Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Netbooks & Kindle

I wanted to share a couple of news items that got my attention recently.

First, the New York Times is reporting today that Amazon plans to sell ebooks for Apple products breaking from their previous practice of only selling ebooks for the Kindle. Amazon is hoping not only to extend their dominance in the print book world to the ebook world but also that people exposed to ebooks on iphones and ipods will want to buy the Kindle for a better reading experience. I think this is a significant step forward for ebooks and an interesting strategy to sell more Kindles.

Second, in the March copy of Wired magazine there is an article about netbooks (not yet online). These are small, cheap lap tops with little memory but the ability to connect to the web. Originally designed as a way to get children in poor countries onto the internet they have proven quite popular with adults in rich countries. This goes against the trend of people buying more and more powerful computers and suggests that consumers are starting to realize they don't need super powerful computers to check email, facebook, or twitter. As cloud computing matures many of the most popular computer tasks can be done in a browser that requires less resouces from your computer.

So we see the continued progression of trends toward small, very mobile computers or phones that can function as computers. I'm not sure what all this means for libraries but I think these are trends we need to be thinking about as we plan for the future.

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