Literary short stories rarely, if ever, get a chance to make an impression on their own terms, as they are usually buried in print anthologies that get lost quickly in an ever-expanding universe of published content. When short stories are given a new life in digital format—not only by extracting existing texts and migrating them online but also by translating them into several languages and adding original audio elements to each—as is the case with The Short Story Project—their impact is undeniable.
Professional reviewer Michael Rogers here sheds light on this mighty new entrant into the digital publishing and library market. NSR is pleased to publish this review and we look forward to following TSSP’s progress and development in the months and years to come.—Ed.
Stories that cross the line
Launched in 2015, The Short Story Project (TSSP) hosts a wide selection of short fiction from noted international authors. The acclaimed site—nominated for the London Book Fair’s Literary Translation Initiative Award in 2016, among others—also co-exists as an app of the same name for Androids and iOS devices. It was founded upon the belief that “reading is an experience that can make a difference. An experience that enables reflection on the human condition, inspires empathy and encourages examination; that reading is more than a pastime; it is an activity that can serve as a bridge between people and cultures, a sounding board for voices and ideas.” This belief is evident in many details, including TSSP’s tagline (Stories that Cross the Line).
TSSP endeavors to promote that philosophy through the “lively, stimulating presence of short fiction in contemporary culture,” enabling the “voices of writers from across the world be heard and resonate.” It is the creation of Iftach Alony, an Israeli-born business man with a history of successful entrepreneurial ventures. Alony is the author of two novels (2009’s Thief of Dreams, and 2012’s best-selling Spare Parts), the short story collections, Garuda’s Gaze and Plagues (of Egypt) Now (2015 and 2017, respectively), as well as the poetry collections, Let the Thorns Die (2013) and Gravity (2014). He also is the founder and coeditor of Block Magazine, a producer of several travel-films, and has served as a judge for short story competitions and other literary endeavors. Continue reading Introducing The Short Story Project: A whole new way to discover, curate and appreciate short stories
What happens when you take a world-class public library system, mix in hundreds of indie authors, power up with Smashwords, and use OverDrive to top it all off? You get Multnomah County Library’s Library Writers Project.
As I have researched the issues and realities of indie authors in libraries, I have found that the intersection of indies and libraries is potentially a much nicer place than I had originally thought. The technology and distribution problems have been solved, and the solutions comes from reliable vendors. No doubt there will be new developments, but existing technology and distribution systems are more than adequate to empower libraries to add indie ebooks to their collections and to promote them to their patrons.
Continue reading Multnomah County Library is setting a powerful example with the Library Writers Project
During 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 formats
by Michael Zeoli
Academic library staff has been shrinking for 2 decades, while the quantity of scholarly content has grown exponentially. In the 1960s Richard Abel & Company began the Approval Plan service as a systematic approach to help libraries manage the volume of new books published. Libraries rely on vendor services (i.e., companies catering to libraries) to discover and acquire much of scholarly content. Since the 90s, libraries have also depended on vendors to provide shelf-ready services for print books, customized cataloging, to manage financial transactions electronically, and to maintain online interfaces to support collection development and acquisitions processes. Ebooks brought another layer of labor and complexity to library workflows.
Ebooks elbowing their way into the landscape
Within a decade of their birth, ebook aggregators entered mainstream library collecting. Initially, the ebook appeared as just another format or manifestation of the print book; the library choice expanded beyond paper or cloth to include ‘e’ versions (in many cases PDFs). Technology changed this: ebook models have upset the balance in traditional library collecting and continue to challenge traditional understandings not just of collection development, but of the role of the academic library.
