The E-Reader Revolution

By , January 12, 2012 9:33 am

by Kristine Lloyd

Call me a Luddite, but personally I tend to agree with Nicholson Baker’s diatribe against e-books. They’re just weird, but again I’m willing to admit that this attitude threatens my already dismal ranking on the cool-o-meter. Despite my opinions e-books are here to stay and they are boosting library usage all over the country.

Digital book distributor Overdrive reported that library e-book checkouts have seen an increase of over 200% in 2011. The fact is e-books are getting patrons back into the library. The American Library Association has even launched a blog that is all about e-content, named aptly E-Content. While still in its nascent stages, the blog promises to update readers on all issues related to e-content, including the controversial privacy debate.  Lexis and West have jumped on the bandwagon. West even provides an option for renting casebooks on ereaders. This is a new product outlet that vendors can’t afford to ignore and neither can we.

What fascinates me most is the fact that many public libraries actually loan e-readers out to the public. Even academic law libraries, like NYU, are beginning to offer e-books for download. I suppose it is only a matter of time before we begin to offer e-books in the law firm setting. It will be interesting to see whether firms purchase e-readers for requesting attorneys or whether the library participates in a lending program. I suppose it is time for me to check these e-readers out, especially if at some point we begin to offer e-books to our patrons, because we’re going to be on the front lines of offering these sleek and sexy new technologies.

[editor’s note: Here’s a kindle book free today to get you started: [Citation Needed]: The Best of Wikipedia’s Worst Writing.]

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