Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Amazon's Kindle equals demise of libraries???

"Even so, Amazon's reader is still exciting. The reading experience it creates is just as pleasant and immersive as a book. And more important, it isn't a book; it's a library. The Kindle may be among the first devices that start to shift the way people accumulate literature, transforming shelves of books into a single device that can ride around in a briefcase. "

Interesting quote from a Forbes article that was somewhat critical of the new e-book reader from Amazon. If you have not heard about this device, I encourage you to read about it. The most fascinating aspect is the ability to download e-books to the reader wirelessly no matter where you are located.

In this article, Jeff Bezos describes Kindle in detail. The article even mentions libraries.

"Bezos explains that it's only fair to charge less for e-books because you can't give them as gifts, and due to restrictive antipiracy software, you can't lend them out or resell them. (Libraries, though, have developed lending procedures for previous versions of e-books—like the tape in "Mission: Impossible," they evaporate after the loan period—and Bezos says that he's open to the idea of eventually doing that with the Kindle.)"

If the book is our brand, what happens to libraries when the physical book is no longer needed?

You never foresee a future without the book. Google and others are scanning in a million of them, or more, a year. This pace will only get better as the process becomes more developed. Think about it from the standpoint of a patron. Go to a library to get a book, or find it on your portable device. Wiser generations might think this is outrageous, but how many pretweens and teens do you know that does not own a portable device.

I hope that at the Texas Library Assocation December summit, Transforming Texas Libraries, that we look at not only the short term solutions, but what libraries are facing long term and how we can best prepare ourselves for this future.

No comments:

Post a Comment