Apparently, Sony and OverDrive are going to team up to cross market the Sony Reader with the OverDrive network to make it easier for library patrons to check out books onto eReaders. The patron looks up the book on the library's computer/website, and if it's offered through the OverDrive network, they plug in their library card number and download it to the Sony Reader. This causes a lot of questions to pop into my head:
Does the patron have to provide the eReader?
If the library provides the eReader, who's going to pay for them?
Does the book have a due date? Will it just disappear on the screen when it is due? If the library provides the eReader, will they have the same late fees as a regular book?
I'm sure that it is painfully obvious that I am only starting out as a Library Student (orientation is just over a week away), so maybe it is a little premature for me to start blogging about my opinions surrounding eReaders and what role they should play with in libraries and the information industry. I guess what I am trying to say is that this might be my first blog encroaching upon this subject, but is certainly won't be my last...
Right now my only interaction I have had with eReaders is that as a bookseller for a corporate retail chain, and I must admit, I haven't been all that impressed. It's just another commodity. a toy. something for the wealthy to whip out on a plane so everyone around them can see how wealthy they are. whoop-de-do. And that is basically how we have been trained to sell them in the store. We're told to play up their novelty to anyone who seems like a frequent business traveler.
I feel most sensible folks share the same sentiment. It's not a book. It doesn't feel like a book, smell like a book. You can't turn the pages, or feel the satisfaction of closing the back cover when you finish it. And you certainly don't get the same enjoyment of throwing it across the room in a fit of anger or frustration. or do you...?
However, I am a Libra, thus try to understand both sides of the story. I do see eReaders devices being useful in the academic realm. For a student to have their textbooks, journal articles, syllabuses and other required reading in one location could be very convenient. Although, it would make underlining, highlighting and writing in the margins a little tricky.
So I don't know where I stand on this, but I do promise that after a little research and maybe a few classes I'll have some more to say...