State of the Digital Arts
by Dick Kaser
One of the first articles we ever published on ebooks was in 1998. That year, consultant Judy Luther reported from the field on the new e-reader devices that were being launched. The article was titled “E-books: The Next Electronic Frontier.”
It took another decade for things to really heat up. In 2008, I reported on a host of developments being talked about at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and by March 2010, when it seemed as if we had waited forever, CIL columnist Janet Balas was still inclined to hesitantly ask, “Has the Ebook’s Time Finally Come?” In this issue, we step back to take a look at where we’ve wound up after another 7 years.
Yin Zhang and Kay Downey have been studying the impact of patron-driven acquisition ebook lending models at Kent State University Libraries for 5 years now. Having reported earlier results in a 2014 issue of CIL, the authors are here to update you on what they’ve learned about how these models can work in your library’s favor.
Christina de Castell (Vancouver Public Library and IFLA member) casts a global net in her review of ebook developments. And our standing columnists, Terence Huwe and Marshall Breeding, provide their observations about how far we have come on our ebook journey.
The digital landscape in libraries isn’t just about ebooks, of course. Columnists Jan Zastrow and Jessamyn West have dedicated their articles to helping you and your patrons learn how to manage your digital assets for the sake of your heirs and successors.
As a bonus, Jeffrey Meyer (Mount Pleasant Public Library in Iowa) shares his top 20 digital reference works that are rich in content, but don’t have paywalls.
Dick Kaser, Executive Editor