Exactly what libraries need?

You know, I might harp on a bit about this whole ebooks/digital thing, but away from the news-grabbing stories of iPad this and epub that, there are some pretty cool developments taking place which are a really positive thing for reading as a whole.

For instance, you may not be aware of Bloomsbury Library Online, I wasn’t until about a fortnight ago. The good people at Bloomsbury are working with libraries around the country to make books available to their readers online on a subscription basis. So, the library buys a virtual shelf of titles, available through company Exact Editions, and Mr and Mrs Bloggs can sign in with their library card number and view all the available books online in a simple format that isn’t too far removed from the printed page. Even better, you won’t be frustrated to find that the book you want to read is out on loan since multiple readers can access the book at the same time – how cool is that?

And particularly cool it was to discover that my library authority was one of the early subscribers (clever people out where I live) so I could now revisit what is possibly my favourite book of the noughties – Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell – and not have the galomphingly huge book to lug around at the same time!

Lesley Crooks, Sales & Marketing

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