DPLA and BiblioBoard Partner to Make Indie Author Collection Free for the Summer

This just in from DPLA:

We are pleased to announce a partnership with BiblioBoard’s Indie Author Project, through which a collection of over thirty independently-published books are freely available for anyone to download and read now in the SimplyE app. BiblioBoard’s Indie Author Project supports emerging, diverse, independent writers and promotes stronger relationships between self-published authors and local libraries. Through library partnerships across the country, the project provides programming, such as the Indie Author Project contests, that generate greater visibility and exposure for new and emerging writers and their works.

The Summer Reading collection, which will be available until Labor Day (September 2), includes award-winning works by authors across the country and features Daykeeper by Ran Walker, Indie Author of the Year awardee. This constantly growing selection of titles includes winners of statewide indie author contests, the Black Caucus of the ALA awards, Library Journal eBook awards, and more. Curated by professional reviewers and librarians alike, this collection delivers diverse and exciting new literary voices directly to readers with no holds, checkouts, or waitlists.

The Making of the Open Research Library, Scholarly Community’s First Attempt To Unify Open Access Book Content

Dr. Sven Fund, Managing Director of Knowledge Unlatched, gives insight into the newly launched Open Research Library and explains its mission to serve the needs of all in the academic ecosystem, including researchers, publishers and libraries

Last month, Knowledge Unlatched (KU) launched the Open Research Library, a new platform which unites the world’s Open Access (OA) book content under one search and hosting interface. With the help of infrastructure partners who contribute different services—including, for example, BiblioLabs, EBSCO, ProQuest, OCLC and Researcher App—KU aims to offer a solution to the main problem with OA book content: it is growing fast, but it still isn’t available to researchers in one place. Instead, it is scattered in various online repositories, making it difficult for researchers to find it and making it equally difficult for libraries to manage it as well as to integrate it into their discovery systems.

KU has thus positioned ORL as the go-to platform for all OA books and plans to expand its offerings with research videos and posters soon. ORL is now available in a beta version and the full launch of the open platform is scheduled for Fall 2019.

NSR caught up with Dr. Sven Fund, KU’s Managing Director, to get insight into how ORL works, what inspired its creation, how academic libraries and publishers can help further its mission, and what lies ahead for OA publishing in the future.

What is the main mission of the Open Research Library?

Dr. Sven Fund, Managing Director, Knowledge Unlatched

We believe in a vibrant and multipolar OA ecosystem, and KU is working with several partners to organize the hosting of titles which we have unlatched. And while we have never believed that hosting should be our ‘core’ activity, we felt increasingly over the past year or so that the landscape is changing. Not only have some platform providers introduced fees, but, more important, researchers and librarians expressed frustration about increasing fragmentation in the field.

There is, to date, no single platform where KU can host all the content it has helped to unlatch—be it books, journals, videos, or, in the future, also posters. Yet this is an important requirement for librarians. Researchers have told us in interviews that they were looking for an easy-to-use hosting platform that would “only” contain OA content and would not include paywalled books. They wanted all books in one place, in a consistent structure and under one search and discovery layer.

Continue reading The Making of the Open Research Library, Scholarly Community’s First Attempt To Unify Open Access Book Content

book of the week: no fences in alaska (Glen Sobey)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:


Ruin, redemption, love and forgiveness are themes that weave themselves beautifully together in Glen Sobey’s young adult novel, No Fences in Alaska.

The book centers on the lives and trials of the Lyons family, particularly Harper Lyons. Harper is the 16-year-old wild child of extremely strict parents; her father, Greg, is headmaster of a conservative Christian academy in San Antonio. She is also the granddaughter of the crazy, artistic Cooper Lyons.

When the novel starts, Harper is rebelling with drugs, sex and partying, and after a feigned suicide attempt, possible date-rape and pregnancy, she runs off to Alaska to be with her grandfather, whom she hasn’t seen for a decade…

Read full review here.

Glen Sobey taught and lived in Alaska Native Villages for many years and continues to live in rural Alaska with his wife, three dogs, and a forest cat. He plays several musical instruments, hikes, kayaks, catches fish (sometimes), builds things, repairs more things, gardens, shovels lots of snow, splits too much wood, enjoys his family, and writes as often as he can. He has written two novels: The War Blog and No Fences in Alaska.


BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

This week in Literature and Arts

Happy birthday to Catherine Rosalind Russell, born June 4, 1907 in Waterbury, CT. She attended colleges in Pennsylvania and New York prior to enrolling in Manhattan’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Russell attempted to become an opera singer but couldn’t hack it and refocused her sights on comedic acting.

