Wednesday, May 1, 2013

E-books and Libraries

The New York Times has an op-ed piece here by the president of the New York library describing the progress they are trying to make in getting the major publishers to allow the libraries to buy licenses to sell their e-books.  He makes the point that libraries help keep everyone’s access to the information revolution secure. 

Thank you, Mr. Marx, for an excellent column. 

E-books can also be wonderful for patrons, especially children, who cannot physically get to libraries to borrow books.  I spent a good deal of time interviewing my students who were avid readers, and found that a majority of them lived within walking or biking distance to a library.  With an e-reader, all children can—in effect—be living next door to a library.

The last couple years of my mother’s life, when she was very disabled, were made bearable for her because I was able to bring her a steady stream of large print books.  With an e-reader, and library account, all books can be large print, and even nursing home residents will be able to get books right in their rooms.

I wish the big publishers would realize the huge potential e-readers and libraries have for increasing their sales, for bringing people to books, and, as you say, for helping to secure our democracy.

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