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Wednesday, 28th July 2010

Final Report on E-Books & Public Libraries from Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA)

From the Announcement (2 pages; PDF)


The report released by COSLA [Chief Officers of State Library Agencies eReader Task Force] concludes that the availability of low-cost, library-friendly devices will not be a problem. The market is evolving rapidly, and prices are falling close to $100, and will probably drop below that price point in the near future. This means devices will be affordable for many library users and some libraries may even be able to afford to purchase devices to demonstrate and to lend to library users.

Having concluded that state librarians needn’t worry about eReader devices, the report goes on to suggest many ideas that state libraries and others should consider in efforts to grow and improve eBook services in public libraries. [Our emphasis] More needs to be done to improve library purchasing power through consortia purchasing and similar strategies. New technologies like the Internet Archive’s BookServer ought to be explored as a way for library users to more easily discover the services that are available. The certification of eReaders for library use should be pursued with participation by public librarians. Research is needed to demonstrate to skeptical publishers that library ebook services are not a threat to their bottom line, but in fact will help their bottom line.

Public libraries should be champions of self-publishing and should feature self-published books in their eBook offerings. Libraries need to foster greater awareness and conversation about copyright and fair use issues that might threaten their eBook services. And as traditional printed book lending shifts more and more to downloadable eBooks, libraries should take advantage of the opportunity to repurpose their space and experiment with new services.

The COSLA eReader Task Force was led by Oregon State Librarian Jim Scheppke. Other members were California State Librarian Stacey Aldrich, Kansas State Librarian Jo Budler, and Massachusetts State Librarian, Rob Maier. They worked with Eva Miller of Pinpoint Logic, a Portland-based research and design consulting firm, and Tom Peters of TAP Information Services, and Kansas-based library consulting firm.

Access the Complete Report (53 pages; PDF)

Source: Chief Officers of State Library Agencies

Hat Tip: Peter B.

Views: 1565

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