The British Library invites readers to explore the future of the book.
Over the next three months a new display from the British Library will give readers the chance to test drive three e-readers from Sony and iRex Technologies currently available in the UK.
Situated on the 1st floor of the Library's flagship building at St Pancras, the e-reader display will give visitors the chance to familiarise themselves with these new devices and to freely explore the possible recreational and research benefits of the e-book revolution.
Offering a hugely versatile reading experience, e-readers have seen an explosion of interest in recent months, with leading publishing experts suggesting that the industry has finally hit its 'iPod moment'. As one of the World's greatest research Libraries and a leader in the UK's knowledge economy, the British Library has a vital role to play in ensuring our readers are equipped with the digital literacy skills to be able to use such technology and thrive in the 21st century research environment.
Traditionally, e-readers have struggled to compete with the traditional book due to issues with low battery life and the use of harsh back-lit screens. Overcoming these obstacles through the use of e-ink technology, e-reading devices are more capable of satisfying reader expectations and can deliver a variety of additional functions such as the ability to vary font size, access WiFi and make annotations. Devices on display include: Sony Reader;iRex DR1000; The iLiad.
The e-readers on display have been pre-loaded with material currently available on the market. However, in the future, the British Library hopes to exploit e-reader technology to facilitate access to our own digital collections.
Picture: Flickr; Creative Commons: Jurvetson