GW Cohort 9 Publishing eNewsletter

MPS in Publishing's eNewsletter for Fundamentals of E-Publishing PSPB6251

Public Libraries and Amazon?

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Ebooks are purchased through such vendors as Amazon or rented through local library websites.  Why can’t it be different and more user friendly?  Peter Brantley suggests merging the two together to ease the process of obtaining ebooks for the reader.  Academic libraries are part of large databases of journals and books available online if you have the correct access code.  Local public libraries also have their, sometimes modest collections, of ebooks available to borrow online with the serial number on your library card and password.  The key difference is large search engines such as Google Scholar allow users to identify their academic institution and access content for no charge thanks to OpenURL.  OpenURL is a mechanism for resources to be searched by ISBNs, authors, titles, and publisher information.  Knowledge Base (KB) then tracks if that particular article or book is licensed by your institution.

The author of “Resolving Public Libraries at Amazon” advocates for public libraries to give their lists of available digital content to Amazon.  For example, I want to read The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory.  On Amazon, I search for the book and a list of possibilities appears.  My local library has a digital copy, but all its licensed copies are unavailable at this time.  I can wait or purchase the ebook from Amazon for $9.95 and keep the copy instead of “returning” the library copy in 2 weeks.  Amazon accounts will be linked with public library accounts.

The proposed idea could be a success once all parties figure out the legal parameters.  It is an interesting idea that excites library users and may scare online book vendors.  However, Peter Brantley suggests economic models will stay intact since a library ability to lend is not enlarged, just made more user-friendly.  On the other hand, Amazon will benefit from having additional information to track on a book’s popularity.  If reader privacy is not a concern, this will be a great tool for ebook readers.  If privacy is a concern, sticking with your local library’s ebook aggregator may be the best option for you.  It’s all about options!


Source: Resolving Public Libraries at Amazon by Peter Brantley — September 4th, 2013


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