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Daydreaming: Daydreaming about the impact of Ebooks...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Daydreaming about the impact of Ebooks...

Just, a few days ago I was honored to speak at the NEW Jeff Davis County Public Library in Hazlehurst, Georgia. Hazlehurst is a small rural town, much like my own hometown. The function was the meeting of their Friends of the Library Group, which is active and motivated to make their new library the best in all ways.

I made some surprising observations right from the start. Of course there were plenty of crisp new bookshelves laden with volumes of reading luxury, but right up front and also a working part of the library, were rows upon rows of computer stations.  The staff is delighted, and I could tell how proud they are of their new facility.  In addition, there were informal seating clusters, which encourage casual reading and enjoyment through the placement of couches and comfy chairs. 

When the meeting began, I could tell that this is a group of knowledgeable, concerned patrons with a genuine interest in books. Instead of a dusty corner for used books, this group has a small room they fittingly refer to as the Book Store. Volunteers man the room and offer patrons of the library much discounted books, magazines and other reading material.

When it was time for me to speak, I could not resist the opportunity to ask their opinion of e-books.  I expected this group to be very anti-e-book, instead I was surprised by their response.

One member of the group,  a gentleman,  stated it was a revolution.  Many had heard of e-books, but didn't own e-readers or really understand how they were used. 

The most surprising response came from the Library System Director, a booklover who admittedly has books in every room, reads multiple books at one time and owns an e-reader.  She stated what I believe as well, that e-books are not going to replace print, instead that e-books are and have enhanced the reading experience and opportunities.

She also touted the library ebook lending program and the fact that patrons can purchase using a link on the library website to buy via Amazon and help the Library at the same time.

Many of those present, asked very thoughtful questions about how the e-readers work, how to purchase books, adjust font size. 

I can't tell you what a joy it was to speak in front of such a group of obvious book lovers and receive such a warm and hospitable response to this new technology that is changing the landscape of the book loving community one Kindle, Nook and other E-reader at a time...

Do a little Daydreaming for me today,

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