Remarkably, she landed her signature role as the fast-talking Hildy Johnson in Howard Hawks’s His Girl Friday after several other actors (everyone from Kate Hepburn, Irene Dunne, Claudette Colbert to Ginger Rogers) passed. Our good fortune.

_________________________________________________________________________________

June 4, 1984: Columbia Records releases Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA. Can you believe this album is 35 years old! Oy!

___________________________________________________________________________________
Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

Introduction to No Shelf Required’s new book on innovation with e-books and digital content

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is NSR-book.png

Below is the full introduction to the new No Shelf Required book, published by the American Library Association in Spring 2019. The book may be ordered via ALA Store or Amazon.

When discussing the focus of this book—the third in the series of No Shelf Required books published by the American Library Association—we agreed immediately that we needed to place practice (rather than theory) in the forefront of every chapter. And we agreed that the value of this book will depend greatly on our ability to highlight the projects of the many individuals inside and outside publishing and libraries who have pushed us to think and act outside the box.

These individuals have dared to experiment in order to help us better understand the possibilities afforded by the continuously evolving technologies of e-books and e-content. And despite the exaggerated statements about the demise of the e-book which permeate our panel discussions and published articles nowadays—which were preceded by equally exaggerated statements about the death of print books—these individuals have embarked on launching various cutting-edge initiatives and products that point to the ultimate power of e-books and digital content in general: to bring knowledge and the written word to people in ways we could not conceive of just ten years ago; and to equalize access to the book (in all its incarnations) in ways not possible before.

The goal of this collection of twenty essays is straightforward: to highlight what we consider some of the most interesting, innovative, transformative, thought-provoking, and courageous projects and missions involving e-books and e-content in the United States and around the world. This book’s mission is to inspire and encourage everyone in the library and broader publishing ecosystem—including librarians, publishers, distributors, and others—to continue exploring and to not settle on any conclusions about e-books just yet.

Continue reading Introduction to No Shelf Required’s new book on innovation with e-books and digital content

This week in Literature and Arts

Happy birthday to Christopher Lee, born in London May 27, 1922.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Birthday greetings also to creepy Vincent Price, born May 27, 1911 in St. Louis, Missouri.

He had a fine arts undergrad degree from Yale and taught for a year (and you thought your teachers were scary!).

____________________________________________________________________________________
Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

Publishers Weekly Joins Forces with BookBrunch and IngramSpark to Launch U.S. Selfies Book Awards

Congratulations, Publishers Weekly and partners, for launching The Selfies Book Awards in the U.S. and making an important step toward giving more recognition to independent authors. Hopefully, such efforts will soon spread beyond the U.S. and English-speaking world and include various other independent authors around the globe. And, ideally, they will also go beyond awarding fiction writing to include awards and support for other genres and categories.

NSR is an avid supporter of indie publishing and self-published authors. For the past couple of years, and in agreement with BlueInk Review, we have been highlighting noteworthy titles by self-published authors (close to 100 so far).

Full press release from Publishers Weekly below.

NEW YORK (May 29, 2019) – Publishers Weekly, in recognition of one of the fastest-growing parts of the book market, has joined forces with IngramSpark, Ingram’s e-book and print self-publishing platform, and BookBrunch, the daily online news service for the U.K. book industry, to launch the Selfies Awards for self-published authors in the United States.

This exciting new initiative aims to discover new talent and reward the very best self-published titles each year. In this first year, the awards will be for adult fiction titles only, but in future years it will cover other categories as well. All titles submitted need to have been published in the U.S. and entries will only be accepted from authors who are predominantly or only self-published (i.e., where the author acts as the publisher/creative director). Submissions will open in late 2019 and the first Selfies Award will be presented at BookExpo in May 2020.

Continue reading Publishers Weekly Joins Forces with BookBrunch and IngramSpark to Launch U.S. Selfies Book Awards

University libraries around the world continue to see declines in the use of print books

NSR highly recommends Dan Cohen’s article from the Atlantic about the ‘precipitous’ decline in the use of books in university libraries.

The last sentence in this thoughtful piece really shifts our focus to where it needs to be: “… we should beware the peril of books as glorified wallpaper. The value of books, after all, is what lies beneath their covers, as lovely as those covers may be. ” — Ed.

