[Web4lib] Kindle Lending

Brian Gray mindspiral at gmail.com
Mon Nov 1 21:42:03 EDT 2010

I would say academia may be less technophobia, but it still exists. The
hurdle in academia that causes library changes and technology to be
delivered later than our public counterparts is that academics have strong
beliefs of their preferences and are stuck in their ways. Even when a
better, proven option comes along many faculty will stay what they know
already and operate the same way they do know. They are focused on their
research and push forth it, and not the processes to make their research
easier. The other hurdle is the entire method in which tenure is granted and
specifically the stereotypes or belief of what is of "value" in the process.

Academic publishers have not shown the eager willingness you suggest. The
prices of ebooks and restrictions on access are excessive. Many of us are
forced to get the most out every penny in our budgets, which means buying
the paper book that can be as much as half or 1/3 the price of the multiuser
e-book. Faculty and students are not complaining about lack of the ebooks,
or even asking for them, so it is better if I get 2 or 3 print books for the
same price.

It will not be until the "leisure" reading of ebooks keeps driving usage,
technology, licensing, and format standards before academic type materials
in electronic overcome those in print in academic libraries. The pure
numbers of public users has a better chance to drive the business as has
already been shown by the availability of ebooks in publics for some time
now. The exception might be consortium like OhioLINK that are leveraging
their buying power and technology to deliver econtent.

Brian Gray
mindspiral at gmail.com
bcg8 at case.edu

On Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 4:12 PM, Tim Spalding <tim at librarything.com> wrote:

> That's interesting, since I'd say the opposite about success in
> academic vs. public.
> What's your reasoning on that? I'm intrigued!
> Mine would be that academic libraries are already used to a lending
> model, and their patrons are hardly technophobic. Academic publishers
> will be more eager to deal with academic libraries because they're
> selling books that--on average--are going to get few reads anyway, and
> don't have the same concern about them "lasting forever"—basically,
> the economics don't change much from print monograph to ebook
> monograph. Meanwhile, public libraries have dire publisher/supplier
> problems when it comes to ebooks, more technophobic customers and
> circulate a lot of children's books that can't be moved over easily to
> print.
> Tim
> On Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 3:58 PM, Wilfred Drew <DrewW at tc3.edu> wrote:
> > I agree with the thinking that eBooks will be the dominant format for
> books within and outside of libraries. I tend to think it will be longer
> than most forecasts before that happens, especially in academic libraries.
> It is likely tohapeen much faster in public libraries.
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