Libraries Outsourced The Ebook Platform And Betrayed Our Core Values


The future in one word: platforms
"One of the reasons why librarians don't talk very much about ebook platform chooice is because, by and large, we've already decided the matter. Libraries have made their choice, voted with their dollars and their energies, and have overwhelmingly selected Overdrive as our platform.
Yes, we have outsourced ourselves with an ebook platform that betrays many of the values that the public admires us for in exchange for a user-experience that be described in any variations of the word, horrific."


What values are we betraying by outsourcing e-book access? We have been licensing a plethora of our content for years now in the form of article databases and electronic reference tools. It is an extreme oversimplification to suggest that we have "outsourced ourselves" suggesting we have sold out. Libraries are no longer just about collections, they are about intrinsic services. Our collections reflect the changing expectations of our members. On the flip side, we do need to be incredibly aware and cautious of the road we are now traveling down and become more savvy at understanding user license agreements and the implications of not "owning" content. However, if we cling to the almighty printed book and hinge our identity on it, we will be obsolete.

and our users are having anything but horrific experiences. They are happy and love what we can provide them in a format they want.

If anything, the horrific experiences are in trying to navigate the overdrive site to purchase content, but my patrons don't see that.

And yes, we are not buying books. We are leasing/licensing them. Libraries have leased books for their collection for years.

It's not perfect, and yes, it's a monopoly, but for ONCE we have a database of content that is being used and wanted by the users in our area- and that makes a whole lot more sense to me than paying for an expensive database that NO ONE wants or uses.

We have, as a society, become more of the just in time versus just in case. As librarians, we are all about finding and providing information. We must stay on top of different formats in order to fulfill those needs as well as educate the next generations. While we hold on to the history, we are also reaching out to the future!

I love LIS but this is a ridiculous article.

In order to stay relevant, libraries need to stay current. Every day patrons come in asking questions about Kindles, Nooks, ebooks, etc. Our Overdrive statistics are sky-high. We are giving patrons what they want - and more and more patrons want library books available to them on Overdrive and other platforms.

Doesn't mean patrons still don't want the print material (quite the contrary), but I am one who thinks Overdrive (and ebooks/ereaders in general) can and will co-exist with the print form.

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