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    Location: Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

    I am the owner and managing director of Information Automation Limited (IAL), a company that specialises in research, consultancy and training for the information profession. We are particularly interested in all forms of electronic information resources (e-journals, e-books, etc) and I teach a course in electronic publishing at the Department of Information Studies in Aberystwyth. Drilling down still further(!), my interests centre on the quality and evaluation of electronic information, and in the thinking that underpins activities in library and information science.
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    Sunday, January 13, 2008

    Clarion Call for Libraries

    I'm just catching up with my (probably far too many) blogs -reminded of a David Weinberger post from 2005, "No, I'm not keeping up with your blog" (if he thought that then...) - but I have just read - nearly missed it - a posting on Kindle News: Why not Rent-A-Book for Kindle, and it struck me that libraries (public, university, whatever) could be missing a chance here. It's what we do. We lend books.

    Now Kindle is clearly a lost cause for us as it's linked - without question - to buying books on Amazon and doesn't seem likely to reach the UK for a decade or so, but what about the iRex iLiad (of which I have spoken before, and which is gradually getting more press over here - it even has its own blog now: i to i blog and a wikipedia entry). I often say that I can see a time when students might arrive for their library induction and ask to have their year's reading downloaded onto their reader, and that this would require some careful licensing - lending e-books on readers' readers (if you see what I mean!) would need some careful thought by publishers, aggregators and libraries... but what a chance.

    e-Books are beginning to find their place in higher and further education - public libraries haven't really explored to any great extent the huge amount of e-fiction out there... and it's time they did!

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