Monday, November 7, 2011

Local libraries sell e-books too

A story from last month discussed a new offering that would allow local libraries around the world to provide eBook catalogs to their patrons.  The new functionality would provide library visitors the ability to reference, browse, sample, and buy eBooks that are not available through the library system by linking them to national and local booksellers.

"Public libraries offer for lending a small fraction of publishers' ebook or audiobook catalogs," said Erica Lazzaro, OverDrive Director of Publisher Relations. This initiative "will take hundreds of thousands of early, midlist, and backlist eBook titles that are virtually invisible to library customers and present them for discovery. [It] will also enable for patrons who do not want to wait for popular titles to become available the option to immediately shop for it from a list of booksellers that support their local library."
With local libraries entering the retail ebook business, local booksellers will find themselves with even more competition.  The emphasis here is on future market share, to be sure, but it is a great example of the potential of emerging technologies can reshape entire industries.

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