Librarians, Libraries, Books, eBooks, and Publishing
Friday, December 30, 2011
Library dips into emergency funds to buy ebooks
The Provo City Library is giving a $50,000 gift to its patrons.
That is the amount library staff and the city council took out of the library's emergency funds this month to purchase more than 3,000 e-books for library users to borrow digitally. Most of those books were purchased this week.
The decision is surely a sign of the times and a chess move by the library aimed at remaining relevant in a new age of books. E-book sales doubled in 2011 and are expected to jump further in upcoming days in light of this: Amazon announced this week that it sold more than 1 million Kindles per week in December. And the first thing Kindle owners want after opening their gift on Christmas morning is books to read.
The library lends e-books through Overdrive, which is a feature of the state's Pioneer Online Library. The state has made thousands of e-books available, but the selection is somewhat limited, and lines for those waiting to check out popular books can be long. Provo's decision is part of a growing trend among local libraries to supplement the state's offerings with e-copies of their own, said Craig Neilson of Utah's Pioneer Online Library.