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Indiana Libraries Work Toward Digitization Of Books

Increased demand for e-books is forcing libraries to digitize book collections.

e book

Photo: flickr (VancityAllie)

E-books are becoming more common in library collections in Indiana.

As libraries in Indiana add more digital books to their collections, they’re also being forced to decide whether to shrink their hard copy collections.

In 2008, the Monroe County library had just over 90 thousand electronic books. Last year, that number was more than 9 million.

But Monroe County Public Library Director Sarah Laughlin says the library will also keep its print selection.

“It will be fine if everyone moved to e-books tomorrow, we would know just what to do, we would be spending all our money on e-books, but we still have lot of people requesting books, music and videos in the traditional forms,” Laughlin said.

That creates an additional financial burden some libraries can’t handle.

The Indianapolis Public Library is holding a series of meetings to discuss a long-term plan for its book collection. Director of Collection Management Debra Lambert says the library wants to be sensitive to its customers’ needs and try to serve the needs of patrons using e books and traditional books.

“We envision having the ability to serve both types of users, the ones who want the traditional print books, Lambert said. “More and more people are getting devices so that they are able to use in the public library as well,” Lambert said.

The exact ratio of hard copy to digital books hasn’t been determined.

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