Our institution is currently investigating the possibility of having e-book readers and loading course content onto them to hand out to students.
Naturally this is fraught with problems, mostly because the publishers are a little behind the 8-ball with licensing agreements and copyright issues.
However there are several things that irk me about the post. The author does call for a response to his questions from librarians, so perhaps we can do that.
His first question: Will we see libraries lending e-books in the future? Well yes I think you will. Although NZ is a little behind with the technology yet, you can download free out-of-coyright books via Barnes and Noble to your i-pod etc. the Kindle of course only works in the United States. Apparently you need a US address to receive the downloads. He claims that more and more people are searching for and finding their information on the internet. Yes perhaps they are, but there will always be a place for the book.
Another question: Will libraries (as we currently know them) still be around in 10 year’s time? Well, I certainly hope not! I pride myself on being a part of a profession and industry that changes with the times and the users’ needs.
The author makes a claim that NZ libraries are imposing. I disagree and I’m sure you do too. The public library at Palmerston North is vibrant and colourful with great thought gone into the layout. The staff are friendly and helpful. He also claims that libraries are deserted now compared to the past and that the average user is getting greyer. That maybe the case in Tokoroa, but the PN public library is very well used, with lots of families visiting and younger folk too.
So what do you think about these questions and claims? Do you agree that libraries are becoming less well-used?