News on ebooks

As member libraries have heard, the GMLC is moving forward with adding ebooks to our downloadable collection. Here are some things you should know.

  • the ebook collection will be accessed in the same place as our downloadable audio — through listenupvermont.org;
  • the collection should be ready for your patrons somewhere near the end of October;
  • the opening collection will likely consist of a somewhere around 500 titles, although hopefully more, mainly of new, popular items;
  • the majority of the titles will be in the ePUB format, which is the industry standard, although there may be some PDF, depending on demand;
  • the titles will be one copy, one user, just like your physical library;
  • this collection is being included for all Listen Up! Vermont members as part of their 2010 (and of course, 2011) membership fees.

There have also been questions about which ereaders will be compatible. Here’s the email I had my ILL librarian post to VALSPub:

Jill -- and everyone interested in ebook readers --

take a look at this blog post from OverDrive's Digital Library blog, 
which features a cheat sheet of library-compatible models and the 
reasons why Kindles won't work with anything but Amazon:

http://overdriveblogs.com/library/2010/09/22/ebook-devices-cheat-sheet-a-librarian-reference-tool/

I would suggest, if you have the funding, creating a "Gadget Gallery" 
for your patrons, so that they can try out the different readers and 
decide what they might be interested in for their own device. Purchase a 
few different readers (a Sony Pocket Edition and a Nook, for example) 
that are library-compatible (all Listen Up! Vermont participating 
libraries will have access to e-books through that platform by the end 
of 2010), and a Kindle, so that patrons can experiment. That way, you 
can answer patrons' questions about the Kindle and provide them with 
devices that will be able to take advantage of the downloadable collection.

Stephanie Chase
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