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Old 11-29-2012, 10:04 AM   #16
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Well, it shouldn't matter much if they lend out 10 books a day for 100 days, or just 1000 books in 1 day. The only thing it would change, is that the people that signed up for a book and lost interest due to the long wait for a book would get it right away, but I can't believe it would be more than a 10% increase.
Libraries need to be able to control their expenditure. It would cost a lot more to buy a licence to lend 10 copies of a book simultaneously than to lend 1000, and if they bought a licence for 1000 simultaneous loans of a book, but only 10 people ever actually wanted to read it at once, that would be a massive waste of the library's (and hence the taxpayers') money.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:24 AM   #17
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Streaming? I spend a large portion of my readng time on public transportation, or wating in a Dr office, etc. That is really the dumbest idea I have ever heard. Makes the convenience of a pbook sound good, huh?!
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:02 AM   #18
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Libraries need to be able to control their expenditure. It would cost a lot more to buy a licence to lend 10 copies of a book simultaneously than to lend 1000, and if they bought a licence for 1000 simultaneous loans of a book, but only 10 people ever actually wanted to read it at once, that would be a massive waste of the library's (and hence the taxpayers') money.
I was of course assuming that they would strike a logical deal, where number of loans scale with the license money..
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:04 AM   #19
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I was of course assuming that they would strike a logical deal, where number of loans scale with the license money..
We may be talking at cross-purposes? Are you proposing that they should allow unlimited lending, and pay a fee corresponding to what was actually borrowed, rather than agree a maximum number of simultaneous loans in advance? That strikes me as financially extremely risky for the library, because they wouldn't know in advance what their actual expenditure was going to be.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:09 AM   #20
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We may be talking at cross-purposes? Are you proposing that they should allow unlimited lending, and pay a fee corresponding to what was actually borrowed, rather than agree a maximum number of simultaneous loans in advance? That strikes me as financially extremely risky for the library, because they wouldn't know in advance what their actual expenditure was going to be.
That is exactly the problem in Sweden. Libraries pay per loan and have now implemented restrictions on how many loans you can make. The benefit is that a book is never "out" when you want to loan it, but you may have to bide your time if your are maxed out.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:12 AM   #21
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That is exactly the problem in Sweden. Libraries pay per loan and have now implemented restrictions on how many loans you can make. The benefit is that a book is never "out" when you want to loan it, but you may have to bide your time if your are maxed out.
I can see the benefits of the Swedish system for the consumer, but one Harry Potter-like "best-seller" available as an eBook could be a financial catastrophe for the library system.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:17 AM   #22
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I can see the benefits of the Swedish system for the consumer, but one Harry Potter-like "best-seller" available as an eBook could be a financial catastrophe for the library system.
I don't know about the correlation between sales and loans in the UK but if it's like here I doubt it would brake the back of the libraries, besides they don't make Harry Potter available for lending, do they? I know, just an example for illustrative purposes. The reason they implemented the restrictions was the demand for soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic's autobiography.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:49 PM   #23
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Harry Potter is available through elending from libraries in the US. JK Rowling holds the rights to the ebooks, I think, so she can strike a different deal with libraraies that is unique to only her books.

Last edited by xendula; 11-30-2012 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:57 PM   #24
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Here?
As in your house?
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:00 PM   #25
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Here?
As in your house?
Sorry, I meant here in the US. Though, if you come by my house, I'll lend you a copy
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:08 PM   #26
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Because it could also be interpreted as Germany.
Hence the confusion.
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:07 PM   #27
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True, I keep forgetting to be more precise. I just checked, and my (very limited) German online library does not have Harry Potter either. I feel that Europeans always get screwed on everything, darn it!
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:27 PM   #28
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If authors (whose interests are not necessarily congruent with publishers here), publishers and libraries sat down together, I am sure a sustainable model could be found, taking full advantage of the digital nature of ebooks.

Artificial scarcity is just, well, plain stupid.
I'm sure that a sustainable model -- in terms of at least a tiny portion of authors, editors, translators, etc. being able to make a living writing -- is impossible without scarcity. Economics is the study of scarcity. Without scarcity, the value of anything and everything is zero. And since the material eBooks are made of is somewhere between non-existent and infinitesimal (not quite sure of the physics here), the only kind of eBook scarcity there can be is artificial.
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:56 AM   #29
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I'm sure that a sustainable model -- in terms of at least a tiny portion of authors, editors, translators, etc. being able to make a living writing -- is impossible without scarcity.
I disagree. Let's take a look at music -- not exactly the same, but an industry that has most of its growing pains behind it, presumably. Is music artificially scarce? No, it's plentiful. I can buy a track for a buck, or use any of the growing number of legal listening services, financed either via a lowish monthly fee of some kind, or some commercials. Never ever am I told "sorry, only 100 people may listen to this song concurrently": I listen to a song, and performing artists get a few cents. Everybody wins.

The same is true for videos. Take Netflix: for a fee, you can rent a given number of DVDs at a time. While there are necessarily constraints for physical items (they only have a certain number of DVDs), no such restrictions exist for streaming video.

Music and video have made the step from physical item to online service. The ebook needs to do the same, and trying to mirror built-in limitations of physical items is, I repeat myself, stupid, desperate and shows a deep-rooted fear of losing a once profitable, but no longer sustainable business model. It's also an uphill battle (or fighting retreat, depending on your point of view); those who refuse to adapt will simply become irrelevant in due course.

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Old 12-01-2012, 09:24 AM   #30
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Rogue_librarian, that's a great point for a subscription based ebook model, but would that work for public libraries? If they had to "pay per read" every time a library patron reads a title, how would they make sure they don't go bankrupt?

I just wish there was a way for me to donate my read ebooks to my libraries, or gift ebooks to them with the right to read it first, but of course, a book that costs be 9.99 costs them up to 100 times more if I recall the number correctly that my local library gave me.
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