People are flocking to free e-books and streaming movies at their public libraries, but in the age of digital media, it’s hard to own and lend a digital book.
If you haven’t visited your local public library lately, you might not realize that you no longer need to physically drop by to check out a book or a movie.
Thousands of public libraries now let their members check out e-books they can download on their smartphones, tablets, and e-readers. They also lend digital audiobooks anyone can listen to as they commute and streaming online movies to view on a computer, phone, or smart TV. Like other public library materials, they’re generally available for free to anyone with a library card.
But whether you’re a library or an individual fan, you can’t truly own digital materials the way you can own a printed book or a movie on DVD or VHS…