Posted by: lindseychristine | October 22, 2009

The New and Improved “Library Book”

DM1809-1The growth of emerging technology over the years has resulted in media becoming incredibly modernized digitally. Looking back, the way music has been bought and enjoyed has surely progressed over the years from records, cassettes, CDs, to ultimately songs being downloaded on iTunes. People used to simply rely on newspapers and magazines to acquire the news, but now we depend on the web and multimedia news organization websites to give us the scoop. Why buy a card when you can just send an e-card right? So why buy a book if you can read it online for free?

When was the last time you used your library card? Maybe it was in third grade when you had to do a book report. Regardless if it was yesterday or 13 years ago, library cards have become more valuable than ever before. About 5,4000 public libraries across the country are pulling in readers by offering a wide variety of ebooks which can be downloaded free of charge via library websites, according to a New York Times report last week. The New York Public Library currently provides a remarkable 18,300 ebooks on their website.

imagesTo adapt to today’s desires to obtain information with a quick click of a mouse and to view and read information on the computer rather than through a hard copy of a book or newspaper, libraries are now pulling in more readers through ebook services. Regulars of the library or non-library users now can take full advantage of browsing through thousands of titles and reading books of all genres without ever having to leave their home or dorm.

“As young people become used to reading virtually everything online,” said Paul LeClerc, president of the New York Public Library, “that is going to propel a change in terms of readership of e-books rather than readership of physical books,” according to the NY Times.

Like “traditional” library books, an ebook can only be “borrowed” by one individual at a time. Also depending on the library’s borrowing period, access to the ebook will also be terminated after the take-out time frame. Ebooks can be borrowed by simply typing in your library card number.

College students eat, drink, and breathe the Internet. Since we have the constant want to stay connected virtually on a personal and academic level, having the option of borrowing ebooks for leisurely or educational purposes is brilliant. The fact that students work long days and nights throughout summer months to fork over $400-600 to college bookstores each semester for textbooks makes the idea of free ebooks extremely appealing.

“Students are really suffering from the high price of textbooks, and it’s largely due to predatory practices on the part of publishers,” according to the Maryland Public Interest Research Group in a WBALTV- Baltimore 11 report this August.

Have you read an ebook? Would you prefer reading a book for fun on the web or physically hold it?

Get a taste of the ebook craze by checking out the beginning of this video to see how a New Jersey public library offers ebooks.



  1. Wow! I wish I knew about this. Who needs a Kindle!

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