August 27, 2016

Ebook Marketplace Q&A: Tom Mercer, 3M

As part of our preparation for the Ebook SummitThe Digital Shift is beginning a series of interviews with leaders from major ebook vendors in the library space. This week we talk with Tom Mercer, Director of Cloud Library Marketing for the newest kid on the e-block—the 3M™ Cloud Library ebook solution.

3M's Tom Mercer1. How long do you think it will take for libraries’ e‐book collections to outpace print book collections? (If ever…)

We believe digital circulation could exceed print circulation by 2016.  The net demand for eBooks from the public library will certainly outweigh physical circulation.  However, how libraries will manage their collections remains a question. .  Libraries with small eBook collections will have smaller circulation and those with larger eBook collections will have larger circulation.

2. What role do you foresee for libraries in the digital book world?

The challenge of a digital world is how to connect a patron’s needs and interests with the right digital information.  Libraries will play  a vital role in showing people books the wide variety of books and authors that are available.  Without variety we could becomes a nation of books only read from a top 10 list.

3. What do you predict will be the next big disruption/innovation to impact the ebook landscape? (Give it your best shot…)

There is a big disruption with a generation of digital natives and how they decide to engage with books (physical or digital).  Right now many students don’t use email or call each other they use text messages and Facebook to make plans.  How will digital natives choose to read in the future and will books be their preferred format?

4. How does your company’s digital strategy reflect these understandings?

Our view is that the library will remain a strong community center and a place for learning and information.  We feel it’s important to ensure eBooks are accessible and usable at the physical library, and we have developed eReaders and Discovery Terminals to help expand a library’s outreach to its community.  We also believe reaching digital natives with eBooks from the library is a great way to develop lifelong reading habits for the next generation of readers.

Ebooks: The New Normal is a one-day virtual conference on ebooks and their role in the future of libraries, presented by Library Journal and School Library Journal. For more

View TDS Archive
On October 14, 2015 Library Journal, School Library Journal, and thousands of library professionals from around the world gathered for the 6th annual Digital Shift virtual conference to focus on the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital transition’s impact on libraries, their communities, and partners. Now available on-demand, this year’s program provides actionable answers to some of the biggest questions our profession faces for and from libraries of all types – school, academic, and public and features thought-provoking keynotes from John Palfrey, author of BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google, and Denise Jacobs, tech leader, author, and creativity evangelist.
Barbara Genco About Barbara Genco

After a long career in collection management at Brooklyn Public Library, and a decade as their Director of Collection Development, Barbara Genco joined Library Journal in fall 2009 as Editor, Collection Management. Follow her on Twitter @BarbaraAGenco.


  1. […] Ebook Marketplace Q&A: Tom Mercer, 3M As part of our preparation for the Ebook Summit The Digital Shift is beginning a series of interviews with leaders from major ebook vendors in the library space. Source: […]

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