Monday, February 28, 2005

See - not all libraries are xenophobic

From the San Jose Mercury News: Library patrons able to check out eBooks and MP3 files. Customers can have the files directly downloaded to their computer, PDA, or MP3 player; libraries get away with not getting sued by making the files good for three weeks only. This certainly seems to me to be a better response to electronic text than the American Library Association's president-elect Michael Gorman (whose response I featured here in a past entry), which is to basically pretend that no one's actually reading text on computer screens, and certainly not to encourage people to do more of such a thing.

Like it or not, Mr. Gorman, the future of information really is going to be something that apparently gives you the heebie-jeebies for some unexplained reason. The ALA would be better off emulating the lead the Palo Alto public library system is setting these days. Of course, that is the library system for Silicon Valley, so should we really expect anything different of them? (Thanks to Scott Esposito at Conversational Reading for the heads-up.)