Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Thoughts on the Future of Libraries

Earlier this week, Richmond Public Library volunteer and current Library Science graduate student Mary Catherine forwarded an interesting post by Dave Lankes of the Syracuse University Library and Information Science program. Among several other good points about the future of libraries and their function, he noted,

"If we all have free access to stuff, all we need is guidance."

This point got me thinking about the (legal) free access to stuff we have even beyond the scope of what is physically behind the walls at the Richmond Public Library. We have thousands upon thousands of books, scores, reference material, special collections, CDs and DVDs at the library - but there is one thing for which we do not yet have a system in place -  the emerging media known as an eBook. However, we can guide you toward to best current sources to access this information, as well as keep you well-informed about the future of this new media at your local branch. Until then, enjoy the sites below, and let us know your thoughts about this new way to read and share literature.

eBooks can be downloaded and viewed in a multitude of ways - on your personal computer or on a mobile reader such as your phone, Kindle, Reader, etc. These sites give you immediate access to thousands of books and scholarly articles, and many feature reviews and the ability to subscribe to their book feed, which will keep you up to date with the most current available books.

Free eBook sites:


deebat said...

I'm researching e-readers for Christmas presents, and I'm disappointed to see that RPL hasn't made ebooks available yet. (At least you've addressed it in your blog -- that gives me hope!) Do you have any idea when this technology will be available to us? I see that our neighbors in the counties are already making ebooks available.

Thank you!

Dana Smook, RPL Librarian said...

We are excited about this technology as well! Unfortunately, making eBooks available is very expensive for libraries, and we are currently seeking funding for an eBook service. With our current budget, it's impossible to offer a balanced print collection as well as an eBook collection, but we're hoping to get some money for more electronic resources soon.

Since you are looking at e-reader devices, you might like to know that the eBook service product we are considering (Overdrive) is compatible with most devices including iPod, SonyReader, nook, Zune, and Android, but NOT Kindle.

Thanks for the feedback. I hope we'll be able to get you free eBooks sooner rather than later. We're working on it!