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Madison libraries and e-readers

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Madison libraries and e-readers

Postby WestSideYuppie » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:11 pm

Folks, Santa Claus is faced with ordering a Kindle or a Nook, probably one of the black-and-white ones. The intended recipient will live in Madison and hopes to borrow e-books through the Madison library system. I've read all of the online docs about doing this, but am interested in knowing if anybody has first-hand experience that might tip the scales in favor of one device or the other.
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Re: Madison libraries and e-readers

Postby Henry Vilas » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:33 pm

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Re: Madison libraries and e-readers

Postby snoqueen » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:40 pm

If you have Chrome you can read most of the library's e-book holdings right on your own laptop. I've got my netbook set up that way and read library books on it regularly. Firefox didn't work, though maybe that was a Linux thing since I use Linux. But the way I have things set up now, I get a huge library wherever I have wifi without buying an e-reader at all. The pages are formatted in a normal way, pictures are clear, colors are nice.

Different e-books in the library have different formats. Go here for more info:
http://www.madisonpubliclibrary.org/ebooks

That page says the Kindle is compatible with most of their downloadable books. They have different collections available in different ways so I'd suggest talking to someone at the library if you have specific questions.

This is not a second-rate resource at all, it's excellent and it's all there free with your library card. You can do the same thing on any computer, but my netbook is about the size of a Kindle so it's particularly convenient to carry around.
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Re: Madison libraries and e-readers

Postby mayact4 » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:48 am

I have a Nook, and the process for registering, using, and downloading from the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium site is very easy. However, I am extremely disappointed in the ebook offerings. Maybe it's just my interests, but I've found very few titles available and, if they are, there is one copy and a lengthy waiting list. I also wish that books that can be checked out for 4 weeks from the library were 4-week ebooks as well.
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Re: Madison libraries and e-readers

Postby Huckleby » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:03 pm

I think the library is at very beginning stage with ebooks. They should (and I assume will) have all those seperate ebook collections linked into their main search engine.

They don't have many titles yet, but I expect it will grow.
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Re: Madison libraries and e-readers

Postby rabble » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:21 pm

mayact4 wrote:I've found very few titles available and, if they are, there is one copy and a lengthy waiting list.

I wonder what the logic behind that is. It's not like you're really checking out a copy. The library only has one copy. We're getting a copy of that copy.

The library has decided that they're going to pretend they have X copies, and only let X people make one copy of that copy at any one time. If they wanted to, they could let any number of people make copies. But they don't.

I can understand putting a time limit on it. In fourteen days your copy goes kablooey and you have to download it again if you want it longer. But the reasoning for pretending to have three copies and limiting the downloads that way kinda escapes me.

Why do that? What sense does it make?
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Re: Madison libraries and e-readers

Postby snoqueen » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:25 pm

I think it's got to do with the copyright terms on the book. Some companies actually limit the library to allowing say 26 checkouts and then the LIBRARY's copy disappears.

I don't think this is the library's fault, in other words.
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Re: Madison libraries and e-readers

Postby WestSideYuppie » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:45 pm

Thanks for the many helpful comments. The plot has thickened a bit. I've got a notebook computer, but Santa has ordered me an Android tablet, because he decided that I should jump onto the bandwagon of a new technology for once in my life.

Meanwhile we got the e-books up and running on the PC, and things seem to work just fine.
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Re: Madison libraries and e-readers

Postby Huckleby » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:11 am

rabble wrote:I wonder what the logic behind that is. It's not like you're really checking out a copy. The library only has one copy. We're getting a copy of that copy.

The library has decided that they're going to pretend they have X copies, and only let X people make one copy of that copy at any one time.


rabble, you dingbat, if libraries had unlimitted copies of ebooks, nobody would ever buy a book again, and the publishing industry would collapse.

Sorry I called you a dingbat, been under a lot of stress today, it being cybermonday.

The library pays a licensing fee for every copy available. Although it may be frustrating to go on a seemingly silly wait list, it is a fair arrangement for all.
At least libraries don't have to worry about the bits and bytes getting worn out.
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Re: Madison libraries and e-readers

Postby snoqueen » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:50 am

If publishers go broke, it's not public libraries that cause it.
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Re: Madison libraries and e-readers

Postby Huckleby » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:11 am

To change subject slightly, I am pissed off at publishers. $15 for a digital download is far too much. They could make a similar profit at $5 per book, people would be exploring far more books. They also could offer a $1 short term lease.

With the current pricing, ebook readers are the plaything of the rich. The publishers could give away the readers for free and do fine.
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Re: Madison libraries and e-readers

Postby rabble » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:27 am

Huckleby wrote:
rabble wrote:I wonder what the logic behind that is. It's not like you're really checking out a copy. The library only has one copy. We're getting a copy of that copy.

The library has decided that they're going to pretend they have X copies, and only let X people make one copy of that copy at any one time.


rabble, you dingbat, if libraries had unlimitted copies of ebooks, nobody would ever buy a book again, and the publishing industry would collapse.

Huckleby you ignorant slut, you not only can't spell unlimited but you ignore - because you're ignorant - what's already happening with ebooks. There's already plenty of free ebooks out there being downloaded without limit, and people are still buying books. The dingbats are the ones selling the damn books, trying to make a horse and buggy system work in an electronic world.
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Re: Madison libraries and e-readers

Postby Huckleby » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:18 am

rabble wrote:There's already plenty of free ebooks out there being downloaded without limit, and people are still buying books. The dingbats are the ones selling the damn books, trying to make a horse and buggy system work in an electronic world.

I did not mean to get into the ebooks v. books debate. I meant to say if ebooks were always available to download free from libraries without inconvienence, nobody would buy ebooks. That seems pretty obvious.

You seem to be saying that ebooks can and will make books obsolete. Not a chance, very different animals.

There really aren't free ebooks out there for modern titles, altho maybe you weren't suggesting that.
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Re: Madison libraries and e-readers

Postby rabble » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:30 am

Huckleby wrote:
rabble wrote:There's already plenty of free ebooks out there being downloaded without limit, and people are still buying books. The dingbats are the ones selling the damn books, trying to make a horse and buggy system work in an electronic world.

I did not mean to get into the ebooks v. books debate. I meant to say if ebooks were always available to download free from libraries without inconvienence, nobody would buy ebooks. That seems pretty obvious.

To you, it would seem so. Those ebooks go away after two weeks. The only thing allowing unlimited copies of time-limited books would do is let everyone who wanted to read that library book read it when they wanted to.

Huckleby wrote:You seem to be saying that ebooks can and will make books obsolete. Not a chance, very different animals.

You seem to be claiming that if there were unlimited hard copies of a certain book at the library, then no one would buy that book. Are you saying that?
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Re: Madison libraries and e-readers

Postby Huckleby » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:43 am

rabble wrote:To you, it would seem so. Those ebooks go away after two weeks. The only thing allowing unlimited copies of time-limited books would do is let everyone who wanted to read that library book read it when they wanted to.
Huh? Who cares if books are time-limitted if you can always easily get a fresh copy? Who would pay $15 just to have book stored permanently?

Even with the Kindle, you don't necessarily have all your books in your device, you have a license to grab new copies out of your personal library at Amazon.

Huckleby wrote:You seem to be claiming that if there were unlimited hard copies of a certain book at the library, then no one would buy that book. Are you saying that?

Well, you know I never suggested anything so foolish. Owning a real book is very different from having to go through hassle of ordering, waiting on list, getting, returning a physical book from library.
With ebooks, downloading is a snap. If libraries are too convienent, nobody will buy ebooks.
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