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Old 03-02-2012, 09:04 PM   #31
AnemicOak
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I think a library should be whatever the folks paying for it want it to be. If people have a problem with what they carry they should complain about it. Our local system didn't start doing ebooks until much later than some, but now do it with gusto (almost 30K titles) because a lot of folks asked for it.


I don't know if they still do, but our local library system used to even have framed artwork for checkout that you could bring home and hang on your wall for a given time period. They've been doing movies since the VHS/Beta wars and music since the days when vinyl, 8 tracks and cassette tapes were popular. They're also a major source of computer access for some folks.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:15 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitford13 View Post
I can sort of see these prices for an academic/research library, but for "everyday" public library use this seems extortionate to me.
However, you can argue the other way. Research universities cannot fulfill their mission unless their researchers have access to current literature in their field. Publishers taking advantage of this have created the serials crisis. Important academic books are also high priced. Here is a good example of how they price a quite well-reviewed research monograph. (You'll notice, by the way, that this current book has no eBook version, thus deterring piracy.)

Providing access to current best-sellers, whether paper or eBook, is arguably the public library equivalent of football for a research university. It brings in donations, but doesn't have much to do with the core mission of creating knowledge (in the case of the research university) or literacy promotion (in the case of the library).

Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 03-02-2012 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:32 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveEisenberg View Post
However, you can argue the other way. Research universities cannot fulfill their mission unless their researchers have access to current literature in their field. Publishers taking advantage of this have created the serials crisis. Important academic books are also high priced. Here is a good example of how they price a quite well-reviewed research monograph. (You'll notice, by the way, that this current book has no eBook version, thus deterring piracy.)
Academia has been the home of captive audiences and price gouging as long as anyone can remember. This is just a symptom of a couple of greater problems. The 800# gorilla in the living room is the fact that higher "learning" is more a racket to extort money out of people or force them into career- destroying debt just to remove a social stigma, than to actually educate them.

Quote:
Providing access to current best-sellers, whether paper or eBook, is arguably the public library equivalent of football for a research university. It brings in donations, but doesn't have much to do with the core mission of creating knowledge (in the case of the research university) or literacy promotion (in the case of the library).
Research is dying in the US anyway. SOPA/PIPA would've flat- out killed it. Everything is going to corporate labs anyway, where it can be patented more quickly and either used or suppressed.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:28 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
I think a library should be whatever the folks paying for it want it to be. If people have a problem with what they carry they should complain about it. Our local system didn't start doing ebooks until much later than some, but now do it with gusto (almost 30K titles) because a lot of folks asked for it.


I don't know if they still do, but our local library system used to even have framed artwork for checkout that you could bring home and hang on your wall for a given time period. They've been doing movies since the VHS/Beta wars and music since the days when vinyl, 8 tracks and cassette tapes were popular. They're also a major source of computer access for some folks.
This. There's no point in fetishizing books, and carrying the latest Tom Clancy or Nora Roberts has the exact same value as carrying a popular DVD or CD.
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:07 AM   #35
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The government does not need to step in and regulate copyright.
Fixed.
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:47 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by xg4bx View Post
why should tax payers continually be bent over a barrel to fund pure greed?
Why should publishers get the shaft if the public wants free ebooks?

Libraries are a public good; it's up to the public to fund it.


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Originally Posted by xg4bx
in case nobody has been paying attention, we have no money. we're broke.
Libraries are a tiny fraction of government spending. Cutting their budgets is not going to "save the nation."
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:57 AM   #37
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I don't think that's true in even the simplest terms - the libraries have limited contracts with Overdrive.
I don't know what their contracts say. However, Overdrive is no longer the only library services vendor.

I believe Overdrive is being ornery about transfers, and the libraries need to be on top of that -- and, I suspect, will not be to Overdrive's benefit as competing services pick up steam.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FizzyWater
I don't think they automatically can convert books to a different ebook provider, for example, if their contracts expire.
Technically it should not be difficult at all for a library services provider to crank out a simple spreadsheet with the title, ISBN/ASIN, and number of copies. It's not like a competing provider needs the library to upload a bunch of files.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:06 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitford13 View Post
I can sort of see these prices for an academic/research library, but for "everyday" public library use this seems extortionate to me....
Except that there is some ratio of "library checkouts" to "lost sales." A 1:1 ratio is not the case, but even if it's a 25:1 ratio then it makes sense to charge more for an electronic version which never needs to be replaced.

The costs of the public good of library services should not be borne primarily by the publishers, but by the government that wants to provide those services.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:13 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
Why should publishers get the shaft if the public wants free ebooks?

Libraries are a public good; it's up to the public to fund it.
Why should libraries get the shaft just because some publishers are greedy, self-serving, living in the past, and have their heads up their rectums when it comes to digital media?
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:14 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
Except that there is some ratio of "library checkouts" to "lost sales." A 1:1 ratio is not the case, but even if it's a 25:1 ratio then it makes sense to charge more for an electronic version which never needs to be replaced.

The costs of the public good of library services should not be borne primarily by the publishers, but by the government that wants to provide those services.
Re the electronic version which never needs to be replaced:

A valid point if true, however I believe that many of the e-book providers only allow a limited number of "checkout's" of a e-book file before it has to be re-purchased.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:40 PM   #41
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pbook libraries are going to be around for a while longer....at the expense of greatly increased costs for consumers and toll on the environment.

Last edited by markbot; 03-03-2012 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:54 PM   #42
Andrew H.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoopyFrood View Post
Re the electronic version which never needs to be replaced:

A valid point if true, however I believe that many of the e-book providers only allow a limited number of "checkout's" of a e-book file before it has to be re-purchased.
Random House did that; AFAICT, that policy has gone out the window with the new price increases.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:46 PM   #43
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How kind of them: We'll just screw you once big time, and stop screwing you a little at a time. Geeze, what a scam.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:52 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
Indie, small publishers, new authors who want exposure, public domain, etc.
If you know of a way for indie publishers TO sell to libraries, feel free to tell the rest of us. Right now there's not an infrastructure in place that I'm aware of -- and I've been trying.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:56 PM   #45
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Frankly, I'd be in favor of nationalizing all libraries and mandating that if anyone wants to register a copyright of an eBook with Copyright.gov, they have to provide a single license for the national library for perpetuity.

Tax money could go to buying more licenses of popular things on demand. But if the government is going to enforce and protect copyright -- and I think it should, to a point -- then there should be some give from the copyright owners for the betterment of society.

/radical hippie liberal over here.
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