Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-2012

Description

Libraries bore the brunt of the growing pains of ebooks in 2011-from the HarperCollins Publishers announcement to limit use to 26 circulations to Penguin Group USA's abrupt withdrawal of content from OverDrive, Inc. to Amazon's facilitation of library downloads on Kindle devices. Many librarians realized the hard way that the benefits of ownership do not accrue in electronic formats. It's no wonder librarians everywhere are searching for fair, sustainable, ownershipbased models to procure ebook content. Does this perfect solution exist?

It just might, in the form of the Internet Archive's In-Library Lending Program (http:/ /openlibrary.org/borrow)-a collection created by librarians for libraries, hosted by the Internet Archive. The basic premise of the program is simple: Allow patrons to check out ebooks (one-book/one-user model), which have been bought from publishers or scanned by participating libraries. Borrowers can read them online via a browser or download to a personal device. According to Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian at the Internet Archive, "The program is a close analogy to how libraries have lent physical books to one patron at a time in the past; it builds on these successes while leveraging technological advances not present in the physical library." The collection shares space with a larger collection, over a million public domain titles.