E-Books, Libraries and the Lessons of Blockbuster

I’m very interested in the impact of e-books on libraries and have been doing a lot of reading on the subject lately.  I came across this article about the unprecedented fall of Blockbuster (which is contrasted with the rise of NetFlix) and it makes me wonder – are libraries more like Blockbuster?  Or are they more like NetFlix?

[Blockbuster’s fall is] such a great example of a company resting on its laurels and getting blindsided. But it’s hardly even fair to call it a “blindsiding”. Blockbuster probably could have done dozens of things to counter the rise of Netflix in that initial six year space. They were either simply too arrogant, too slow, too stupid, or all of the above to make a move.

I don’t know what impact e-books will have on libraries but like everyone, I have my theories.  But reading that article, all I can hope is that we’re not Blockbuster – assuming we have a safe, secure position in society, that nothing can threaten us, that no major technological shift could upend (or just end?) our entire existence.

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