The ebook aggregators’ business models exist outside the realm of print books – except as a distribution model on which to piggyback for just as long as necessary (think ‘the scorpion and frog’ fable). The business of the aggregator is to sell ebooks, not books. Aggregator ebook platforms are designed for this purpose. Each is different from the others in design (technical as well as strategic):
- User interface & experience
- Library acquisition models
- Library control of patron access
- Publisher control over: 1) Library acquisition models; 2) License terms for each model; and 3) ‘Triggers’ to purchase and loan (Patron-Driven Acquisitions – PDA / Short-Term Loan – STL / Evidence-Based Acquisitions – EBA)
‘Standards’ in the industry exist only to the degree necessary for one company to compete with another (‘not-for-profits’ are not exempted!). Focus has been split 3 ways:
- Competition to win market-share
- Sustainable development of the market
- Alternatives to ‘unsustainable models’
To a large extent, the futures of libraries and publishers live at the margins of these considerations. Continue reading Academic libraries are shrinking, while content is growing. How did we get here?
– New offering follows success of pilot program –
CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 25, 2015 — Baker & Taylor, the premier worldwide distributor of digital and print books and entertainment products, announced that its Evidence-based Selection Planning (ESP) service, which is supported by collectionHQ’s data analytics platform, will be made available for all U.S. public libraries following a successful pilot program.
ESP brings the art of Baker & Taylor’s collection development expertise together with the science of collectionHQ’s data analytics, to create a decision support system integrated with Title Source 360, to equip libraries with the information to select the right titles and quantities, for the right locations. Continue reading Baker & Taylor and collectionHQ extend evidence-based selection planning
IPSWICH, Mass. February 17, 2015 EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) continues to enhance its collection of eBook titles by releasing 27 new EBSCO eBooksâ„¢ Subject Sets. These sets provide libraries with convenient ways to begin or expand their eBook collections with current, reputable content from leading publishers.
EBSCO eBook Subject Sets are convenient, prepackaged sets of titles chosen to meet libraries’ needs for new content on popular, in-demand topics. EBSCO’s Collection Development Team of librarians uses tailored knowledge to create these Subject Sets for libraries. All Subject Sets from EBSCO include titles published within the past two years, and have no title duplication among current or past Subject Set offerings. Continue reading EBSCO creates 27 new eBook subject sets
Nashville, TN — Ingram Content Group Inc., today announced the expansion of titles available to libraries and their patrons through its MyiLibrary® e-book platform, offered through Ingram’s Coutts Information Services Inc., with the addition of a wide range of bestselling content from leading publishers.
Continue reading DK, HarperCollins Publishers and Penguin Random House added to Ingram’s MyiLibrary platform
Full Report on the KU Proof-of-Concept Pilot now available here.
Cultural Science Journal has published a full report on the KU Pilot project (Vol 7, No. 2, 2014, ISSN 1836-0416).
“Knowledge Unlatched: A Global Library Consortium Model for Funding Open Access Scholarly Books. Full Report on the Proof-of-Concept Pilot 2014” provides information about the Knowledge Unlatched proof-of-concept Pilot, which took place between January 2012 and September 2014. Continue reading Knowledge Unlatched full report on proof-of-concept pilot for OA monographs
BiblioBoard has expanded their already comprehensive LGBTQ+ offering to include more positive content for young readers from Dreamspinner’s Young Adult imprint, Harmony Ink Press. Harmony Ink’s update includes 50 new titles, all published in 2014. The books range from thrillers with werewolves and traveling carnivals to more traditional romance and coming-out stories. Continue reading BiblioBoard® Expands Harmony Ink Press Collection to Include More Positive Young Adult LGBTQ+ Titles for Libraries
IPSWICH, Mass. November 19, 2014 EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) has released eBook Education Collectionâ„¢ a new subscription e-book collection. eBook Education Collection features more than 2,800 quality titles supporting students and faculty in education studies. Continue reading EBSCO releases eBook Education Collection
November 13, 2014 — Mountain View, CA — Libraries around the world can now acquire the essential Psychology and Behavioral and Social Sciences titles researchers need under flexible models that meet their budget requirements.
The American Psychological Association (APA), the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and the world’s largest association of psychologists, has joined forces with ProQuest ebook business ebrary to make more than 250 titles published since 2009 available electronically Continue reading APA ebooks available for individual purchase on ebrary
DUBLIN, Ohio, September 2, 2014Shanghai Library, the largest public library in China and one of the largest libraries in the world, has contributed 2 million holdings to WorldCat, including some 770,000 unique bibliographic records, to share its collection worldwide.
