Libraries are having to engage in new discussions with publishers and booksellers over electronic books, similar to those already settled in the printed-book world and with loans of CDs and DVDs, says Association of Public Library Managers chair Ian Littleworth.
The question of e-book lending is discussed in a wide-ranging strategy document, flagged by Computerworld earlier this month and now published by the association. The main issue is that many publishers protect e-books in libraries with digital rights management which restricts the number of times the book can be issued before a fresh copy has to be bought. This stretches library budgets, Littleworth says.
“We can understand where the publishers are coming from, but we want to make e-books available to the maximum number of people,” he says. A popular view among libraries, based on the strength of evidence from the world of printed books, is that lending can stimulate bookshop purchases. Many people on reading a good book from the library, will want to own it, says Littleworth. “We’ve been through this phase with printed books, and it’s just a question of e-books not having the same maturity.”
Read more: http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/news/libraries-battle-with-e-book-publishers
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