For some reason, many people seem threatened, still, by e-books. The question was posed on crimespace about the future of libraries. And one of the first people to answer it said that they felt e-books didn’t endanger their library. Now mind you, the question, as posed, said nothing about e-books; it was merely on the mind of the person who answered.
E-books are already available at many of our nation’s libraries–many times through Netlibrary or other providers. My library has added small audio players, essentially MP3 type players already loaded with books and I can see where, when e-book readers become cheap enough they will do the same with them. It just makes sense to provide what people are reading. Not only that–it is a phenomenal way to keep reference books that need to be continually up-dated, up to date. It makes the whole process easy and cheap. Think of it, a biology text or a geography book that never goes out of print, so to speak.
Which of course, is why e-books would also be a wonderful addition to anyone’s classroom. In my county, texts are given to the kids to take home for the year, while a duplicate text is kept for each child in the classroom as the books are too heavy for the kids to lug home daily. This is expensive! Have the kids buy an e-book reader (no more expensive than that graphing calculator I had to buy my kids.) and load it up with their books for the year. Keep the paper copy in the classroom if you want. This is bound to cut costs.
I could go on and on. I don’t see why people can’t see all of the practical applications for this. They think nothing of reading the news or for that matter, Facebook, on their phones anymore. Why are e-books such a threat?