I got a chance to visit the exhibit floor of the California Library Association Conference. With the economy and the rapid changes in the industry I was surprised to see as many vendors as I did.
However, I didn't see e-book device vendors. I did see examples of e-book readers so I was able to view some of the well know devices like the Kindle and the one from Sony.
This is a short video that I recorded on a scanner system that could make a lot of sense to an academic library. This is just for demonstration purposes only, no endorsement is intended or implied.
Maybe this is the sign of the times. I was shocked to learn that the bad apple kind of students have been tearing pages out of reference books and flat out stealing materials.
Maybe a device like this could be set up so that those less than ethical students would not have access to the actual reference book but could acquire the readings that they need for class via a .pdf document.
Now knowing bad apples they way I do I wouldn't necessarily expect that they would pay for their readings. These are the kind of folks that would talk a friend into paying for them with the promise of paying them back later. (Cough!)
Another idea was that this could replace the photocopy machine. Since many students have access to e-mail, USB devices and other recordable media the student or staff member could scan the material and load it into the USB device or save as a .pdf
This could be the same amount of money used to charge for a copy but you wouldn't have the paper and the repair costs associated with the copy machines. Now don't think that the copy machine folks haven't thought about this because there are copy machines that can scan to .pdf and have the document e-mailed to the user.
Well, it is a though. But if you were looking to buy the library a holiday gift I'm thinking this would not be necessarily turned down.