by Philippe Cloutier
Seattle Libraries hit the NPR newswire today in praise of ebooks and readership levels. Kirk Blankenship, head of electronic resources at Seattle Public Library, is extensively interviewed and makes clear several points:
- Demand for econtent is massively growing and SPL is fighting to meet it
- Publishers are taking advantage of the situation either by charging libraries more and more (or by not selling to libraries at all)
- Patrons want cookbooks
- The ebook landscape is still forming
With the exception of cookbooks, though I could be wrong, I’d wager that the legal sector is similar to the public. We were just behind the public when it came to regular computer use, email, and online catalogs. Perhaps only recently has printing cases, statutes, articles, and the like become irregular. Legal research databases are catering to mobile platforms and are trying to figure out the ebook game, not wanting to miss a valuable market. While public libraries pave the way, actually lending out e-materials in the hundreds of thousands, they stand with us in trying to figure out the shape (and cost) of things to come.