E-readers in Action - Page 3
An academic library teams with Sony to assess the technology
Posted Thu, 09/24/2009 - 12:24
E-book reader illustration
Of course, many more reading devices are coming down the pike: Amazon has released the DX and is partnering with several universities, as well as textbook publishers, during the 2009–10 academic year. Details are still under wraps, but this pilot project represents another positive step toward information consumers influencing the directions e-content and e-reader technologies will take.
In terms of both available content and reading devices, we are a long way from the ideal product, but there is much that libraries can do to be part of the equation when it comes to the future of reading. Where content is concerned, libraries can do better; that starts with listening to and observing our patrons’ reading habits and preferences. We can be choosier about our e-content vendors, favoring those who offer a product that adapts to our users’ needs, rather than forcing them into one-page-at-a-time viewing and/or printing on an eye-straining computer screen. We can continue to work with publishers and vendors on the development of their products so that they meet the needs of the academic information consumer, and we can continue to involve our students in that development. Finally, we can work to influence the hardware inventors, who may one day come up with a technology model that is scalable to an academic setting.
Like all paradigm shifts, those occurring in reading and publishing breed a nervous excitement. Libraries are positioned to harness that energy and be at the forefront in changing and creating better e-book and e-reader services for our patrons.