Death to the Book! Long live the Book!

I have yet to be totally won over by eBooks/e-Books/E-books/ebooks (have we settled on a standard yet?). Being an academic librarian in Ohio is fun, because I get to see two competing e-Book models running at the same time. We have our Netlibrary collection and we also have our OhioLINK electronic reference book collection of ABC-CLIO titles.

Our students have not jumped on the e-Book bandwagon as you might expect. Our statistics for e-Book use on both platforms is constant, but not rising fast or furious. I can tell you why…they still want the print!

I know, I know…I’ll wait while you pick yourself up off the floor in disbelief…but the Xbox/iPod/Xanga crew (at least in our neck of Appalachia) still want a tangible item in their hands for that research paper/speech. The first question a student asks when they find one of the e-Books in our catalog is, “Can I print it out?” Of course, I have to deliver the bad news that you can print out some pages (one at a time) but you can’t print out the whole thing and Netlibrary will eventually lock you out for copyright violation if you try to print to much (or “turn the page” too fast).

I share all of this with you because I have been keeping a post from Alane over at It’s All Good about the future of books. Another take on this topic, When Will E-Books Become Mainstream?, was posted by ScuttleMonkey over at Slashdot.

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