Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Will Amazon Offer Purchasing and/or Donation Options for Library-Owed E-Books?

It may already have happened, but if not, I am wondering how long it will take Amazon to offer a purchasing and/or donation option for library “owed” e-book titles. For a while, OverDrive’s LibraryBIN (“Buy It Now”) program has allowed patrons “to buy popular and best-selling e-books and audiobooks with most of the LibraryBIN profits going back to libraries.” This is pretty cool, but will Amazon do it? I’d think that publishers would be happy because they could gain some revenue from it. A win-win, right?

Undoubtedly, library e-book collections will gain more visibility and with more visibility comes more demand, which many libraries may not be able to handle. Although I am fairly confident that libraries can handle it, it is probably too early to tell.  Anyway, I would welcome the idea of Amazon adding a purchasing option for high-demand library e-book titles as long as a portion (even a very small portion) of Amazon’s profits go to library funds AND if library users could then donate their used e-books to their library’s digital collections to give others the opportunity to read them.

On another note, Gary Price from InfoDocket, wrote a thought-provoking post on “eBooks, Privacy, and the Library” and he asks some very important questions that everyone, not just librarians, should be trying to answer.

What do you think?

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