Libraries face growing demand for ebooks, and complicated rules about using them
By Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun May 24, 2011
Publishers are struggling to find a business model that works as popularity soars
The book-lending business at public libraries used to be a simple affair: Buy books, catalogue them, loan them out and keep them in good repair. But that’s all changing with the soaring popularity of ebooks.
While libraries try to provide the same seamless service for ebooks as they do for print copies, they are stymied by an array of rules from publishers that dictate which books will be available in electronic form, how long libraries can hold digital rights to those titles and what borrowing restrictions will apply.
That’s confusing for patrons who assume libraries have the same control over ebooks as over print copies, and frustrating for librarians…..