Jun 4, 2014
06:43 AM
Connecticut Today

Connecticut Library Officials Optimistic for e-book Offerings

Connecticut Library Officials Optimistic for e-book Offerings

Several local library directors said a bill signed into law by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has the potential to reduce costs associated with obtaining electronic books for their patrons.

Malloy signed Public Act 14-82, which calls for the Connecticut State Library to create and maintain a platform for the statewide distribution of electronic books to public library patrons. The bill was passed in response to legislation Malloy signed last year, which commissioned the Department of Consumer Protection to study how Connecticut’s public libraries could gain fairer access to e-books.

The study found that over 90 percent of state libraries were offering at least some e-books to their patrons. But it also found that the most popular titles often were unavailable or too costly for many libraries.

To increase the availability of e-books and other electronic content at libraries, the study recommended, among other things, the creation of a statewide e-book distribution platform.

“As the role of libraries changes, it’s critical that we continue to provide invaluable resources that support the educational advancement of Connecticut citizens in a digital age,” Malloy said “We are leading the nation with the passage of commonsense legislation that will increase educational opportunities for library patrons.”

Jane Fisher, director at the Wallingford Public Library, called Malloy’s signing of the bill “a great thing.”

“I’m glad to see our state is taking the lead on this,” Fisher said. “I think it’s one of the first states in the country to do something like this.”

In order for patrons to download books from their local libraries, their electronic devices must successfully communicate with private electronic platforms. Each library has an electronic platform and while there are a number of vendors that provide this particularly service, the best known one is OverDrive, which is global distributor of e-books.

Connecticut’s plan is to create its own platform. Fisher said she believes that will ultimately drive down what libraries pay these e-book distributors.

Todd Fabian, director of the Woodbridge Town Library, said that creating a statewide distribution platform for e-books will collectively give local libraries buying power that they’ve never had before.

“It has been hard for us to provide patrons with the an adequate number of the most attractive books, the best-sellers,” Fabian said.

To read more, visit New Haven Register online.

 

Connecticut Library Officials Optimistic for e-book Offerings

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