Read the full story here. Below an excerpt:

assorted-title book lot on shelf

“When Yale recently decided to relocate three-quarters of the books in its undergraduate library to create more study space, the students loudly protested. In a passionate op-ed in the Yale Daily News, one student accused the university librarian—who oversees 15 million books in Yale’s extensive library system—of failing to “understand the crucial relationship of books to education.” A sit-in, or rather a “browse-in,” was held in Bass Library to show the administration how college students still value the presence of books. Eventually the number of volumes that would remain was expanded, at the cost of reducing the number of proposed additional seats in a busy central location.

Little-noticed in this minor skirmish over the future of the library was a much bigger story about the changing relationship between college students and books. Buried in a slide deck about circulation statistics from Yale’s library was an unsettling fact: There has been a 64 percent decline in the number of books checked out by undergraduates from Bass Library over the past decade.

Yale’s experience is not at all unique—indeed, it is commonplace. University libraries across the country, and around the world, are seeing steady, and in many cases precipitous, declines in the use of the books on their shelves. The University of Virginia, one of our great public universities and an institution that openly shares detailed library circulation stats from the prior 20 years, is a good case study. College students at UVA checked out 238,000 books during the school year a decade ago; last year, that number had shrunk to just 60,000.”

This week in Literature and Arts

Happy 65th anniversary to “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and His Comets, released by Decca Records May 20, 1954 on the B side of the single “Thirteen Women (And Only One Man in Town),” which tanked. “Rock Around the Clock” received some air play, but wouldn’t become a smash until revived a year later as the opener to director Richard Brooks’s film, The Blackboard Jungle.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Happy 75th birthday to John Robert “Joe” Cocker, born May 20, 1944 in Sheffield, England. Saw him spazzing out on stage as the opener for Steve Winwood ages ago. He was fabulous.

__________________________________________________________________________________
Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

The flawed (and outdated) art of categorizing books and knowledge in digital ENVIRONMENTS

books-401896During my years as a Library Journal book review editor, I spent countless hours each week sorting through books (then physical objects only) to figure out what goes where. When I started my editorial career (in the late 1990s), book categories made a lot more sense than they did when I left the book review job in 2010. I can’t count the times I went back and forth with my Library Journal colleagues about whether a newly arrived print galley belonged in my or someone else’s “pile,” to be assigned for review.

Is it Military History or Politics? But couldn’t it also be Law & Crime? Is it Literature because it’s literary or Self-help because it’s about a writer’s spiritual journey? Is it Philosophy or Religion? And what if it’s always at least three categories combined? Questions like these were part of our daily dialog. In retrospect, my colleagues and I made educated guesses every day when assigning books for review and I have no doubt that we didn’t always make the right ones. The way we printed book reviews in the magazine corresponded to the way books were categorized in libraries. Since we were the ones instructing librarians what to buy (by category), we were essentially driving the way books would be made available to patrons in libraries. Quite a responsibility. Continue reading The flawed (and outdated) art of categorizing books and knowledge in digital ENVIRONMENTS

This week in Literature and Arts

Happy 80th birthday (!!!) to Brooklyn boy Harvey Keitel, born May 13, 1939 to Jewish immigrant parents (Romanian mother/Polish father) in Brighton Beach. A lot of tough guy roles, but Harvey has played every type in parts great and small and done it all well. Very much looking forward to seeing him back with Martin Scorsese in The Irishman.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Big 75th birthday greetings to filmmaker, philanthropist, and driving fool George Lucas, born May 14, 1944 in Modesto, CA. You’ve brought immeasurable joy to the world, Uncle George. A Indy/Star Wars mashup in your honor.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

Knowledge Unlatched and partners launch Open Research Library, an innovative platform with an ambitious goal to host open access books in one place

Congrats, Knowledge Unlatched and its partners on this major achievement. Great to see that there is a smart way to bring the world’s Open Access book content in one place. And, as usual, it takes a village.

_____________________________________________________________________

Major news from Knowledge Unlatched:

Free access to scientific content is often limited due to the fragile technical infrastructure around it: content is stored in a variety of versions at various locations and without any uniform search functionalities. The Open Access initiative Knowledge Unlatched has addressed this growing problem and is now launching the Open Research Library together with several international partners. Its goal is to unite all Open Access (OA) book content over the coming months. To this end the Open Research Library is working with publishers and libraries worldwide and is open to all providers and users of quality-assured research content.

Around 15,000 to 20,000 books have been published Open Access worldwide to date, freely available to users all over the world, and about 4,000 more are added every year. Currently these titles are offered for use by scientists on numerous different publishing and distribution websites.

