Monday, February 28, 2011

A Change in the Future of eBooks?!

Our staff has been very excited over the last little while to be able to provide our patrons with free eBooks via Overdrive. Basically this is how Overdrive works (for a more detailed explanation, check out our third blog post):
  • You log in with your library card number from the library or home.
  • You pick a book you want to check out in either eBook or audiobook format.
  • You transfer that book to your favourite device, whether it be an iPod, or Sony Reader.
This sounds like a flawless service with over 40 000 titles available in digital format, completely free to anyone with a library card. However, Overdrive was recently faced with a major road block, when Harper Collins announced that they were going to put a limit on the amount of times a book can be checked out, allowing only 26 circulations per title before the book disappears, and needs to be purchased again.

Harper Collins is imposing this 26 check out rule because they believe that since printed books have a certain lifespan that this should be true for the digital title as well. I concede that printed books do eventually need to be replaced... but the idea that a book is discarded and re-purchased after just 26 uses is ridiculous.

One recently popular book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has circulated just short of fifty times, and is in perfectly acceptable condition -- we won't be replacing our paperback copy of this book any time soon. By Harper Collins' standards, though, we should be purchasing our third copy of this book in the near future, discarding two other adequate copies. We have books that have circulated far more than fifty times as well, and still remain on the shelves. So why only 26 checkouts?

This topic, being addressed as Harper Collins Overdrive or #hcod on Twitter, threatens the future of eBooks in libraries. If we are expected to replace a book as frequently as Harper Collins demands, it will be much more cost-efficient to stay with the traditional paper book format, where books can circulate until we deem they are unfit to be checked out.

Another option, which has been embraced by many libraries throughout North America, is to boycott titles by Harper Collins. (You can find more information here: ) Yes, this would be much more cost effective and while this course of action may cause Harper Collins to annul their previous decision, what if it doesn't? And what if other contributors to Overdrive follow suit? eBooks in small libraries really won't be a feasible option.

Our library has not taken any official action in regards to HCOD. We are interested in finding out what you think of the issue. If you would like to assert a position and let us know what you think, please comment below!

If you're looking for more information on this issue, check out the links below:

This is a collection of other blogs written by librarians and non-librarians in regards to HCOD:

Library Journal's report:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bye Bye, Borders....?

Again, I have turned to my Facebook friends for blog posts. My friend Matt (mentioned in earlier posts), replied with "How the Borders book chain is going out of business in the U.S. and what that means for the printed book?"

Here is what I come back with: Upon reading the news articles online; Borders has been failing for years. It's been a slow and painful process, and it's one of those "Finally!" moments. The book store chain filed for bankruptcy protection and would close 1/3 of it's store in the United States and try and get back on it's feet. I say Good Luck. There are way too many competitors out there for the company to recoup the hundreds of millions it's lost in revenue. It's LARGE competitors are:  Barnes and Noble, Walmart, and Costco. It's electronic book competitors are Apple, and Amazon. Borders has been sluggish and unable to keep up with the pack in the rapidly changing industry.

So my answer to Matt is that with Borders closing, it does not affect the printed book in a big way. There are plenty of other places to get printed books, or eBooks for that matter.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Reading Challenge! --S--

Don't judge me. I'm one of those Jersey Shore Fans. I had nothing else to watch in my free time and I'm thinking, "What's this Jersey Shore everyone is watching?" I downloaded the first season and instantly got hooked. It's just as drama packed as The Hills (which sadly no longer runs). Yes, I know Jersey Shore is completely stupid... but I can't get enough of it. These people are hilarious! I love watching other people's drama!

So, onto the blog topic. I just finished 'Snooki's' book, A Shore Thing. I recommend this book to all JS fans. It's basically what Lauren Conrad did when she left The Hills. It's "fiction", yet oddly resembles alot of what happened in the show! How odd.... (I wasn't fooled). A Shore Thing does have a lot more fiction in it, and if you watch JS then you'll see resemblances every so often. I enjoyed the book..couldn't put it down (even though I was suppose to help my fiancee build our bathroom downstairs..oops).
Giovanna "Gia" Spumanti and her cousin Isabella "Bella" Rizzoli are going to have the sexiest summer ever. While they couldn't be more different—pint-size Gia [Snooki?] is a carefree, outspoken party girl and Bella is a tall, slender athlete [JWoww?] who always holds her tongue—for the next month they're ready to pouf up their hair, put on their stilettos, and soak up all that Seaside Heights, New Jersey, has to offer: hot guidos, cool clubs, and lots of tequila. So far, Gia's summer is on fire. Between nearly burning down their rented bungalow, inventing the popular "tan-tags" at the Tantastic Salon where she works, and rescuing a shark on the beach, she becomes a local celebrity overnight. Luckily, she meets the perfect guy to help her keep the flames under control. Firefighter Frank Rossi is exactly her type: big, tan, and Italian. But is he tough enough to handle Gia when things really heat up? Bella is more than ready for some fun in the sun. Finally free of her bonehead ex-boyfriend, she left home in Brooklyn with one goal in mind: hooking up with a sexy gorilla for a no-strings-attached summer fling. In no time, she lands a job leading "Beat Up the Beat" [PaulyD?]dance classes at a local gym, and is scooped up by Beemer-driving, preppy Bender Newberry. Only problem: Bella can't get her romantic and ripped boss Tony "Trouble" Troublino [Sitch?] out of her head. He's relationship material. Suddenly, Bella's not sure what she wants. The cousins realize that for every friend they make on the boardwalk, there are also rivals, slummers, and frenemies who will do anything to ruin their summer—and try their relationship. Before July ends, the bonds of family and friendship will be stretched to the breaking point. Will the haters prevail, or will Gia and Bella find love at the Shore?


