I found this article very interesting. It’s the first time I had read about the various approaches (Social Libraries, Circulating libraries etc.). I noticed private law libraries weren’t mentioned. I’ve read that lawyers used to collect their own private collections of law books. They were an important local repository of legal information.
One thing that was not addressed is copyright.
Sounds a little like peer to peer file sharing. I find it ironic that Ben Franklin would be in serious trouble these days. Books are one of the few creative properties that can be freely shared. I can loan a book to anyone I choose. Obviously I can’t copy it and distribute it. Otherwise, I can use my book however I want.
That may soon change. Electronic books once again opens up that nasty issue of copyright. Amazon recently reached out and deleted books they sold to kindle users across the country.
Will electronic books eventually threaten public libraries? Will we ever have complete ownership of books in electronic formats?