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Google eBooks -- is this the beginning of the end for libraries?

As you can see from this short video, Google eBooks are device
independent. As they say in the movie, "Access all your ebooks
wirelessly, no matter where you go. Google eBooks stores your library
in the digital cloud, so you can read all of your favorite books using
just about any device with an Internet connection. Google eBooks is
compatible with Android phones, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, web browsers
and many supported eReaders. Whenever you open one of your books, we'll
pick up right where you left off."

Google starts off with about 3 million free eBooks and hundreds of
thousands of books for purchase. You download an App for the device you
want to use.


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Comment by John Monson on January 1, 2011 at 9:33pm

Our local library district says NO, it just expands the opportunities for libraries to serve their users, at least for those libraries that are not afraid of new technologies.  Douglas County Colorado Library District obtains new books in all available formats as they become available: print, large print, audio, DVD, ebook, etc.  After all, why should an individual buy an ebook that you are only going to read once.  Instead just "check it out" from your local library.  In our case, the district buys a certain number of copies of new e-books.  The e-book automatically erases at the end of the check-out period, making that copy available for the next library patron in line.  The non-renew limitation and the hold system works for ebooks almost the same as it does for print copies, where books in demand are non-renewable and can be reserved.


The Library District is conducting orientation sessions in all of our local branches to acquaint users with the various e-book readers on the market and their limitations (which are very real and frequently frustrating).  I am sure our Library District will be helping users access specialty e-books,especially free ones, with such low demand that the district cannot justify buying or retaining.  By the way our relatively small suburban Library District has the second or third largest total annual circulation in the state, beyond all but the very largest districts. 


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