It is a fast-moving target, and one we haven’t really defined – is an ebook really a book? A digital file? Something we buy? Something we license? Tangible? Intangible? Format? Delivery? Even those of us who feel we are somewhat “in the know” are faced with as many questions as answers. I am glad to have you and the rest of my colleagues to learn from.
Congrats on the book, I am looking forward to it!
[...] to Kate Sheehan’s post which motivated this [...]
Good point, Kristi! So far, we’re kind of sort of treating ebooks like books, except when we’re not.
And, as people on Twitter and elsewhere have pointed out, maybe we’re overly concerned with patron privacy – maybe we just assume that they know that Amazon has access to their info and it’s not our problem. But I think that’s letting the “book” aspect slide a little too much, you know?
And thanks, both for the congrats and for making Twitter a smarter place. We are, as you say, faced with as many questions as anything on these issues.
In my view, Overdrive and Amazon did just what we asked them to do. Amazon did a great job of marketing the Kindle, and they grabbed a big share of the e-reader market. We prodded Overdrive to let us loan ebooks to our Kindle owners, and they did it. Did libraries ever have direct negotiations with Amazon? I don’ think so. We’re not a party to their contract.
Sharon, that’s true. And as many people are pointing out in other places, our patrons don’t care about privacy. We’ve all had the “we don’t keep track of what you’ve checked out because it’s not our business and we don’t want that data to be subpoenable” conversation.
Where this is different is we’re not part of the conversation. I don’t think Amazon is ever going to start behaving like a library and that’s fine. But if we’re one day buying the majority of our collections as ebooks and library ethics can only apply to print books, where does that leave us?
The issue isn’t that Amazon is behaving like a business, the issue is that we have no way of creating a distinction between a business and the library.