"In order for libraries to fulfill their role in society, it is important that they be able to loan e-books."
The way people read is changing.
After centuries of relying on books, readers are increasingly turning to computers, smartphones, and other electronic devices to view the printed word. According to the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, more than one in five people 16 years or older have read at least one e-book in the last year.
There's every reason to believe the number of e-book readers will increase: a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers projected that e-books will make up half of the United States trade book market by 2016. That's an astonishing statistic, but it's also a reflection of the world in which we live.
Our country's libraries are preparing for the rise of e-books. About 76% of the public libraries across the country--including all of those in my home state of Tennessee, I'm proud to say--are already offering e-books, and about 39% of all libraries nationwide offer e-readers. However, many people aren't yet aware of the availability of e-books in libraries. The...