Will Kindle Kill Libraries?
Via Justin Hoenke (@JustinLibrarian)
From a local Portland ME paper: "Will Kindles kill libraries?"
Portland ME Phoenix:
Public libraries have a fraught relationship with the digital book market — so fraught, in fact, that conferences like Book Expo America and the American Library Association Annual are dominated by talk of it. The debate rages on industry blogs, and librarians have launched Internet campaigns against at least one major publisher due to their approach to digital sales.
The latest marauder at the gates is Amazon. In April, the company announced that by the end of the year, Kindle users will be able to borrow books from over 11,000 local libraries through digital-content distributor OverDrive.
This week, OverDrive itself will host its own conference to help libraries deal with a massive onslaught of patrons clamoring to check out books on their Kindles. Can embattled public institutions handle such a drastic change? Does Kindle come to kill the American library, or to save it?
KILL: GOOD BOOKS WILL BE HARDER TO FIND
In the world of print, the library is king. Library sales comprise a full 10 percent of total US book sales, and publishers are happy to offer their biggest clients deep discounts to get their titles on the shelves.
Not so for e-books. Libraries get no discount on e-books at all. In fact, individual consumers pay less for e-books than libraries do. What's more, libraries often end up paying more for e-books than they do for their physical counterparts.