The aim of this new initiative is to combine all available book content under one search and hosting interface and to ensure that the provision of corresponding catalogue data is made available to library systems. The hosting of all book content is free of charge. In order to finance the ongoing technical costs Knowledge Unlatched will initiate a partner project to secure the necessary funding.

“With the Open Research Library we want to make a significant contribution to the further development of Open Access,” says Dr. Sven Fund, Managing Director of Knowledge Unlatched. “It is important to us to create a modern infrastructure with as many different like-minded people as possible, thus making it easier for researchers to find and use relevant content.”

In addition to Knowledge Unlatched, the following infrastructure partners are contributing different services:

  • BiblioLabs (hosting, app & technology)
  • the North American consortium LYRASIS
  • EBSCO (indexing in EBSCO Discovery Service)
  • ProQuest (indexing in the Ex Libris Primo and Summon library discovery services)
  • the Internet Archive
  • Google (indexing in Google Scholar)
  • Digital Public Library of America
  • OCLC (Creation of MARC records and indexing in WorldCat and WorldCat discovery)
  • Researcher App (further distribution covering 950,000 researchers) and numerous publishers

Interested parties may register at joinus@openresearchlibrary.org and visit the beta version at www.openresearchlibrary.org

NSR readers may expect more in-depth coverage of this ground-breaking platform in the coming days.

About Open Research Library: The Open Research Library is a hosting platform run by Knowledge Unlatched that makes all freely accessible scientific book publications available to anyone for free use.

About Knowledge Unlatched (KU): KU offers every reader worldwide free access to scholarly content. The online platform enables libraries worldwide to centralize their support for Open Access models from leading publishers and new initiatives in favor of Open Access.

Book of the week: Parousia (TC Joseph)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:


A science fiction-powered, epic reimagining of the Bible’s Book of Revelation, the fourth installment in the pseudonymous Joseph’s This Generation saga (after 2016’s Penance) culminates in a jaw-dropping conclusion that is simultaneously apocalyptic fiction and visionary utopian fiction.

The novel is set in the End Times—a period of tribulation that heralds the second Coming of Christ. Isa Kurtoglu is the self-proclaimed savior of humankind, the one who will unify the population and prepare them physically and spiritually to win the looming battle with the alien Anu, who (according to the government) will be arriving shortly to destroy the planet…

Read full review here.

TC Joseph is a retired executive from a global consumer products company. He combines his lifelong passion for Bible prophecy with his rich and varied life experiences to create his compelling characters. TC currently resides in the Great Lakes region where he enjoys time with his family. Parousia is the fourth book in his This Generation Series.


BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

This week in Literature and Arts

May 6, 1915: George Orson Welles is born in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A bit of a rough childhood, but he did okay for himself. Alas, he was great at starting projects, but terrible at finishing them.

__________________________________________________________________________________

May 6, 1940: John Steinbeck wins the Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath.

__________________________________________________________________________________
Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

Proudly presenting NSR’s new book: The New Era for E-Books and Digital Content

NSR is pleased to announce the publication (in Spring/Summer of 2019) of a new book in a series of books which NSR publishes in partnership with ALA: No Shelf Required 3: The New Era for E-Books and Digital Content. Thank you to the folks at ALA Editions for publishing this book and for their continued support of NSR’s mission.—MR


Many claim that the presence and importance of e-books have reached a saturation point, but the truth is that experimentation with new models, as well as refinement of existing ones, continues apace. Delving into the latest developments among the varied players in the e-book marketplace, including publishers, libraries, and vendors, the latest volume in the best-selling No Shelf Required series is written from a strong international perspective. Positive, uplifting, instructive, and goal-oriented, this volume’s coverage includes the DPLA national e-book platform; ReadersFirst, a movement to improve e-book access from libraries; the AudiobookSYNC project, a free summer audiobook program for teens; using e-books to teach poetry and publishing processes; the Multnomah County Library Library Writers project; e-books and the Internet Archive; NSR’s One Country, One Library initiative; Worldreader. and other international charitable projects promoting global literacy

Continue reading Proudly presenting NSR’s new book: The New Era for E-Books and Digital Content

This week in Literature and Arts

Happy 65th birthday to Jerry Seinfeld, born April 29, 1954 in Brooklyn.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Happy birthday to the man from Planet Zigzag, Willie Nelson, born April 30 (or 29), 1933 in Abbott, Texas. To celebrate, he’s probably blazing up a doobie the size of the Washington Monument!

Old stoners never die!

