The future: how will e-books affect libraries and the culture of reading?

Val Skelton has an interesting set of comments on the future of e-books in the 8 December 2011 issue of Information today Europe, where she reviews the proceedings of Online Information 2011 .  Several speakers noted that the book industry is becoming somewhat like the music industry, with more consumers downloading material than entering a music store or bookshop.  Inevitably, this will change the way in which media are marketed and will also have a profound effect on the way in which we shop, especially when the new generation of e-books become available.  These are likely to offer a different experience of reading and provide better search and index facilities.  What does it mean for libraries?  Probably that services need to be geared to the “socially-networked” reader; however, what the impact might be in an African context has still to be explored.

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