Last Saturday at the ALA Conference I met with Rick Lumsden, Executive Director for Institutional Sales and Marketing for Britannica. We discussed Britannica’s new ebook platform and their mobile apps. More information about Britannica’s ebooks and previews of the books can be found at ebooks.eb.com.
The University of California Libraries released the results of an ebook use survey launched in October 2010. The survey measured overall ebook use and preference, but also analyzed the satisfaction level of the Springer e-books and My Copy service, which UC Libraries initiated in 2008.
Some highlights from the survey, found in the executive summary on pages 4 – 5, include:
- When asked about the use of e-books in their academic work, 58% of survey respondents reported using e-books; 38% reported not using e-books; and 4% were not sure of their e-book usage. Of those reporting not using e-books, the majority report utilizing digital resources, such as e-journals.
- Of the survey respondents who indicated a preference (n=2410), 49% prefer print books, 34% prefer e-books, and 17% had no preference or described a preference that is usage-dependent.
- Postdoctoral researchers reported the highest preference for e-books over print books (49%), followed by graduate students (35%), faculty and lecturers (33%), and undergraduate students (27%). Respondents in business and law reported the highest preference for e-books (54%), followed by life and health sciences (44%), physical sciences and engineering (32%), social sciences (31%), and arts and humanities (17%).
- Undergraduate students indicated the highest preference for print books (58%); many undergraduate respondents commented on the difficulty they have learning, retaining, and concentrating while in front of a computer.
- The ability to search within and across e-book content is identified as the primary advantage of e-books, regardless of whether a respondent prefers print book or e-books.
- The ability to download the entire e-book to a device for later use is a highly valued feature. Respondents expressed frustration with those e-book vendors that restrict downloading or printing to chapters or other pre-defined sections.
- Undergraduate students express the strongest desire for a corresponding print copy of an academic e-book for borrowing from a UC library, with 66% rating it as important.
- A surprising 41% of respondents rate the option to purchase a “print-on-demand” copy of an e-book as an important feature, implying that utilization of the service should witness an upward trend.
After 2 years of research and usability studies, WorldCat Local discovery tool now offers a mobile-optimized site. Any library with WorldCat Local or visibility on WorldCat.org can claim their unique URL and use it to support their mobile users.
More from the press release: A production version of mobile-optimized WorldCat Local is now available to libraries following beta testing of the service that makes it possible for mobile users to discover items, see location, shelf status, call numbers, and more in their local library, and in libraries worldwide.
More great news for OverDrive users. The new Windows phone app is available for download from the Windows Phone Marketplace.
More from the press release: Readers at 15,000 public, school, and corporate libraries can now download eBooks and audiobooks directly to their Windows Phone with the free OverDrive® Media Consoleâ„¢ app. This new app enables users to find a library that offers digital books, and then download and enjoy EPUB eBooks, as well as MP3 audiobooks, on their device. Libraries offer bestselling titles, such as “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen and “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand, which can now be borrowed and enjoyed on popular Windows Phone devices, such as LG Quantumâ„¢, Samsung Focusâ„¢, and HTC Trophyâ„¢. Continue reading OverDrive app for Windows phone now available
The British Library, along with BiblioLabs LLC announced today their British Library 19th Century Historical Collection App for iPad. With a full launch later this summer, the app will feature over 60,000 titles. A range of sample images is available here.
More from the press release: Currently the app features over a thousand 19th Century books, but it will provide access to more than 60,000 titles by later this summer when details on pricing for the service will be announced. The 60,000 books, which are all in the public domain, are part of the British Library’s 19th Century Historical Collection and span numerous languages and subject areas including titles such as “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley and “The Adventures of Oliver Twist” [with plates] by Charles Dickens. Continue reading British Library 19th Century Historical Collection app for iPad
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eBooks: Smithsonian Libraries Converts Digital Publications for eReaders; Material is Free To Download « INFOdocket
I received an email today from Kathleen McEvoy at EBSCO Publishing. They are beginning to release mobile applications, the first for the iOS. eBook reading applications will follow (see last line below). More information is also available in the press release.
From the email: The new iPhone app is available free from the iTunes App Store and provides easy authentication for users via a library’s EBSCOhost profile.
The iPhone app introduces new features including the ability to view content in visual landscape mode and the option to save articles and PDF full-text content on the device for offline viewing. The app also includes existing EBSCOhost features such as limiting to full text, date ranges, peer-reviewed content or by publication. Continue reading EBSCO Publishing launches mobile applications
I never thought I’d see the day! Great news Amazon and OverDrive. News release from Kindle here.
From a Publishers Weekly article: Amazon announced this morning that Kindle owners will soon be able to borrow books from public libraries. Working with vendor OverDrive, which manages e-book lending for the vast majority of public libraries, the deal will make thousands of titles available via more than 11,000 of OverDrive’s public library partners. To date, Kindle has been noticeably absent from library lending, as OverDrive’s service worked only with ePub-enabled devices, including the Sony Reader, the Nook, iPads, and smartphones. Amazon officials said that with Kindle Library Lending, library-ebooks managed by OverDrive will now be available for all generations of Kindle devices and for use with free Kindle reading apps on most other devices, including Android, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone.
The service will launch later this year.
