There’s a tightrope across the digital divide that nearly 7,000 librarians meeting this week in Fort Worth are crossing, but some aren’t tiptoeing. They’re leaping across the gap and looking for ways to stay at the forefront of a new age in reading.
Electronic books and digital devices have altered the reading landscape but for the most part America’s six largest publishing houses have tried to keep libraries on the sidelines of the reformation.
Big publishers have limited releases of digital titles to libraries, charged them much more for e-books than printed ones and restricted the number of times that digital books can be checked out before forcing libraries to buy another copy.
Some librarians aren’t willing to let publishers control the revolution.
They are looking to compete by forming their own publishing arms to capitalize on new content streams that have blossomed alongside the e-book tsunami, said Jamie LaRue, director of the Douglas County Library system in Colorado and one of the speakers today at the 100th annual meeting of the Texas Library Association being held at the Fort Worth Convention Center.