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August 19, 2010



Hi Brian,

I think that's a great idea about the "auto renewals!" I often find my ebooks/audiobooks returned before I could finish them!

There should of course be a preferences setting somewhere for the borrower to turn the option on or off.

Flora - librarian from Malaysia

walt crawford

Re the autorenewal idea...partly to play devil's advocate, partly semi-serious: Because it reduces the browsability of the library collection. I choose about 95% of the books I get from my public library through shelf browsing. That may be peculiar, but there it is. Is that a major point? Dunno....


@Walt. I had considered the serendipity factor-- My borrowing has changed over the years. Now I browse bookstores and amazon for titles and then check the shelf... if out or missing... I use ILL.

But sure, I'll grant you that accidents happen when your eye falls upon a title you didn't expect to find and it's exactly what you want... but the other side of that argument is -- would you rather have a book sitting on a shelf that could "potentially" be checked out or would you rather have it in the hands of someone who is actually using it?

Oh and I will say this... about ebooks. I know that a number of public libraries are subscribing to overdrive-- I've not used it but I hope to talk with them at the next ala. If they can provide the same quality and range of books as amazon for all devices (nooks, kindles, and ipads) then that is the way to go.

Jen Waller

Something that didn't strike me about ebooks until later...

My first "read all the way through" ebook was "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle." When I mentioned to a friend that I had just finished it she replied, "Oh, that's so long! I don't have time to read that."

I had NO idea how long the book was before I read it. I didn't actually have a good sense of how long it was while I was reading it either. I wonder if would have picked up a nearly 600-page book if it had been sitting on the shelf.

Perception is an interesting phenomenon, no?


Playing devil's advocate as well... The late fees generated by overdue books, while not the primary source of income for a library, would significantly decrease with the advent of courtesy renewals. The libraries that I have worked for have 3 week loan periods, with the option of 2 renewals if there are no holds on the item, and I am inclined to think that more people keep their books about a month than keep them for 9 weeks. So, two courtesy renewals would be nice from the patron side of things, but not such a great idea from the library side.

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