One of the reasons why librarians don't talk very much about ebook platform choice is because, by and large, we've already decided the matter. Libraries have made their choice, voted with their dollars and their energies, and have overwhelmingly selected Overdrive as our platform.
Yes, we have outsourced ourselves with an ebook platform that betrays many of the values that the public admires us for in exchange for a user-experience that be described in any variation of the word horrific.
I don't think it's too late to change our minds. In fact, I think there will come a day when we will have to change our minds.
And that's because no platform can out-perform the Internet in terms of speed, participation, and innovation. And while is Amazon.com is very, very large, it will never contain all the reading material that you would like to read.
Like many, many people, I do a tremendous amount of reading all day (emails, activity feeds, blog posts, news articles, and - uh - journal articles) and most of my reading is material is done online. Only a fraction of my reading is deep, slow reading - and only if I have enough strength to read in the 20 minutes immediately before bed. As I have said before, the web is my reading platform and Zotero is my library.
But imagine this: instead of investing in Overdrive, what if libraries invested in Readbility instead?
I use Readability myself. Most of the time I use it as just as a means to read long text on the screen in a less cluttered, more beautiful, more readable way. Sometimes I use Readability as a means to get long text pieces from the web into my Kindle DX. And sometimes I use it as a way to easily clean up and import documents into my Zotero library.
Now, I understand that it's difficult to see where a library would interject itself between the reader, Readability, and the author and publisher. To be honest, I'm not sure about it myself but I think it's worth thinking about because we need to start thinking about the entire health of the publishing / reading ecosystem before the entire thing crashes and Amazon re-builds on its disrupted remains.
I should say that I'm not entirely invested in Readability as our only hope. There are other options for corporation-agnostic personal libraries, like Calibre. The reader centric services of LibraryThing and Goodreads could develop into something more 'platform like' but it's more likely that a service like Readmill - with its open bookmarking and annotation services - is closer to what I hope could be the reading platform that a library could be proud to invest in.