An Online Discussion about eBooks and Public Libraries (via Elluminate)
May 17th from 1:30 – 2:30 PM

** Prerequisite: Read (or scan the summaries) the COSLA eBook report
(available at

In the fall of 2009, Kansas State Librarian Jo Budler and the other Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (their group is called COSLA) began a conversation about eBooks. What will they mean to the future of libraries, especially public libraries? Will libraries be able to turn another digital format to its advantage, as they have with audiobooks? Or is it different this time? COSLA members wanted to arm themselves for action, instead of waiting to see how commercial forces would impact popular reading materials and the public library’s central role in providing them.

To research this topic, COSLA formed a task force (with Jo Budler as a member) and worked with Pinpoint Logic, a design strategy and research consultancy firm. Together, COSLA and Pinpoint Logic crafted a readable and informative study. They talked to library leaders and industry experts who raised critical issues that shaped their thinking. They changed direction as they learned more, moving away from product design and toward areas of opportunity for public libraries and eBooks.  In the report, you’ll read concerns and ideas about access and ease of use for library eBooks, library purchasing models, shifting relationships with vendors and publishers, cost and selection, copyright and fair use, and how to make the public
library’s voice heard as eBooks change how people read for leisure and learning. The report finds new roles for public libraries and it includes scenarios for action.

You are invited to read (or at least scan) the COSLA eBook Feasibility Study and then to participate in an online discussion about the report’s findings. If you don’t have time to read the study, you are still welcome to join the session.

Just let me know.

Brenda Hough
Northeast Kansas Library System

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