These records, which represent books and journals published between 1911 and 2013, were loaded in WorldCat earlier this year. The contribution from Shanghai Library, an OCLC member since 1996, enhances the richness and depth of Chinese materials in WorldCat as well as the discoverability of these collections around the world. Continue reading Shanghai Library adds 2 million records to WorldCat
Nashville, TN and Ann Arbor, MI– Ingram Content Group Inc., and ProQuest LLC today announced an expanded e-book collaboration that benefits libraries worldwide.
Earlier this year, the companies teamed to make titles from Ebook Library (EBL) available through Ingram’s OASIS® content platform. Ingram has now added ebrary‘s vast range of titles, integrating all ProQuest e-book titles within the platform, simplifying acquisition for the companies’ shared customers. In addition to adding titles to the OASIS platform for firm orders, EBL has also been integrated with Ingram’s e-book approval plans and Demand-Driven Acquisition (DDA) services. Continue reading Ingram and ProQuest expand eBook collaboration
IPSWICH, Mass. August 26, 2014 An agreement between Choice magazine, a publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries (a division of the American Library Association) and EBSCO Information Services will highlight the EBSCO eBooksâ„¢ that have been named Choice Outstanding Academic Titles. This agreement will allow librarians to easily identify and acquire the titles that have been designated as excellent in presentation and scholarship, bringing exceptional support to the research of their students and faculty and increasing the value of their overall library collection. Continue reading EBSCO eBooks integrates Choice outstanding titles
IPSWICH, Mass. August 21, 2014 EBSCO Information Services announces the release of 12 new EBSCO eBookâ„¢ Subject Sets, which increases the total number to more than 200. The Subject Sets are offered to libraries in convenient collections grouped by subject matter. Continue reading EBSCO releases 12 new eBook subject sets
IPSWICH, Mass. July 31, 2014 Popular fiction and non-fiction e-books published by Hachette Book Group are now available from EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO). Hachette, a “Big 5” trade and educational publisher, has partnered with EBSCO to give customers of EBSCO eBooksâ„¢ access to titles from authors like David Baldacci, Michael Connelly, Elin Hilderbrand, Anne River Siddons and more.
Continue reading EBSCO eBooks now offering eBooks from Hachette Book Group
IPSWICH, Mass. July 15, 2014 EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) and The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) have partnered to make ECSSR titles more accessible for academic users as well as public library users looking for Arabic and English publications covering various political, economic, social and informational fields. The ECSSR titles are being made available via the EBSCO eBooksâ„¢ platform, allowing users to purchase complete e-book versions of titles from the publisher. Continue reading EBSCO ebooks adds arabic titles from the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research
NASHVILLE, TN — Ingram Content Group Inc. today announced enhancements to its widely-adopted ipage® search and order content platform including new functionality that makes searching, selecting and ordering materials easy for academic libraries worldwide.
“Ingram is devoted to helping academic libraries find relevant content for their important customers,” said Shawn Everson, Chief Commercial Officer, Ingram Content Group. “I’m confident that our enhanced ipage platform will improve the experience of our users, and give them tools to more easily find and purchase content to meet the complex needs of their patrons.” Continue reading Ingram enhances ipage search and order platform
June 16, 2014 — Mountain View, CA —ProQuest has added more than 1,650 ebook titles from renowned publishers Wiley and Wolters Kluwer Health to Academic Complete®, the flagship ebook database from ebrary®. The new content will improve research outcomes, while a new enhancement for the database — the popular LibraryThing for Librariesâ„¢ Book Display Widget — will enable libraries to easily display the titles visually for better discoverability and usage. Continue reading New content, LibraryThing for Libraries widget added to ebrary
EBSCO announced earlier this week that Random House titles (52,000) are now available to be requested through GOBI. A short announcement and video are available here.