In Ebooks and libraries: A Stream of Concerns, librarian Meredith Farkas says e-book options for libraries are lacking in such areas as “content, interface” and “interoperability.” LibraryCity’s Tom Peters is similarly unhappy. Those are some of the very issues, of course, that a well-stocked national digital library system could help address—especially collection development.
AP’s Peter Svensson writes elsewhere of the hassles of library e-books while explaining the basis of how to check them out (update: and even mentions a key advantage of a national digital library system). For yet another perspective, see CNET blogger David Katzmaier’s complaint against the Kindle—its inability to display library books, which use Adobe DRM.
I’m delighted that librarians and media people are getting grumpier. The next step, I hope, will be articles about solutions—such as a national digital library system controlled by librarians rather than vendors, even though companies like Google and OverDrive could still do very well as contractors providing technical services (disclosure: I’m a very small Google shareholder). For now, Amazon’s Kindle side could do its part by being more library-compatible and having better licensing policies. But will it?