By Tony Cole
reposted with permission from eBookAnoid
Today I came across a report about a group that has been started up on FaceBook, with the aim of getting governments all over the world to ensure that Libraries can lend their public eBooks — complete with the eReaders needed to read them.
This strikes me an an extremely ambitious project, and I am not quite sure how they intend to bring the needed pressure onto the various governments to achieve their aim, to be honest. But I support the thought, as obviously for eBooks to become a standard offering in libraries, it is logical that libraries will need to have the correct type of eReader available for the public to be able to actually borrow the eBooks and read.
Whether these eReaders should be lent to people at no cost is another matter. A lot of libraries already lend DVDs, and many will lend you a DVD player for a small charge,if you don’t possess one already. But I have never come across libraries lending DVD players at no cost.
I think that what will happen, well, actually it is already happening, is that libraries will have a small stock of standard eReaders (which work with ePub), which they will rent you for a nominal figure if you don’t own your own eReader. This can make economic sense. I am not sure how the economic argument runs to support the idea of every eBook lender being lent an eReader would work….. That would easily run to thousands of eReaders being in stock in a large public library, which frankly I don’t really see happening. But a half way version is reasonable I feel. Perhaps 30 or 40 eReaders being available in a large library would be economically defensible?
I joined this group (link) as I agree with the general thought, if not the entire package, and I support anyone who takes any sort of action to encourage the spread of eReaders in the world.
This particular group has been started by an actor/author, Gary Dobbs, who runs a rather nice blog about his work and times, worth a look at as well.