overdrive/netlibrary meeting – a dramatic reenactment

I went to a great meeting today. It was a collection of Vermont librarians interested in possibly purchasing digital audiobooks for use in their libraries. It was an informal no vendor meeting to discuss and compare options, look at what did and didn’t work in New Hampshire with Overdrive and get everyone on the same page regarding what has and hasn’t already been done and how the systems work. It was fun, I met some new people and I learned some things. I IMed with a friend from the meeting (yay for library wifi – thanks Brown Public Library) and told him I was talking about downloadable audiobooks and he thought I was in a vendor meeting. He transcribed my likely scenario thusly.

Vendor: DRM DRM DRM DRM
Library: FREE AND OPERABLE
Vendor: DRM DRM DRM DRM
Library: F*ck you.
Vendor: Whatever.. good luck finding another vendor
Library: Grawr. DRM :(

So true. We had maybe two viable options for a library-grade downloadable audiobook service. The weird part is that patrons can more easily buy their own content, but to get the “checkoutability” it requires DRM and that puts this into the arena of the heavy hitters vendorwise.

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