Posted by: bluesyemre | February 18, 2013

It’s not what a library stocks, it’s what it shares

Amsterdam’s Central Library, opened in 2007.

  • The first digital-only library in the US raises key questions about the broader purpose of a library. The city of San Antonio, Texas, recently announced that the first fully digital public library in the US will open in Bexar County later this year: a library that won’t contain a single book. The facility, part of a planned state-wide bookless system called BiblioTech, is modelled on an Apple store rather than a traditional library, but it will retain all the important features: more than 100 e-readers available to borrow, with more than 10,000 ebooks – and visitors can bring their own devices, too. Ebooks and libraries don’t always mix well. Many libraries still mark a borrowed ebook as “out” (and therefore unavailable to other readers) just like a paper book, despite the electronic copy’s infinite reproducibility. Others insist readers visit the actual building to download and “check out” ebooks. In 2011, HarperCollins tried to stipulate that its ebooks could only be borrowed 26 times. After this, the file would self-destruct, in accordance with the belief that this is the average lifespan of a worn-and-torn paper lending copy.

http://bit.ly/ZiSJNP

 


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