According to a recent press release, Sony has partnered with OCLC NetLibrary to give library patrons the opportunity to check out Sony PRS-505 e-Readers for use with collections of NetLibrary e-books. Currently, there are five collections of e-books available including: Career Development and Business Self Help, Management and Leadership, Popular Fiction, Romance, and Young Adult Fiction. When patrons wish to check out the devices, librarians will use the library’s PC to download the e-books from the NetLibrary website to the e-Readers. Depending on the library policies, the e-readers may be checked out for onsite or offsite use.
Patrons at participating libraries will now have a great opportunity to try out the e-reader and e-book technology. Susan Hildreth, State Librarian of California explains, “In an era of diminishing time and resources, libraries can provide valuable convenience and flexibility for their patrons with downloadable books and the opportunity to read them electronically. Twenty-first century libraries are successful when they offer content in the widest variety of formats."
College stores are also investigating sale of SONY Readers – providing an opportunity to add value to the library-based collections and for the college store. Joint marketing or advertising campaigns could help both groups, and companies like Sony, better leverage the device, the content, and the retail opportunities – while reducing costs for students in content and device acquisition.