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Old 02-28-2011, 06:56 PM   #91
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Hold on...If I understand you right, the they might allow 400 downloads so four hundred people can have the book out at once? would that mean no more holds?
The libraries have to pay for each digital ebook and lend it out like a physical book. At any given time, they can only lend out the number they have paid for. The next person who wants it has to wait until a copy has been "returned". From what I've been reading some libraries have it so that an ebook can't be returned early, so the next patron has to wait until the book has expired in the previous patron's account.

So, if a library licenses 2 copy of an ebook and allows them out for 2 weeks, and there is a waiting list of, for example, 21 patrons, #21 on the list would have to wait 10 weeks.

ETA response to thename: I've been reading a book review blog where a few librarians have chimed in on this issue. Not only are the ebooks not cheaper, the librarians sometimes pay a lot more than they do, even for a hardcover and they do not get a library discount for ebooks. Also, books (esp hardcover) could be checked out way more than 26 times and still hold up, so I think that limit is too draconian. Lastly, if the book is part of a series, each time a new addition to the series is added, it would not be unreasonable to expect that some patrons might want to read some or all of the previous books on the series, so letting the license expire might not serve the patrons well.

Basically, I think they need to increase the number of checkouts allowed (to at least 50) or specify a number of days it can be checked out (e.g. 730 to allow 2 years of use) or they need to substantially discount the original price and/or the relicensing price.

If they're not willing to budge, I'd rather see my local library system spend its budget on paper books.

Last edited by Mikou; 02-28-2011 at 07:05 PM. Reason: To respond to previous post
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:06 PM   #92
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Our library already does that, there are 26 copies of a really popular book and there are 156 people on the waiting list. The only exception is that I can return it before the date.
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:21 PM   #93
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I'm scratching my head, wondering how Harper-Collins and OverDrive expect to develop an equitable, consistent way to ensure ebooks are only being lent to a given library's "legitimate" local patrons. In the USA alone, public libraries have widely varying policies pertaining to borrowing privileges. Does a single publisher expect the entire nation's libraries to rewrite these policies?

I live in Alaska and borrow eBooks from a statewide consortium ("Listen Alaska!", so named because recorded books were its original offering) that includes all the state's major public libraries. My state comprises 20% of the USA's land area and most communities are not linked by roads. Does that mean residents of Alaska's vast bush communities will be SOL when it comes to borrowing HC eBooks? It's not like these patrons have walk-in libraries, or even bookstores, in most of these places.

Here's hoping our public libraries, with their proud history of offering free access to the written word to all, do not let a single publisher dictate such ridiculous terms. Meanwhile, I for one will be boycotting everything HC publishes.
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:54 PM   #94
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Mind you, when I asked their CEO (Publishers' Association) if the publishing industry was in danger of repeating the mistakes of the music industry with digital media, he told me he didn't think the music industry had made mistakes.
well thanks for proof. now i know to expect the worst worldwide until they crash and someone actually starts thinking.
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:47 PM   #95
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I think there is an opportunity for Amazon or some other player (Google?) to launch a commercial ebook lending service that is format-neutral and is driven by subscription revenue, 'like Netflix streaming', or one-time, time-limited 'rentals' with prices less than 'purchases'. I think publishers, large and small, would find that less threatening than a model where their content is offered for free, unlimited usage.
I think that you are right. The problem is: would publisher allow that model? The way things are going, I don't think so. And with the news coming out today that Random House is adopting the agency pricing model, I really think that we are going to see the control over ebooks get tighter, not looser.
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:59 AM   #96
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Nah, OverDrive itself probably doesn't care, the publishers being a completely different matter.
Seems like the only party that will be able to police the issue is OverDrive. Presumably they will have to review libraries' registration and lending policies, and maybe even lending statistics. And pass judgement. What about library consortia for electronic materials, like the (fantastic!) one here in British Columbia, or Alaska's? What about libraries that mutually extend lending privileges to people who live in other libraries' jurisdictions? What about libraries that allow registration "with no fixed address," so that homeless people can check out materials? Again, B.C. libraries also have these programs.

Who else but OverDrive will be able to do this, and how could they possibly avoid it?
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:17 AM   #97
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Why exactly do the publishers want to be a hard ass about geographic restrictions? What do they care if I live in L.A. and have a S.F. library card? (SF residents may feel differently). The library still has to pay for the book and what's lent out to me can't be lent out to another.

