Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Will Kindles kill libraries?

This is an interesting article I came across online.  Will Kindles Kill Libraries?  That's the 64-million-$$$ question.  While quite a few people own eReaders and like them, many, many more swear they will stick with real books.  Guess we'll have to wait and see. I will say though, that Overdrive, the major distributor of eBooks to libraries has a way to go.

I've researched Overdrive a little, thinking it might be time for my library to get on board.  However, every time I check on the availability of a book I might want to read there is always a waiting list.  Sometimes two on the list, sometimes 5 or more.  I think the record was 26.  Multiply that figure by the 2 or 3 week checkout period and you can see how long it will be before #27 gets the book.  Waaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy   to frustrating.  And buying & downloading popular books gets expensive since they average $9.99 to $15.99 ea., with a few free offerings and 99 cent books thrown in.  Not only that, eBook sellers can zap them off your reader just as easy as you downloaded them, if they so see fit.  Amazon has done it. Is it any wonder voracious readers with an eReader turn to pirated copies?

Really, I don't think libraries are in nearly as much danger from eBooks as they are from short-sighted politicians who see them as easy targets for funding cuts.


  1. I forget the book that amazon took back, but my understanding is that it was a copyright issue. I have a Nook and a Kindle, and nothing has ever been taken back. Two of the books I have, amazon sent me a notice that there were formatting issues, and gave me a link to re-download it, and advised me to delete the original downloads.

    I don't see ereaders killing libraries- my county library is always jammed.

  2. Your last paragraph - couldn't agree with it more! E-books/e-readers can complement & strengthen a library service, whereas politicians just want to close public library services! (as is actually happening right here in the UK at the moment.)

  3. I'm a member of the Library Board of Trustees for our local public library. We've discussed for about a year the topic of having ebooks available through Overdrive for our patrons. We recently decided to join a consortium of other public libraries to offer ebooks. This is just getting started so I can't tell you how well (or not so well), it is working. Currently, Kindles are not supported on Overdrive, but they are working to get Kindle on board by the end of 2011. We'll see how it goes.
    I don't think physical books are going away any time soon, but public libraries do need to look to the future which does include ebooks.
    Linda in Southern Illinois

  4. FIrst: Thanks for leaving comments on Tumbleweed now I found your blog and will be a follower.

    We have a Kindle for the RV, kinda hard to keep books in such a small space let alone the weight. Keep the connection off line and there won't be any book "taken back". Only turn it on when downloading.

  5. I agree with you. Libraries are here to stay... If the government can open their wallets. I like my Kindle but I still like having a real book in hand. For some reason I "enjoy" the paper books more than I enjoy the digital ones. Is that my imagination?