/
I encourage everyone: readers, publishers, librarians, those who have an interest in the industry, to join in the conversation.
Here are a few more nuances we’ll explore:
- How libraries are making e-book adoption enticing to their patrons
- What e-book formats are working best (e.g. PDF eBooks, eAudiobooks, Playaway, etc.)
- How many e-books (and e-readers) are enough to create and meet library demand
- How distributors and publishers can work better with libraries
- How digital rights management affects e-book adoption
For some background on these questions, check out these items from the panel “Libraries in a World of Digits” moderated by Nora Rawlinson, my former boss at Publishers Weekly, who founded the blog Earlyword.com: The Publisher – Librarian Connection:
- OverDrive White Paper, “How eBook Catalogs at Public Libraries Drive Publishers’ Book Sales and Profits.”
- Michael Santangelo Brooklyn PL’s Downloadable Collections & an IFLA-Sponsored eBook Survey (PowerPoint download)
A few key points from the survey on e-books in public libraries:
• 46.3% had allocated money from physical materials collection budgets to downloadable materials collection budgets
• 88% saw growth in circulation after adding downloadable collections
• Adobe Reader PDF eBooks and eAudiobooks were the most popular formats
• 58.5% preferred simultaneous usage models to traditional one person/one checkout models
• 34 out of 41 libraries purchased titles for all age levels
To join the #followreader conversation on Thursday, here’s what to do:
- Just before 4pm ET today, log in to Twitter or whatever interface you prefer. (We recommend Tweetchat, which refreshes quickly and automatically loads your hashtag when you are in the discussion.)
- To follow the discussion, run a search for #followreader
- I’ll start by asking a few questions, before opening up the discussion to the group.
- To post a comment to the discussion, make sure that the hashtag #followreader is in each tweet you write.
Looking forward to chatting with you!