I was fortunate to be asked to write a news piece on the December 6th opening of the Google ebookstore for Information Today's NewsBreaks section. The open access article, titled "Google's eBookstore Takes Ebooks to the Next Level," is available at their site. This new ebook entrant is a true game-changer for the ebook industry - and for publishing and libraries.
Google has deep pockets to fund ventures, an existing vault of millions of scanned books in Google Book, the standard search engine and extensive experience with web advertising and metrics. The industry itself - from the American Booksellers Association to competitors like Amazon, Borders and Barnes & Noble were quick to react.
How this will all work out is still to be determined, but we are clearly entering a new era of publishing, retailing and information use and sales. Libraries need to be paying close attention - after all cities and institutions are re-evaluating the role and cost of libraries, such as Camden New Jersey's recent proposal to close their public libraries. In this economy, libraries and their staffs and services are vulnerable.
You might want to give the article a quick read. I think this is critically important to the future of information, libraries, information access and reading. Your thoughts?