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eBooks

Jan 13 2014

The Library Without Books

by Hope L

I read in a recent issue of Time magazine (October 7, “Smoked Stacks”) that  “in 2002, Arizona’s Tucson-Pima Public Library system opened a branch without books, the first in the U.S. to attempt an all-digital existence.  But just a few years later, the library phased in printed materials.  Patrons demanded them.”

“I don’t think people could really envision a library without any books in it,” says Susan Husband, the Santa Rosa Branch manager.

My, how times have changed! San Antonio’s new Bexar County Digital Library is now touted as the nation’s only all-digital public library.

“The $2.4 million, 4,000-sq.-ft. space, also known as BiblioTech, opened September 14 and has been likened to an orange-hued Apple Store.  Stocked with 10,000 e-books, 500 e-readers, 48 computers and 20 iPads and laptops, the digital library includes a children’s area, community rooms and a Starbucksesque cafe to encourage collaboration among patrons in an inviting space.  And it will have zero print materials.”

Go ahead, call me old-fashioned—I just don’t  like the idea of a library without books.

According to the Time article, “The library is no longer the place where you walk in and the thing you pay the most attention to is the book collection,” says American Library Association President Maureen Sullivan. “It’s now a place where you’re immediately attuned to the variety of ways that people are making use of that space.”

Yikes!  Libraries with0ut books?  That’s like Superman without his cape,  a lemonade stand without anything to drink, a gym without weights, or politics without scandals.

It just won’t be the same. Luckily, DCPL still has both physical and non-physical books. If you’re after non-physical books, you can download some through the library’s free OverDrive eBooks and downloadable audiobooks service.

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Ursula K Le Guin (photo credit Marian Wood Kolisch)For today’s post I’m going to share an essay written by award-winning author Ursula K. Le Guin regarding the much discussed concept of the death of the book.

In this entertaining and insightful piece, Le Guin makes the distinction between the medium (the printed book or e-text) and the act of reading itself, and argues that despite the prevailing notion that technology is responsible for the death of the book, this isn’t actually the case; rather, technology has allowed the book to grow into a second form and shape, the eBook, and both forms will be useful to humanity in the years ahead.

Follow this link to read the essay, and if you’re interested in checking out any of Le Guin’s published work, DCPL has dozens of titles available in our catalog.

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Feb 7 2011

To E(book) or not to E(book)

by Patricia D

Kindle.  Nook.  Literati.  Something produced by Apple.   Someone you know got an eBook reader for Christmas.  If that someone had the same sales person as my sister-in-law, they were told the public library has electronic books to download onto said eBook reader (with the exception of the Kindle, because we all know only Amazon purchased content can be viewed on a Kindle.)   Sad fact:  DCPL currently does not have electronic books to be loaded onto any eBook reader currently on the market.  We would love to have them, primarily because our mission is to provide the materials and information our patrons want.  Also, some of us got eBook readers for Christmas too and for me, paying for a book is a verrrrrry hard idea to get my head around.  However, Economic Reality is most certainly Coyote Ugly these days and adding another dimension to DCPL’s collections is something we can plan but not implement.

We can offer, thanks in large part to the generous support of the Friends of the Dunwoody Library, a very nice downloadable audiobook collection, which can be played on computers, MP3 players and in some instances, iPods, though at the moment I have yet to figure out how to manage that technological feat (for more technical help with downloadable audiobooks, please see this post).  These downloadable audiobooks can be accessed from either our OverDrive page or from the catalog, where they are being added as quickly as we can catalog them.  I find it amusing that we’re cataloging something we can’t actually hold—it’s a little like trying to catalog Daniel Tiger’s (Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood  character) imaginary best friend, which was part of the cataloging final in graduate school.  Keep an eye out for the “downloadable audiobook” format as you search the catalog and please know, as soon as we are able, that there will be listings for “electronic books” as well.

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