Librarians don’t favor e-books

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 24, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – In recent years, librarians throughout the nation have debated the role that electronic books, or e-books, will have in the library of the future.

The American Library Association defines an e-book as a written work that is readable on a computer screen and is either downloaded to a computer or digital assistant or placed on a reader designed for that purpose.

Many e-book titles are classic literature, although more first-run books are available than ever before. In fact, author Stephen King released his novella &uot;Riding the Bullet&uot;&160;exclusively in e-book format last year.

But Concordia Parish Librarian Amanda Taylor does not see the advent of electronic books ever replacing the traditional bound versions.

&uot;People just like the feel of a book in their hands,&uot; Taylor said.

But when the prices of e-books go down, Taylor is willing to buy a few to stock in the Concordia Parish Library to test their popularity with patrons.

Beverly Aldridge, a librarian for 17 years before she retired and a member of the George W. Armstrong Library in Natchez for 23 years, agrees with Taylor’s views.

&uot;I don’t find the e-books very satisfactory,&uot; she said. &uot;I like the feeling of holding a book in my hand and turning the pages.&uot;

Books on tape are another matter, as their popularity has soared. Aldridge enjoys books on tape during automobile trips as do many other patrons of the Armstrong Library .

The library’s director Donna Janky said books on tapes are one of the fastest growing collections in the Natchez library. &uot;Many of these are donated,&uot; she said.