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Old 08-28-2009, 07:32 PM   #1
thomman
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Open Internet Lending Library?

Has anyone explored the idea of an open lending library for the net? My definition of open library is:
  • Infrastructure to authorize for a short period (7days or whatever)
  • Infrastructure for people to buy and donate book copies to the library
  • Infrastructure for people to register by contributing X books per year or for a nominal fee.

Over a period of time, there will be lots and lots of copies of any given book (hopefully ).. People from all over the world can benefit.

Now, am I not nuts?
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:21 PM   #2
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I would think that shipping costs and costs of replacing books (I'm guessing most people would donate paperbacks and not library bound books) would be high enough to keep people to sticking to libraries instead of Netflicks Book Edition.

But I could be the one who's nuts :P
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:05 AM   #3
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I was talking about ebook lending so there is no shipping as such. It could be done with a simple upload or by paying a fee equivalent cost of the book.
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:01 PM   #4
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I have an idea - no, not a dream - that could go well along with yours :
When I buy an eBook, I like thinking that what I really get is the right (license) and the technical mean to read it, whenever I want.
If, instead of buying a "physical" file, I bought the right to get some sort of priority lending at a library, then whenever I would not be reading my book (normally, about 99.99% of the time), it would benefit someone else, for free.
So the idea is (expanding you own) that I give money to the library (corresponding to the price of the ebook I want), which is used by the librarian to buy a copy of the ebook (a "physical" file), and I'm lent this copy. When I'm finished reading it, I replace it on its virtual bookshelf and someone else can read it. If, in the future, I want to read it, I simply reserve it ; as I'm the one who gave the money for this book, I get a priority lease : my request is inserted in the lease queue right on top, and when the reader who has the book now finishes reading it, I'm next...

Ain't I even more nuts ?
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:03 PM   #5
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I have an idea - no, not a dream - that could go well along with yours :
When I buy an eBook, I like thinking that what I really get is the right (license) and the technical mean to read it, whenever I want.
If, instead of buying a "physical" file, I bought the right to get some sort of priority lending at a library, then whenever I would not be reading my book (normally, about 99.99% of the time), it would benefit someone else, for free.
So the idea is (expanding you own) that I give money to the library (corresponding to the price of the ebook I want), which is used by the librarian to buy a copy of the ebook (a "physical" file), and I'm lent this copy. When I'm finished reading it, I replace it on its virtual bookshelf and someone else can read it. If, in the future, I want to read it, I simply reserve it ; as I'm the one who gave the money for this book, I get a priority lease : my request is inserted in the lease queue right on top, and when the reader who has the book now finishes reading it, I'm next...

Ain't I even more nuts ?
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:38 PM   #6
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Isn't this the way the library works now? We pay property taxes, the librarians buy books, we check them out. We can request the librarian buy certain books, and in my experience, they listen. The only thing that is missing is the priority position. But there are so many books, I don't mind being on a waiting list. Frankly, ever since I could search online and reserve books (paper or ebooks) I have been using the library like I used to when I was 12!
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Old 09-02-2009, 08:28 AM   #7
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It's certainly not far away of the way the libraries work now, but there are subtle differences :

- in a real-world library, if you want to read a book, you'll have to suggest it, wait, lease it, wait for it to become available, read it and return it. In my dream library, you use the library computer to instantaneously buy and lease an ebook ; so, for the first read, the process is exactly the same as if you bought the book for yourself.

- in a real-world library, you'll have to pay an entry fee even if you don't request a book ; it may not be necessary in the dream library, where you only pay for the books you want (in exchange, you may pay more, if you want to buy books often) ; the process is, once again, closer to buying books than leasing them.

But anyway, I've thought about this and I think that I found the problem, which is why no one has yet created such a library : the libraries, when they buy books, pay a lot more expensive price for them that regular people... The huge price includes the right to lease the book, and the arguable loss for the editor.
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Old 09-02-2009, 02:23 PM   #8
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In the real-world library, I search online for a book, reserve others for future reading, check-out the book electronically, and have up to 21 days to read it. It is exactly like purchasing books, except I cannot build up a back-log of reading.

I pay the entry fee through my property taxes. The library card was free.

The reservation issue is less with an online system. I check for new books often, and so I usually either get the books I am looking for, or have a very short wait.
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Old 09-02-2009, 03:36 PM   #9
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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!

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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.
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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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Old 09-02-2009, 09:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpierron View Post
It's certainly not far away of the way the libraries work now, but there are subtle differences :


But anyway, I've thought about this and I think that I found the problem, which is why no one has yet created such a library : the libraries, when they buy books, pay a lot more expensive price for them that regular people... The huge price includes the right to lease the book, and the arguable loss for the editor.
No they don't - they order lots of books and hence get discounts. For example, the public libraries in this state in general order collectively - so that's a of books.
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:28 PM   #11
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i'm thinking that sooner in the near future everything would have to work virtually.. so this is not impossible. this is a good idea by the way!

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Old 09-04-2009, 09:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydney's Mom View Post
Isn't this the way the library works now? We pay property taxes, the librarians buy books, we check them out. We can request the librarian buy certain books, and in my experience, they listen. The only thing that is missing is the priority position. But there are so many books, I don't mind being on a waiting list. Frankly, ever since I could search online and reserve books (paper or ebooks) I have been using the library like I used to when I was 12!
I was referring to an ebook library. Most of the public libraries in US have partnership with overdrive or netlibrary, but many of those deals (our libraries in WI, for e.g.) do not include checking out books for offline reading. That, to me, is a major problem. As far as I know, neither netlibrary nor overdrive allow individual membership.

The "open library" will be useful to everyone on the planet (not just "local" people, as all paper libraries require)
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:54 AM   #13
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dpierron,

I am with you all the way. I don't mind paying for a book, or paying to rent a book. I can't deal with paying for a book and not being able to pass it along to a friend. I very seldom re-read books. Once I'm done, I generally give my books away or leave them in a hotel room hoping it gets read by the unknown person who finds it next.
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:57 AM   #14
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Well, thanks, now I just need to find contacts in ebook publishing to start this
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomman View Post
I was referring to an ebook library. Most of the public libraries in US have partnership with overdrive or netlibrary, but many of those deals (our libraries in WI, for e.g.) do not include checking out books for offline reading. That, to me, is a major problem. As far as I know, neither netlibrary nor overdrive allow individual membership.

The "open library" will be useful to everyone on the planet (not just "local" people, as all paper libraries require)
Thomman--I have library cards to several libraries here in Northern California and one to the New York Library as well. All of the libraries I belong to use Overdrive for the eBook service. I can check out eBooks (audio books as well) from their site, download them, transfer them to my Sony reader (iPod/mp3 player for audio books) and read/listen offline. The books will expire in 14 or 21 days, at which point I will no longer be able to access them.

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