Pew Internet’s latest report on e-reading offers librarians ten valuable lessons on how they can increase the usage and demonstrate the value of their collections.
The 11th corollary — there are “herds” of ebook readers out there whose watering holes are here:
ReadCloud (an Australian site aimed at schools).
These are only five among several to watch. Most of these reader apps are available for the iPad, and even Amazon has introduced the facility to share annotations and comments via Twitter and Facebook in Kindle Fire 6.3.
There is also a new kid on the block: Zola, one to watch if only for its ambition to compete with Google Play and Amazon.
Now, if Overdrive were to enhance its recent acquisition Book.ish with this social reading facility, then …!
Caveat: Michael Kozlowski has this to say about the phenomenon: “In the end, social media in electronic books is severely lacking. … Having more embedded social functions in an e-reading indie app or mainstream company taking [it] to the next level will only help the industry grow and spurn [sic] more companies to offering competing or better options.”
And that’s where the 11th corollary comes in. Librarians might be able to make a difference — introducing (or following) their patrons into the social e-reader experience, making the global more local, sparking local reading groups and reading lists, providing a local human interaction in helping readers find books and answers about them.
If the companies mentioned have not already reached out to the library community and publishers to push this possible next step in the evolution of the book, perhaps the librarians should reach out to the social ebook readers and the publishers?