The Ebook Ecosystem: Where do Libraries Fit?

Library Card promo via Davidson County Public Library System“North Carolina Digital Library has offered eBook downloads since 2005, and in the past year we’ve seen a tremendous increase in checkouts,” said Ruth Ann Copley, director of the Davidson County Public Library in North Carolina.

When it comes to ebooks, no other member of the publishing community faces more challenging questions than public libraries. What aspects of the publishing business model have to be rethought in order to build a sustainable ebook model for libraries? Does patron-driven purchasing have a place in the trade-public library business?

At Digital Book World 2011, Library Journal‘s Josh Hadro will moderate a panel, The Ebook Ecosystem: Where do Libraries Fit?, that will attempt to offer answers to these thorny questions. He will be joined by Ruth Liebmann, VP, Director of Account Marketing, Random House; Christopher Platt, Acting Director, Collections and Circulating Operations, The New York Public Library; and Steve Potash, President and CEO of OverDrive, Inc.

OverDrive, the leading global distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, and digital content to libraries and schools, has announced new apps for the iOS and Android platforms that enable patrons to download library eBooks and audiobooks directly to a variety of mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPod touch; Droid X; and Samsung GALAXY Tab.

The free apps include a “Get Books” feature that guides users to their local library’s digital catalog of best-selling and new release titles, allowing them to easily browse, check out, and download ebooks without a PC. Users can also create bookmarks and resume from the last point read. The eBook and audiobook titles from the public library automatically expire in the app, so there is never a late fee.

“With the iPhone and Android apps,” notes Copley, “we’re able to provide users with more options for accessing eBooks, as well as audiobooks, from our ‘Virtual Branch.'”

“Libraries have been an excellent source for eBooks and digital audiobooks for PC, Mac, and eBook readers, and now these apps enable users to download digital books directly to their iPhone, iPod touch, or Android device,” said David Burleigh, director of marketing for OverDrive. “In 2011, users will continue to see new features added to the existing apps, and access will expand to other devices, including an optimized app for iPad.”

Digital Book World 2011Register today for DBW 2011.

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