Monday, September 12, 2011

Amazon+Netflix+Internet = Libraries' Destruction?

Amazon is thinking about a subscription service ala netflix for books. OK, I've been predicting this for a while- but more as for a service for libraries to subscribe to. However, if this is offered like netflix, how much longer can we compete? Let's look at it, shall we. Netflix for $8/month. Internet for $15/month. Amazon for (i'm totally guessing here) $15/month. So, we've got $38 per month. Another couple of hundred per year for an e-reader and a roku box/appletv. That's about $650 per year. For a family of 4 that would be $162.50 annual per person. (the first year, this would go down to about $100/year/person after the initial device expenditures). San Francisco public library spends approximately $86 per capita. What happens when the cost in san fran is more than the companies? How long before libraries can't compete? When do we admit defeat? When is it going to be cheaper to simply provide the poor with their own devices and accounts?
Is this what my job is going to be in 15 years?


Tom said...

Ummm... your post would be a little more relevant if libraries provided nothing but books and movies.

You failed to mention many programs and services provided at the public library besides those things.

spencer said...

what services, other than these, do libraries provide that aren't provided elsewhere by the same tax dollars? That people care about?

Jean Costello said...

Hi Spencer - I've got offline conversations going on with some really sharp libarians around the country. Would appreciate adding you to my list of 'best and brightest'. If you're interested, can you drop me a line using the contact form on my website? Then I'll reach back with my address so we can message more directly.

Keep the faith - Jean :)

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