Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Digital Quicksand, the new Digital Divide...

From the Bibliotecher Dictionary:

Digital Quicksand: the false belief that just because an item (book, journal, article, audio) is available in electronic format, then it must be available instantaneously and free of cost to the user.

If it wasn't bad enough people are trying to close the Digital Divide, there is now a new technology-borne problem on the horizon.  Yeah, it isn't that serious but it still exists.  Unfortunately, in this world of "need it now," people have the tendency to get upset when they cannot get what they what right then and there.

Countless patrons came strolling in after Christmas with their newly unwrapped e-readers wanting to download all those books they wanted to read but never had the time, to only walk away dejected and sometimes pretty upset.  "What do you mean there's a wait list for an ebook??"

Yes, there are holds lists for ebooks.  And yes, the library did not do a good job about letting the public know about how e-book borrowing works.  Well, that might be because libraries, themselves, did not know and still do not since they pathetically take whatever Evil Overdrive gives them, which is just a puppet of publishers.

I try to explain that the library has no real control or say in the matter, well, they do have a say, they could say, "Eff this," and not deal with e-books at all.  But librarians are way to passive-aggressive to do anything about it, so they'd just probably vent about it on their blogs.

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