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Old 08-17-2007, 03:46 PM   #6
annc
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Originally Posted by George View Post
Then, you don't see or predict any trend for libraries going digital?? I was thinking they might be looking at PDFs. But you're right, formating always changes, which creates a problem. And then, what is the longevity of the discs themselves(?), which might be another problem. Still, I'm sure sooner or later it will happen one way or another.
At work (the technical services department of a public library), we buy many audio books on CD, and also provide audio books, music and videos via download. Your local public library almost certainly does this as well. So libraries are very much into digital! Where I work we don't purchase e-books, but they are available for download from our vendor.

In a public library the physical items, no matter what format, don't last long at all. We have not purchased videos or cassettes for several years, and the last of the videos have just been packed up and sent to the nearest prison for indefinite loan. We don't expect to get any back.

Mass market paperbacks last for the fewest loans, trade paperbacks of popular fiction authors last around 18 months, hardback fiction lasts for around 100 loans at most. And they will almost certainly have been repaired at some time during those 100 loans

CDs and DVDs have a very finite life. we sometimes discuss what people do with library CDs and DVDs. They all look as if they're used as coasters for much of the time they're out on loan. I just looked at a fairly new library DVD I've got here and it's already badly scratched, yet my own music CDs are scratchless, even the very old ones. When they come to the end of their useful life, we have to consider whether we need to replace them. Bear in mind that we have different bibliographical records for print and digital media, that a replaced CD or DVD has to be added to the holdings record, have a new barcode and RFID tag attached and programmed, and spine and title labels generated, printed and applied. It's very labour-intensive, and this would apply to the PDFs on CD that you are considering
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