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Reading Challenge!--R--

Since I've accomplished everything else on my list tonight, I've decided to update Jordan's Reading Challenge blog! Last week I finished the book "The Radley's" by Matt Haig. I remember stamping and barcoding this book months ago and thinking I wanted to read it, but I completely forgot about it.

I really enjoyed this book. It's kind of a British version of Twilight. But it's a lot less...teen love garbage, and more dramatic. The Radleys, though vampiric in nature, are strictly suburbanites. Peter Radley is the town doctor. His wife, Helen, belongs to the local book club and hosts dinner parties. They have neighbours and a mortgage. The kids go to high school, though they are picked on for being weird. Haig has added some nice touches as to how the vampires manage their condition: They wear a lot of sunscreen, they avoid Italian food due to a garlic “allergy” and, most important, they are “abstainers.” In other words, they don’t drink human blood. Yet they do eat a great deal of rare red meat. Of course, the status quo is altered when the teenage daughter decides to become a vegan, which sets of an exciting chain of events. I won't go further into detail, because I'll ruin the book.

If you like the IDEA of Twilight, but not all the teen mushy stuff, I recommend this read. Think of it as a blend of Twilight, and Nip/Tuck (not the surgery aspect of it... the dramatic storyline of it).

And that covers the R portion of the reading challenge! Next!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Blog Challenge #40

Ten Guilty Pleasures- Books

Some of these choices are indeed something I probably wouldn't share with people; normally. Since I work at a library, I've made this into guilty pleasures in regards to books. It only makes sense.

1.) Twilight Saga: Ahhh teenage love. It's a beautiful thing. I'm not ashamed or embarassed to admit to owning these books. I know a lot of people; ages varying, male and female, who have read these books--and loved them. And then read them all at least once more. I was skeptical to read them at first, and I held off for a while (because I'm extremely stubborn); but I eventually gave in. I devoured the first book. I was hooked. It introduces this beautifully written, teenage love. It reminded me of my own high school love. In a way, I didn't want to give that feeling up, so I literally spent a week reading them..non-stop. And I'm not the only one!

2.) Nicholas Sparks novels: Who doesn't love a love story? Nicholas Sparks novels overwhelm you with romance. Yet, he writes about every kind of love; from family to romantic. The books contains situations and characters that people can relate to. He will always be a favourite of mine.

3.) Jodi Picoult novels: Her books involve love, controversial issues, religion, and law. I originally started reading her novels by picking up My Sister's Keeper, and loved it. I have found that every book has a large law aspect in it, as well as some sort of controversial issue, and of course; love. She's like my female Nicholas Sparks; but add my love of law to the mix as well.

4.) Biography/Memoirs: I have read Dog the Bounty Hunter's biography because I LOVE his show, but it's actually a very insightful book. You learn about his life, his jail time and his family. It makes you think twice about making fun of his mullet and his leather vest, because he's led an amazing life. And he's awesome! I wish I were one of his MANY children, because I would love to be working with him. I'm sure I could pull off a leather vest.....
Another couple of my favourite memoires (that you would probably just briefly glance at in the book store) is that of Cupcake Brown; and Kerry Cohen. Don't just glance over them, they're amazing and insightful.

5.) Books that make you cry they're so funny: Anything written by Chelsea Handler. She's a comedian; clearly it will not disappoint. I've laughed so much, my husband will come upstairs from the basement and ask what is going on; because I sound like a lunatic, laughing alone. Also, if you don't offend easily, read Tucker Max. Two books written purely about his sexual (usually way above the legal intoxication level) escapades.

6.) Books that teach you stuff: Dan Brown books (Davinci Code and Angels and Demons). It's great that they're fiction books but with true facts in them (I got the books with the pictures in them too, which makes it better). Who doesn't love learning?!

7.) Teen books: It's slightly embarassing to admit that I'm a 23 year old and I still read teen books. BUT, I did start reading the series when I was indeed a teenager. The Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging is hilarious. I will continue to buy these books until she stops writing them.

8.) Reading books on my phone. I love my Kobo application. I can't always fit a book into my purse (even though it's really big and could probably fit my dog, it's always full--of what, I don't know) and it's very convenient.

