As non-profits, couldn’t we just charge cost for an expanded level of service for patrons that selected to buy in. I know that idea upsets a fair hunk of library folks, but remember, it is an increasingly ”content, not containers” world now. Love it or hate it, it’s where we are now and it has to be effectively dealty with. People (aka patrons aka consumers aka customers) don’t give a hoot if they get what they want from the local library, from Amazon or from iTunes. A huge percentage of folks don’t even give a hoot if they have to PAY upfront for a service that might be free (but more slowly delivered and/or less easy to access) at their local library. Heck, I use Netflix (love it) and I have a Public Library less than a mile from my house. For goodness sake, if I’m doing this personally and I am so bold (or presumptuous?) as to write the “Libraryman” blog, something in the system isn’t connecting effectively.
Heck, I have a Netflix account as well! And I would flip for a similar service for books…delivered to my home… I know…I know… Libraryman makes some great points in this essay, don’t miss it!