I had gotten a little behind on my podcast listening due to my recent vacation. So I have been catching up on Open Stacks this week. This afternoon I listened to “Open Stacks #11(Open Stacks #11)”:http://openstacks.net/os/archives/000823.html. Greg gives his take on “Cory Doctorow’s take(Fairfax libraries waste tax-dollars on DRM )”:http://www.boingboing.net/2005/04/28/fairfax_libraries_wa.html on the “Audio Book Issue in the Fairfax County Public Libraries(Audio Book Issue in the Fairfax County Public Libraries)”:http://www.his.com/~pshapiro/audiobook.html. If you need more background, go read “PlaysforSure and Audio Books(PlaysforSure and Audio Books)”:http://www.libraryplanet.com/2005/02/07/playsforsure. And then for full disclosure, go read about “my mp3 player(Rave-MP STYLE: ARC2.5)”:http://www.libraryplanet.com/2005/03/14/rave. First off, the waste of taxpayer money argument is specious. I hear the same thing around here everytime someone complains that we buys music on CD and they only have a cassette player or that we buy movies on DVD and they only have a VHS VCR. Libraries have limited budgets to work with. We have to work within our selection policies to choose the most efficient and cost-effective method of doing so. We are never, ever going to make everyone happy when we try. Do I think playsforsure is cool? No, I do not. Would I rather get the books DRM-free? Absolutely. Do I think libraries like Fairfax and mine are making a mistake getting something that won’t work on an iPod? Who knows. Frankly, in our community, I don’t even know how many there are. I saw more in Washington, DC than I have ever seen around here. No one has complained to me about the lack of compatability yet. And just for the record, Recorded Books were very upfront about the issue during the presentation. They (and I am quite sure Overdrive as well) would be quite happy to support other technologies like FairPlay if Apple would let them. Do I think OCLC /Recorded Books and Overdrive are going to change to a DRM-free version? Absolutely Not. Because the publishers would never allow them to do so. Buying and using an MP3 Player is not for everyone, now how matter “how inexpensive(Less than $100)”:http://www.playsforsure.com/AdvancedSearchResults.aspx?searchtype=BrowseDevices&cat=PricePanel&index=1 they become. But accusing libraries of wasting taxpayer money is not a charge supported by anyone who understands any of the facts.