The Ebook Revolution: A Primer for Librarians on the Front Lines

The Ebook Revolution: A Primer for Librarians on the Front Lines

The Ebook Revolution: A Primer for Librarians on the Front Lines

The Ebook Revolution: A Primer for Librarians on the Front Lines


"The eBook Revolution: A Primer for Librarians on the Front Lines" is exactly what its title promises: an essential resource for librarians facing the formidable task of coordinating the library-wide transition to eBooks and fielding questions from patrons about eBooks on a daily basis.

After an introduction that covers the basics of eBooks and current eBook technology, the author puts things into perspective, documenting the changes that have occurred over the past decade. She also delves into important eBook issues, identifying librarian-driven solutions and providing glimpses of what libraries in the near future will likely be like. The book examines perennially critical issues such as accessibility, resource sharing, and the digital divide within the context of eBook technology and provides a clear framework for discussing eBooks, thereby enabling readers to make informed decisions regarding their own organizations.


EBooks. Did you just sigh? I’ve noticed that librarians sigh heavily when eBooks come up. Most of the public and school librarians I interact with want to know more about eBooks and wish they had time to do more research on all things eBook. in the meantime, they have enormous patron demand, shrinking budgets, and a library to run. Not to mention the inevitable “eBooks are destroying libraries” conversations with friends, relatives, and anyone else who finds out you’re a librarian (we’ve all had the eBook chat with our doctors, right? Nothing says “I want to talk about the demise of my profession” like a paper gown).

Everybody knows something about eBooks, but nobody feels like they know enough. in any group of librarians, I’ve found that most will profess confusion and a feeling of being underinformed about eBooks, yet the group often knows more than they realize. eBooks can be an emotional subject for many of us (see the “demise of my profession” conversation above). Like most librarians, I knew that I should know more about eBooks, and I followed my colleagues who seemed to be on top of things, but I never felt like I knew enough. the decision by HarperCollins to limit library eBooks to 26 circulations was a watershed moment for me. I realized that I had been assuming that the status quo would prevail and that at some point, other publishers would work with libraries. Unconscious entitlement had made me lazy, thinking that publishers would have to come around, because libraries have always been here and always will be here.

The more I dug into eBooks, the more overwhelming it all seemed—the sense of trying to drink from a fire hose exacerbated by my newfound sense of urgency. Most days, I was glad that this was a professional side interest . . .

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