New online bookstore may pose threat to traditional libraries

4 years 3 months 1 week ago Wednesday, April 08 2015 Apr 8, 2015 Wednesday, April 08, 2015 7:19:00 PM CDT April 08, 2015 in News
By: Derek Brizendine, KOMU 8 Reporter
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BOONVILLE - A new online bookstore, Oyster, may pose as new competition to traditional libraries.

On Wednesday, Oyster announced it would open a new online bookstore on its platform. The service will make more than one million books available to customers. The site is also opening the store up to non-subscribers as well.

With a new online source available to get books, Gloria Barbour, regional supervisor of the Boonslick Regional Library, said  the library is working on new ways to compete with online book sources.

"We realize that libraries are not just about books any longer," Barbour says.

Barbour said the library has teamed up with an eBook consortium, Missouri Libraries 2 Go, which allows patrons who have a library card to access free and downloadable eBooks and audio books.

Even though the library is moving online, Barbour said she doesn't think eBooks will replace traditional libraries anytime soon.

"I think a lot of libraries are having a mixture of books as well as the eBooks," Barbour said. "We serve all generations and all populations."

Barbour said the library must find a way to accommodate all guests by having a good mixture of traditional and eBooks.

"Our older generations may not be as comfortable with the eReaders or the tablets or the iPhones," Barbour said. "We also have a lot of younger generation who still prefer the hard covers and the paperbacks."

Barbour said she still has lots of people coming into the library looking for the hardback books. She said the hardback books have nostalgic value.

"Who doesn't like to curl up with a good book," Barbour asked. "That's what we have a lot of our patrons say. That's what I like, too."

Barbour said the library is always finding new ways to appeal to everyone and keep up with technology while keeping the traditions of a brick-and-mortar library.

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