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Old 09-02-2009, 03:36 PM   #9
Bob Russell
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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I might be missing the point, so forgive me if I'm off base.

There are e-book library capabilities out there already. As far as I can tell, they sort of work similar to a community paper library, but they probably have separate purchase agreements for content and they buy/lease a maximum number of lent copies. And most importantly, when you checkout an e-book, you get access for a fixed number of days. Maybe something like 21 days. And extension checkouts might be offered as well. But if you finish the e-book in a day, you can't "return it" like you could a paper book. On the other hand, you didn't have to drive to the library either! Plus, as mentioned above, the library bears the cost, so it's essentially subsidized (out of the taxes you paid).

NetLibrary and Overdrive both offer services to get libraries lending e-book content. I assume they take care of all the negotiations and acquisitions of content as well as providing the lending infrastructure. It's basically offered as a service to libraries for a fee that depends on what collections are available.

If the questions is about whether a few individuals should try to do similar things on their own, I think that DRM laws and licensing issues will probably make such an effort highly challenging at best. And if they are not copyrighted books, then it's really not much of an issue in the first place, because now you are just talking about downloads, not lending, and you might as well just browse the MobileRead "library" of e-books!

Quote:
What is NetLibrary?

eContent isn't new to libraries. What is new is the ever-widening array of choices and eResources available through the Web. As formats, languages and technologies multiply, so does the challenge to manage and deliver quality content — in ways that will work both today and tomorrow.

NetLibrary meets that challenge as the most versatile eContent provider for libraries and publishers today. It supports the most content from leading publishers, the most types of media — including eBooks and eAudiobooks — the widest audience of users and the most types of libraries. NetLibrary takes you far beyond the world of eBooks to provide a flexible and stable eContent platform that is positioned for continual rapid content growth.
Quote:
Your 'Virtual Branch': A Digital Media Delivery Platform for Libraries

OverDrive provides libraries with all the tools they need to create a digital library collection for download. Digital Library Reserve®--our web-based digital media platform--enables library patrons to download popular digital audiobooks, eBooks, music, and video from your library's customized website. It's a complete download service: we deliver the best selection of titles with the easiest technology, enabling the best service and best user experience.
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