From an OverDrive blog post:
OverDrive has made some enhancements to the apps for Android and iOS. They include:
OverDrive Media Console for Android (v2.2)
- Sepia display option for eBooks
- Screen-dimming override for eBooks
- Faster EPUB performance
- Sleep timer for audiobooks
OverDrive Media Console for iPhone/iPad (v2.2.1)
- Orientation lock for eBooks
- Night mode and sepia display option for eBooks
- Screen lock override for eBooks
- Improved range of font size settings
- In-app library “Website Finder”
Copyright Office submission to Congress: analysis of digitization and legal framework of the Google case
We can surmise that e-book sales may be responsible for the steep downturns in the US and UK – Futurebook
Intel Capital, CondÃ© Nast Owner Invest $30 Million in Kno; Intel to Consult on Student Tablet Hardware
Public, school, and college libraries now provide direct EPUB eBook downloads on BlackBerry® mobile devices with the free OverDrive® Media Consoleâ„¢ app for BlackBerry. Users at more than 13,000 libraries worldwide can wirelessly download and enjoy EPUB eBooks, as well as MP3 audiobooks, on their BlackBerry devices. Libraries offer best-selling titles, such as “The Social Animal” by David Brooks and “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett, which can be borrowed and enjoyed using OverDrive’s app for BlackBerry. Popular business eBooks and audiobooks, as well as titles in virtually any subject, are also available from the library using the BlackBerry app.
The OverDrive app for BlackBerry is available from OverDrive’s website and the MobiHand Superstore. The app will also appear in BlackBerry App Worldâ„¢ in the coming weeks. To see if your library is a member of the OverDrive network, visit OverDrive Search. Continue reading OverDrive releases the Media console app for BlackBerry
This CIL session was presented by Chad Mairn, Information Services Librarian at St. Petersberg College and Al Carlson, System Administrator for the Tampa Bay Library Consortium.
- Library automation, the internet, and EPUB are the three big things he feels have hit the library industry during his career.
- The book is the content and not the package, ebook is just another package.
- Diagnosing the DVD Disappointment: A Life Cycle View by Judson Coplan – this article from 2006 is one that Al recommends to read as a comparison to how quickly ebooks may be adopted.
- History suggests that ebooks will rapidly invade the codex space
- Books aren’t dead, they are just changing Continue reading CIL Conference – Empowering the Reader in a Digital World
This panel discussion was moderated by Dick Kaser from Information Today. Speakers included Ken Breen, EBSCO Publishing, Leslie Lees, ebrary, Bob Nardini, Ingram, and Mike Shontz, OverDrive.
Each panelist had 5 minutes to discuss who they serve and business models they offer.
Ken Breen, EBSCO Publishing
- Ken reflected back to 1997 – common themes from back then – user interface, compatibility, digital rights, unauthorized access and copying, business models.
- EBSCO Publishing acquired NetLibrary one year ago, the preview of eBooks on EBSCOhost is available now. Continue reading CIL Conference – Ebook Publishing: Practices & Challenges
Cengage Learning recently unveiled MindTapâ„¢, a program of digital products and services, including Cengage content, that engages students through interactivity and offers instructors choice in content, platforms, devices and learning tools. Beyond an eBook, course delivery platform or Learning Management System, MindTap is the first in a new category of Personal Learning Experiences (PLEs). MindTap is device agnostic, giving students access to their course materials anytime, anywhere — on their desktops, laptops, tablets or mobile phones.
At the core of MindTap is MindTap Readerâ„¢, which is a new interactive platform that brings digital textbooks to life. The MindTap Reader adds significant reading learning activity functionality embedded within the context of text and other elements including video/audio, annotations, activities, applications and instructor source materials, while also preparing existing products to take advantage of future MindTap services. Continue reading Cengage Unveils MindTap, an interactive learning program
Last week the Internet Archive announced the launch of a traditional In-Library Lending model for a pooled collection of over 80,000 eBooks. The program, available on openlibrary.org, provides access to the ebooks through a web browser and download technology. I had a chance to interview Brewster about the new program in my NSR audio interviews. The full press release on the In-Library Lending program is available at the Internet Archive.
Last month I did a 2 part webinar for ALA TechSource on purchasing eBooks and lending eBook Readers. Since doing these webinars I’ve been contacted by several people who were unable to attend the webinars asking for information on lending eBook readers in libraries. I figured it was about time to do a post to consolidate some of the information. If you know of other resources, please feel free to add to the list. If you missed the webinars, we’ll probably be offering them again in August, with lots of new and updated information.
News from ebrary: ebrary is developing new ways to support an offline/download model and reading on handheld devices. We are conducting this survey to better understand your needs, and we would very much appreciate your comments and suggestions.
Please feel free to share the survey with any interested colleagues. We ask that you respond by Friday, March 4.
From an OverDrive blog post: More people are downloading eBooks and more from the library than ever before. Due to this increased usage, many of our public, school, and college library partners have received more questions about the service from first-time patrons. (What software do I need? How do I authorize my device?) We also know that when a returning user gets a new device, there may be additional questions.
To make it easier for users to get the answers they need about the devices they own, we’re rolling out My Help beta on all â€˜Virtual Branch’ websites over the next week. My Help provides information for getting started and assistance for a user’s specific computer or device.
While at the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference earlier this week, I attended a session on literary reviewing in the digital age. Bob Carlton from Kirkus was on the panel and provided an overview of the new project Kirkus is taking on to review children’s book apps. It will be live in early March. The full press release is below.
Maintaining its position as the first review resource to bring a critical eye to children’s book apps as a distinct new category, Kirkus Reviews today announced the creation of a discovery engine devoted exclusively to this burgeoning area of publishing and app development. Available in early March, it will be found at http://www.kirkusreviews.com/childrens-book-apps/. Continue reading Kirkus Reviews Launches New Category – Children’s Book Apps