The Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader are spreading their influence across libraries, especially in North America. Our guest this month is Orion Pozo from North Carolina State University where he has helped rollout a couple of Sony Readers and a few dozen Kindles of various versions, for students to loan.
The interest of the Gang this month (Marshall Breeding, Carl Grant, Frances Haugen) soon moved on from the student experience and current practicalities at NCSU, to the wider potential and impact of eBooks on the world of libraries.
There was some disagreement on timing, but all were clear as to size of revolution that readily available eBooks in open formats, on devices that add value to the reading experience, will have on libraries over the next few years. It may not be too long before the roles, of normal format and special request technical novelty, of the book and the eBook are reversed.
As a former project manager on Google Book Search, Frances provided some insights in to their experience in this area and the way the current settlement with authors and publishers going through legal processes at the moment will influence the spread of books in digital form in libraries.
Also announced in this month's show were the three winners of the Mashup Idea Competition - check them out.