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E-Books Poses Challenges For Nation’s Libraries

— Librarians from across the country are in San Diego for the next several days taking part in a national conference about the state of libraries. Organizers say one challenge most libraries are facing is the e-book revolution.

It used to be that you would check-out a book at the library.

Now people are coming to libraries either in person or online with their own e-book readers looking for digital material to download.

How libraries can provide that service when people have different kinds of e-book readers is something librarians are grappling with.

The American Library Association is holding its midwinter conference at the San Diego Convention Center to talk about that and other trends.

ALA president Roberta Stephens says more than 55 percent of public libraries now offer e-books.

“You can see this yourself in your own life. Walk around and you suddenly see people with Kindles, Sony readers, and whatever the formats are. Obviously, it would be a lot better for users if we had a single format to focus on,” she said.

Figuring out how people can access library services through their smart phones or other mobile devices is yet another issue libraries are dealing with.

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