Opinion Pieces on E-Books and Libraries: Your Weekly Libraries and E-Content News Summary

May 18, 2012
Posted in: Uncategorized

This week there have been several opinion pieces on the web related to e-books, publishing and libraries. An op-ed from MacObserver focuses on many of the issues related to e-books, access, and the role libraries will play. The author notes, “As we rush headlong into e-books, we’re not considering how our libraries will migrate forward in time, protecting personal and institutional investments.” He points out that durability and formats need to be considered if we are to move forward with investing in e-books.

Library Renewal Board member Matt Weaver examines the new OverDrive “Duke Classics Giveaway” and walks away with some concerns and serious questions. These are the exact sorts of issues anyone dealing with e-books in libraries needs to be informed about and prepared to speak up, ask questions and take action around. Read the piece and let us know what you think.

David Rothman, founder of TeleRead, argues in Library Journal that OverDrive should be purchased by libraries with the aid of private philanthropic interests. He goes on to list the possible benefits of a library takeover, which could include modernization of the platform, a reduction in middleman costs, and increased clout among publishers currently averse to library e-book lending.

Rounding out the opinion pieces is one from The Observer, a response to a British authors association that called upon the culture minister to address concerns that library lending of e-books would devalue their works.

The Columbia Journalism Review discusses what the right price for e-books should be, taking into consideration factors such as the e-book market, demand, and what people think they should pay for e-books. By looking at what author Chuck Windig, GigaOm’s Mathew Ingram, and TechDirt’s Mike Masnick have written recently about e-books, the CJR highlights what matters when determining what customers will pay for e-books.

The class-action lawsuit against several e-book publishers was given the go-ahead by a judge earlier this week. The suit alleges that Apple and several e-book publishers conspired to raise e-book prices. This case is separate from that of the Department of Justice alleging collusion in price-fixing.

Be sure to check out links to lots of other stories like these that we post on our Twitter feed and Facebook page throughout the week.

Contributing Editor Lindsay Barber writes our weekly e-content news posts along with contributions from the Library Renewal Editorial Team (incl. Colin Wilkins, Matt Weaver and Michael Porter).

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