9.) E.B. White books: Classic chilren's books that will always remain on my shelf and in my heart. Charlotte's Web, Trumpet of the Swan, and Stuart Little will be books that I pass on to my children.

10.) Even though I own 2 eReaders and an iPhone; buying books (with paper) just for the feel and smell of a read book.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Killjoy and A Bend in the Road

It’s a relatively quiet day at the library today, (although I’m sure a crowd of people will storm in now just because I wrote that) so I’m taking this rare silence as an opportunity to write the first book blog for the blogging challenge. I posted this challenge in January, and since then I’ve read two books. One of the stipulations of my challenge was, that upon completion of a book, bloggers should write about it. I guess I should be the one to set an example, so I’m going to fill you in on what I thought about Killjoy by Julie Garwood and A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks.

Killjoy – Julie Garwood

This book was a re-read for me, although it’s been a couple years since I read it last. I love the feeling of re-reading books especially when you don’t remember all the events and the final outcome, but you just know it’s a good book! Killjoy is the third book in a series by Julie Garwood, and although I haven’t read the first two yet, I didn’t feel as though I was missing anything when I read it.

I love how creepy this book is! That might sound weird in a way, but the spooky, unpredictable story line Garwood builds is fantastic. It’s amazing how she was able to come up with a lot of the events in this book. Her characters are super memorable too, which is why I’ve started reading the fourth book in this series. If you love a creepy and shocking thriller, read this book. I love it, and honestly, I’m excited to re-read it a couple years in the future and experience the anticipation that this novel creates all over again.

*The Powassan Library has this book, along with some others in the series.

A Bend in the Road – Nicholas Sparks

I finally got around to reading this book, which I received for Christmas. Although it’s been sitting on my shelves for a short period of time, I think this fills the criteria of a book that’s been sitting on my shelf unread as mentioned in the details of the challenge.

This story was good, but definitely not my favourite of Nicholas Sparks’ novels. While the story was exciting, I felt as though parts of it were irrelevant to the final outcome of the book. If you’re not a Nicholas Sparks fan already, don’t venture into his world of overwhelming romance with this novel.

*The Powassan Library has this book, with a copy in large print as well.

If you’ve read either of these books, leave some comments and let me know whether you agreed with my thoughts or totally disagree!

Challenge Accepted… and Completed!

#59 Twitter is Too Simple – Twitter is Just Right

This post is in response to the Blog Challenge (which you will find two posts below). I’ve decided to tackle #59: Twitter is Too Simple – Twitter is Just Right. That leaves ninety-eight topics for everyone else, including #55: Breaking Down My Favourite Blog where someone can write all about our library blog, and why you love it! I definitely look forward to reading that one!

I picked this topic because I’ve recently had a change in perspective about Twitter. A major change in perspective – as in, I’ve gone from loathing it to using it multiple times daily. I guess I was hesitant to start using Twitter because I’d been devoted and loyal to Facebook for about four years… possibly addicted. Facebook had everything I could possibly want in social networking. I loved the photo sharing, the many ways to communicate and how I could know what my friends and relatives were up to. Twitter didn’t seem to have any of that. There was no chat option, no place to create photo albums… honestly, it just seemed like Twitter was Facebook on a very limited scale.

I probably wouldn’t have even created an account on Twitter, but part of my job here is to provide computer training to those who need it. Twitter is a big thing; you hear about tweeting and twitter not only from friends but also in the news. Of course I’d have to offer a class on Twitter, because people would be interested in it. Cue the Powassan Library’s Twitter registration. At this point, Twitter was just a work thing for me. I tweeted from the library account about library events and such, but didn’t really follow anyone. I guess I still didn’t get the appeal of Twitter. (If you are a Twitter user or think you might become one after my oh-so-inspirational blog post, follow us:

About a month ago, I created a personal Twitter account out of boredom. I followed a couple friends, and a bunch of celebrities who were known for their chronic Twitter use. I downloaded an app for Twitter on my phone. (I have a Palm Pre, and the app is called Tweed for those of you who are interested) Now, I find myself checking my Twitter account almost as often as I check my Facebook. I still use both, but I’ve discovered that on Twitter, my creeping isn’t limited to just family and friends. I follow accounts like awfullibbooks which highlights some of the awful library books discarded from libraries all over. I follow OverDriveLibs, which is a eBook and audiobook service the library subscribes to. Although I’m ashamed to admit it, I am following many of the spotlight loving reality stars that my generation seems to be drawn to. I’m even following northbaynugget where I can get up to the date news updates… cool!

If you’ve tried Twitter and you still feel like it’s too simple, start following some of your favourite celebrities, follow your favourite library (remember, and follow some local business. The more interesting people you’re following, the better your Twitter experience will be! Find out how to share pictures (it’s a little more difficult than on Facebook), and links, and I guarantee you will actually like Twitter.

Happy Tweeting!