The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Libraries experience evolution

Modern libraries have no place for antiquities such as card catalog files and typewriters.

But will books soon give way to progress as well? Perhaps.

Last spring, each TCC campus library began acquiring two full-color Nooks, a Kindle Fire and an iPad. So far, the e-readers have been available for faculty use only.

Students have not had access to the e-readers because TCC faculty are in the process of deciding how they can best utilize the technology, NE library services director Mark Dolive said.

The questions seem to be how many students have e-readers, whether faculty are comfortable using them and if libraries should purchase more e-readers for student use or purchase more digital management rights, which could translate into big bucks.

Also, it remains to be seen what publishers will do in regard to allowing libraries access to their copyright-protected content, Dolive said.

If the issue of big bucks can be surpassed, the rest seems to be a no-brainer although some die-hard bibliophiles will stubbornly resist change.

Some love the feel of real books. They like pages that can be dog-eared and highlighted with non-electronic highlighters. They even like the patina and smell of aging paper.

But even though their old hardcover and softcover friends are easier on the eyes, they do not want to be left in the dark ages.

E-readers with e-ink technology that seem more like paper are making the transition easier.

However, to purchase additional e-readers for student use does not seem the most efficient use of funds for several reasons. One reason is that loaned items, especially electronics, do not seem to fare well in the hands of others.

Also, technology is changing so rapidly that by the time libraries become stocked with a particular type of e-reader, it can be in danger of becoming obsolete.

And many students have them already because they are becoming more affordable. Nearly every student has a cell phone, and free e-reader apps such as the Nook Study are available.

Although information is sometimes more difficult to find in e-textbooks, they are more mobile and could ease back pain for all-day students struggling underneath the load of book-laden backpacks.

Students want to move forward. They want access to books, and they want what is economical. But, they also want choices. To have the option of choosing what device e-books will be downloaded onto is important for today’s readers.

Ideally, the choices will continue to include their hardcover and softcover friends as well.

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