E-books and Advanced Technology: How They Affect Today’s World

By Michelle Magnotta

E-books: everyone has an opinion on them. Some say they will never read a book on a screen, loving the feel and smell of printed books. Others won’t go back to typical books again. I personally own a Kindle and love it. However, most of the books I want to read aren’t available on OverDrive, my public library’s domain for borrowing library e-books for free.

There are several article blurbs on the online Library Journal site which discuss the good, bad and the ugly concerning e-books. One article, “Penguin Drops Side Loading Requirement for Kindle Lending,” by Matt Enis advises that Penguin, the publishing company, has just changed their loaning terms and conditions for downloading e-books using OverDrive.  In the past, patrons have had to download books to their computers first and then transfer them to Kindles, but now they are able to download titles directly onto Kindle using OverDrive.

Another article, “Q&A: Recorded Books VP Matt Walker” by The Digital Shift, advertises a workshop called “The Digital Shift: Reinventing Libraries,” to be held on online on October 16.th   The program will discuss how libraries have changed in the digital age.

Will libraries go 100% digital in the near future, leaving no need for “real” books, or—gasp—librarians? Some already have. For example, Gollis University in Somalia has a digital library which opened last year, featuring thousands of books in soft format. The first all-digital library in the United States is Bexar County, Texas and is called the “BiblioTech”.

Another article which touches upon these issues is “Stepinac Goes All Digital” by Gary Stern. Archbishop Stepinac High School is a private, Catholic all boys school in White Plains, New York. It is one of the first schools in the country to have all digital text books. Each student buys an iPad and uses it throughout high school, the article explains. The cost of textbooks adds up to about the same amount in the long run, so it is well worth it for families to invest in this piece of equipment. Another benefit of having an iPad for school is the apps which are downloaded onto it, such as an app for grading student essays for grammar, as well as repeating ideas throughout the work. It suggests how the essay can be improved as well.

Having things like digital libraries and iPads will make doing research much easier. Nowadays, we use libraries to search the Web for research projects or for other information more than we read books. When our parents were kids, they relied heavily on encyclopedias and other printed resources to do their homework. In the future, the more abundant all-digital libraries are, the easier it will be to find information. J. McGrath’s paper, “Methodology Matters: Doing Research in the Behavioral and Social Sciences,” discusses research methods in depth. In the near future, perhaps these methods will change because of advanced technology.

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Michelle Magnotta

Hi! My name is Michelle. I have a BA in Spanish and I'm in the Master's of Library Science program at Pratt.

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