Our problem

Traditionally, publishers relied of local libraries and bookstores to deliver print books to the local community. eReaders establish a new path from authors' pens to readers' hands.
  • eReaders are library shelves holding potentially thousands of eBooks. In my classic Nook I added an SD microchip which theoretically meant my Nook could hold 14,000 eBooks, i.e., my library.

  • eReaders have, literally or figuratively, a "shop" button. Press the shop button and the device uses its WiFi or 3G Internet connection to display an online eBookstores where I can browse or search and, finding something I want, can buy and download in approximately a minute. I have sat in the passenger seat of a car cruising south on I-35 and purchased eBooks. I have heard speakers mention a book title and had the eBook version in my device ready to read before the speaker finished talking about that topic.

One purpose of library options document is to explore ways librarians can put libraries on the new path. I have found to be challenging. Most options do not put libraries one the path.

The most common option public libraries are doing is buying several devices, loading them with eBook versions of hot titles and then circulating them. The stated goal is to give patrons experience with a number of devices to help them choose a device. But after they choose a device, then what is the library's role. Though this is the easiest option to implement, the outcome is to move patrons onto the new path while libraries remain behind on the traditional path.

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