Saturday, November 7, 2009

Week 9 - Thing 22 - e/audio books

I have very little experience with eBooks of any sort. I have used audiobooks, and have relatives who use them extensively when they are in the car or doing chores at home. Personally, I prefer the print-to-eye interaction I guess, so I don't often listen to them. The library where I work has a leasing subscription to Landmark Audio Books. It is a nice service that allows for variety with having to purchase audio books that might not circulate well. I have recently suggested our audio book collection to several of our sight-impaired patrons, which is well-received unless they also have difficulty hearing, which is sometimes the case with the older ones! The local school district's libraries have a decent selection of audiobooks which seem to go over well with the students.

Dr. Farmer brings up some good points to ponder in Week 9 assignment overview. Are eBooks/Google good solutions for limited-resource libraries? I think Google Books and the open source/creative commons type of materials are and could be advantageous. At this point, I don't know if eBooks would be as easily incorporated into poorly funded, poorly resourced library. The overview by University of Rochester's website points out that at this time " tight encryption between the content and the device" don't make for easy library to patron access. I had a patron come in a couple weeks ago rather agitated because she had taken part in a phone survey regarding eBooks and all sorts of electronic media vs print sources. She said one question asked if she would ever consider using eBooks exclusively, to which she responded, "Never!" She expressed her concern that the survey pointed toward libraries becoming obsolete - I assured her we have many more services to offer besides simply lending books. :-)

I browsed Questia a bit. eLibraries that offer eBook services seem more feasible - as opposed to the physical libraries - but I know there are libraries beginning to offer these services. The subscription rate is paid directly and the "patron" manages his own account, alleviating the issues of downloading and circulation. I liked the little chart that Questia offers to promote its use. Some are very sensible, such as the fact that the books are never due back and some are a bit comical such as clothing being optional...I guess it gets the point across!!

One other little book service I found interesting was the Book Crossing site. I didn't actually sign up, but was tempted...maybe in the future when I have a bit more time. If some didn't run across it in the Free Book list, it's a site that allows people to freely share books and track where they circulate - pretty cool.

1 comment:

  1. you know ow kids share music files -- how about book files?