Incidentally, every area in CA I visit I try to get a card at the area's library if it only requires state residency. So I'm hooked in the L.A. County lib, SF lib, SoCal digital lib, NoCal digital lib. HC would have my cards revoked
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:15 AM   #98
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Why exactly do the publishers want to be a hard ass about geographic restrictions? What do they care if I live in L.A. and have a S.F. library card? (SF residents may feel differently).
They are particularly afraid of larger consortia; this makes managing collections easier and ultimately might mean fewer copies ordered. You see, no longer need every branch order at least one token copy of a must-have book, a few copies for the whole state (and many copies for popular books) would be sufficient. Can't have that, can we?
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:45 AM   #99
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In the UK, the Publishers' Association made a big fuss over one reported instance where a book from a library was downloaded in China. From the interviews they gave, you'd imagine it was a widespread occurrence, but OverDrive confirmed to me it was just the one.

The feeling here certainly seemed to be that letting people borrow books was potentially damaging the retail trade.

With most of our libraries, you have to prove that you live in the borough concerned to be able to register. Once that's done, however, things depend on what you're borrowing.

You can use your local borough's libraries (councils have a legal obligation to provide a public library service). You can also borrow from just about any library in the country, for paper books (or at least that's my understanding), via the inter-library loan service.

For eBooks, you will typically be a member of a consortium (I'm in in the borough of Hackney, which is part of the London Libraries Consortium), so there is some group purchasing power, but I suspect the areas are rather smaller than in the US.

So, I presume the consortia on service like Overdrive are buying eBooks collectively, but they're still selecting their paper books on a borough basis
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:52 AM   #100
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Seems like the only party that will be able to police the issue is OverDrive. Presumably they will have to review libraries' registration and lending policies, and maybe even lending statistics. And pass judgement. What about library consortia for electronic materials, like the (fantastic!) one here in British Columbia, or Alaska's? What about libraries that mutually extend lending privileges to people who live in other libraries' jurisdictions? What about libraries that allow registration "with no fixed address," so that homeless people can check out materials? Again, B.C. libraries also have these programs.

Who else but OverDrive will be able to do this, and how could they possibly avoid it?
Well, it sounds like it would be a lot of work for them with no real profit. I don't see how they would like it. I'm sure they would rather let the libraries manage their own policies.

Due to my residence in a suburban county, I qualify for library cards for all the library systems of the other suburban counties, plus the city's. I only have cards for two systems (one a consortium for my state, the other the city's), although with some minimal effort I could get cards to 2 other "local" library systems that have a decent ebook collection. This is pretty standard for large metro areas and makes me wonder how specific they are thinking with their geographic registration and lending policies.
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:02 AM   #101
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In the UK, the Publishers' Association made a big fuss over one reported instance where a book from a library was downloaded in China. From the interviews they gave, you'd imagine it was a widespread occurrence, but OverDrive confirmed to me it was just the one.
I'm curious, are they sure that it was an actual Chinese person who downloaded the book? Couldn't it have been a British person on vacation in China?
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:07 AM   #102
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Due to my residence in a suburban county, I qualify for library cards for all the library systems of the other suburban counties, plus the city's. I only have cards for two systems (one a consortium for my state, the other the city's), although with some minimal effort I could get cards to 2 other "local" library systems that have a decent ebook collection. This is pretty standard for large metro areas and makes me wonder how specific they are thinking with their geographic registration and lending policies.
I imagine they are more concerned with things like this and this.
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:29 AM   #103
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I imagine they are more concerned with things like this and this.
Probably, but these publishers seem to be really big on throwing out the baby with the bathwater. So who really knows. There are other libraries with similar policies, but FLP and Singapore seem to get the most press, maybe because they are international-friendly and I know the geographic rights business gets everyone in a tizzy.
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:02 PM   #104
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They are particularly afraid of larger consortia; this makes managing collections easier and ultimately might mean fewer copies ordered. You see, no longer need every branch order at least one token copy of a must-have book, a few copies for the whole state (and many copies for popular books) would be sufficient. Can't have that, can we?
Which of course is ridiculously short-sighted, since the reason consortia exist is because the smaller individual libraries can't afford to buy into Overdrive at all. When I asked at my library if there were any plans to offer eBooks, the answer was "We're facing budget CUTS. So.....no."

Then again, maybe that's the publishers' thinking exactly....
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:25 PM   #105
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Which of course is ridiculously short-sighted, since the reason consortia exist is because the smaller individual libraries can't afford to buy into Overdrive at all.
Yup, my local system hasn't got ebooks, and I don't see them getting them soon with the state of the economy.
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