Ebook Woes in the Ethicist

Did you catch the library related question in this week’s The Ethicist column?

Through my public library, I can check out a book on my Kindle for 21 days. Then the system sends a signal to erase the book and make it available for someone else. But there’s a loophole: if my Kindle is offline, the book isn’t deleted and is still available for another reader. So if I need another day, I leave the Kindle offline and continue until I’m done. When I go back online, the book is deleted. I say that’s fine. But my co-worker says that I promised to return it after 21 days — just like a physical book — and I must honor that promise.

Phone Booth Guerilla “Libraries”

Have you seen this project by the fictional Department of Urban Betterment? It is a pretty neat repurposing some (largely) outmoded infrastructure to something else: an honors system book swap.

I know the word “library” has a few uses but I’m also a bit sad that we haven’t elevated it beyond the common “pile of books” use.

More at How New York Pay Phones Became Guerrilla Libraries

Academic Library Circ Extrapolated

This chart shows the upper/lower quartiles and median for circulation per FTE student. As you can see this data shows a much more dramatic drop in the circulation of library materials. Rising student populations hide this fact.

More from Will Kurt in his post The End of Academic Library Circulation?

Remind me again why we insist on grasping at straws with eBook outrage, holding on to an old model of librarianship?

Operation Book Drop

A bookstore in Salt Lake CIty had some promotional book covers designed, wrapped them around books donated by publishers, and dropped them around town.

If you’ve been fortunate enough to discover one of the 878 books we’ve left lying around Salt Lake City, you’re undoubtedly elated, but probably also a bit curious about our objectives. It’s simple, we love books and our greatest passion is in sharing this love and promoting literacy in our community, which is why we’ve emptied truckloads of free books specially wrapped in seven custom Weller Book Works covers all around town. So keep your eyes peeled because there are literally hundreds of great books out there just begging to be read and spread. If you do find a book, read it and leave it somewhere for someone else to find and enjoy. If you can’t wait to find one of our free books, come visit our new location at Trolley Square and we’ll set you up with something just right.

More from Weller Book Works