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Are You Reading Library E-books?

Submitted by on October 24, 2011 – 2:58 am4 Comments

E-readers like the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook may be providing e-books at super-low prices, but they still aren’t giving away best sellers for free. Libraries all across the country are stepping into the 21st century, providing their free lending services now for computing devices at record rates.

A study back in June showed that over two-thirds of libraries now provide access to e-books. Their efforts must be paying off: A more recent report shows e-book checkouts at libraries up 200% already in 2011, compared to all of 2010.

Libraries might not be solely responsible for the explosive success. Amazon’s recent addition of library e-book capabilities to their Kindles made the services available to millions of users.

But lending e-books may have a ways to go before the service is embraced by general readers. One commenter at Mashable with the username e_federspiel noted that, even in the e-book catalogs of large urban library systems, “the lack of titles can be infuriating.” He notes that most available titles are classics in the public domain (available for free elsewhere), and not current best sellers.

What do you think? Is it worth scrolling through the library’s e-catalog yet?

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