_____________________________________________________________________________________
Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

270 treasures from the De Gruyter Book Archive made open access

From De Gruyter:

To celebrate the 270th anniversary of the De Gruyter publishing house, the company is providing permanent open access to 270 selected treasures from the De Gruyter Book Archive (DGBA). Over the space of 10 months, 27 titles per month will be made available to anyone, anywhere at any time that might be interested.

The DGBA project seeks to digitize the entire backlist of titles published since 1749 to ensure that future generations have digital access to the high-quality primary sources that De Gruyter has published over the centuries.

The treasures that are being made available include mostly German-language titles in theology, philosophy and medicine such as “Traumaticismus und Infection” edited by the medical pioneer Rudolf Virchow, or the correspondence between eminent theologians Friedrich Schleiermacher and Karl Gustav Brinckmann or Gottfried Wilhelm Fink’s “Häusliche Andachten”. These titles can be found on the DGBA Website.

The DGBA project, begun in 2018, will be completed in 2020 and at that point – after three years of digitizing activity – 50,000 additional titles will be accessible to researchers around the world. It will not only document De Gruyter’s publishing history, but will contribute to the history of scholarship and will expand the number of backlist titles that De Gruyter can offer its customers.

“Making these 270 titles open access is a modest gesture not only to celebrate our ‘birthday’, but also to underline the important role De Gruyter has placed in open access since 2005. Mostly, however, we are pleased that the DGBA project is successfully combining tradition and modernity – offering scholarship from the past in a digital manner – something that we do every day,” said Carsten Buhr, Managing Director at De Gruyter.

De Gruyter Book Archive: https://www.degruyter.com/dg/page/1543

Treasures of the Book Archive: https://www.degruyter.com/dg/page/1896

book of the week: Jesus christ, his life and mine (R. Christian Bohlen)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

In a fast-paced world often dominated by the chaotic ebb and flow of social media, it’s easy to lose our values and ethics. The remedy? For R. Christian Bohlen, it’s turning away from our smartphones and focusing our attention on Jesus. “Even in the Twitter era,” Bohlen writes, “Jesus shows the way up and out of the darkness so that we can become what we are meant to become.”

In this highly readable guide to Jesus’ life and teachings, the author combines the four Gospels of the New Testament into a single, simple, linear narrative covering Christ’s humble beginnings to his death and resurrection. In the process, he aims to motivate and inspire…

Read full review here.

R. Christian Bohlen has enjoyed a successful career in both education and corporate training.  And, he has been active in his faith throughout his life. He speaks regularly at congregations throughout central Pennsylvania and oversees a prison ministry program serving over 20 prisons.

His interest in writing developed as he looked for simple resources to help youth understand the Bible. Unable to find brief, plain-English materials about the life of Jesus, he decided to begin writing his own.


BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Is quality, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder? The elusive art of book reviewing and its influence

What is a book review? Many have attempted to answer this question over the last few decades in a multitude of ways—from informed scholars, librarians, and booksellers to publishers, authors and readers. While their views differ widely on how successful book reviews are in bringing us closer to a book’s quality—and whether this is even possible—their definitions of book reviews and their core purpose seem to be in sync. To start, book reviews are a ‘genre’ in their own right, as they have features specific to them, and they can be as entertaining to read as the books they put under the microscope. These features, of course, depend on the context in which the books are reviewed (e.g., reviews found in academic journals are more in-depth and lengthier than those found in mainstream newspapers and magazines), but the general purpose of book reviews is always to serve as kind of an economic model, helping readers—whoever they may be—to decide if they should spend their money on a book, be it for entertainment, enlightenment, or scholarly pursuit. In other words, the main purpose of book reviews is to reduce search costs and uncertainty (Clement & others 78).  In this sense, then, readers hope that book reviews will guide them in the direction of the books they both want and need.

Continue reading Is quality, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder? The elusive art of book reviewing and its influence

This week in Literature and Arts

“We’re the people—we go on.” April 14, 1939: Viking Press publishes Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. If that mythic beast, the great American novel, exists, this is it for the 20th century.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Happy birthday to Charlie Chaplin, born April 16, 1889 in South London. Arguably, film’s first superstar.

_________________________________________________________________________________
Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

Organization and portal dedicated to all aspects of digital content and for all creating, reading, publishing, managing, curating, and distributing the written word and other content in digital format, including publishers, writers, editors, content developers, distributors, educators, librarians and information science professionals. With contributions from book and information science professionals and thought leaders in the United States and around the world.