Big news from the World Bank. They have launched their Open Knowledge Repository and will support open access and creative commons licensing for much of its research and publications. Here is more from a news article on the World Bank site:
April 10, 2012 – Two years after opening its vast storehouse of data to the public, the World Bank is consolidating more than 2,000 books, articles, reports and research papers in a search-engine friendly Open Knowledge Repository, and allowing the public to distribute, reuse and build upon much of its workincluding commercially. Continue reading World Bank releases the Open Knowledge Repository with open access and creative commons licensing
Pew Internet and American Life Project has just released the results of a new study – The Rise of E-Reading. From the report tagline:
21% of Americans have read an e-book. The increasing availability of e-content is prompting some to read more than in the past and to prefer buying books to borrowing them.
by Lee Rainie, Kathryn Zickuhr, Kristen Purcell, Mary Madden and Joanna Brenner
Below are a few of the key findings from the full report:
- A fifth of American adults have read an e-book in the past year and the number of e-book readers grew after a major increase in ownership of e-book reading devices and tablet computers during the holiday gift-giving season.
- The average reader of e-books says she has read 24 books (the mean number) in the past 12 months, compared with an average of 15 books by a non-e-book consumer.
- 30% of those who read e-content say they now spend more time reading, and owners of tablets and e-book readers particularly stand out as reading more now.
- The prevalence of e-book reading is markedly growing, but printed books still dominate the world of book readers.
- E-book reading happens across an array of devices, including smartphones.
- In a head-to-head competition, people prefer e-books to printed books when they want speedy access and portability, but print wins out when people are reading to children and sharing books with others.
From a Bowker press release:
27 March 2012 (LONDON) — Australia, India, the U.K. and the U.S. are leading the world in e-book adoption rates, according to Bowker Market Research’s Global eBook Monitor, The study tracks consumer attitudes to and purchasing of e-books in major world markets. Bowker Market Research is a service of Bowker, an affiliated business of ProQuest.
“The market for e-books is experiencing exponential growth internationally, with news each week of new e-readers and specialist e-tailers,” said Kelly Gallagher, vice-president, Bowker Market Research. “Publishers and retailers must adapt to a very changed landscape. This research is essential for effectively navigating that new landscape and creating successful business models.” Continue reading Bowker releases results of global ebook research
March 12, 2012 — Palo Alto, CA — Bookshare, the global leader in providing digital accessible books to people with print disabilities, today announced its 10th anniversary. Throughout the last ten years, Bookshare has been at the forefront of the digital book revolution, applying Silicon Valley technology to pioneer an innovative new approach to a library for individuals with print disabilities.
Jim Fruchterman, the CEO and founder of the nonprofit Benetech, the parent organization of Bookshare, envisioned a library of eBooks formed by volunteers digitizing and legally sharing them over the Internet with others with qualified print disabilities (such as blindness, low vision, physical disabilities, or severe learning disabilities). A former rocket scientist and 2006 MacArthur Fellow, Fruchterman acted on his vision and launched Bookshare, introducing an innovative new approach to reading for an underserved population. Continue reading Bookshare celebrates 10 years of providing eBooks to those with print disabilities
Looking for detailed discussions of new technologies, libraries, publishing, and everything in between? Then check out Dquarium, a collection of audio and video podcasts hosted by Kayhan B., Erin Anderson and Doug Mirams.
From their site: “Dquarium.com is an Internet network of audio and video podcasts that discusses everything and anything related to digital technology. Dquarium.com produces and creates all-original media content for the viewing and listening pleasure of nano-nerds and gadget-geeks everywhere.”
They have had some great interviews with librarians and those close to libraries on their Bibliotech channel including:
- Lisa Carlucci Thomas
- Sue Polanka
- Marshall Breeding
- Michael Porter
- Paul Biba
- Stephen Abram
- Buffy J. Hamilton
- David Lee King
- Michael Stephens
- Sarah Houghton
Bobbi Newman, who blogs at Librarian by Day, has an excellent editorial post about current Ebook conditions in public libraries. She questions whether libraries should step back and wait for better options, quoting several other prominent bloggers on the subject. It’s an interesting thought piece from a public library perspective. The comments are just as interesting.
Here is a brief clip from the post – Should Libraries Get Out of the Ebook Business?
Or get out at least until there is a better system? I know what you are going to say, I can hear it already — “We can’t! Our patrons demand ebooks!” Except the truth is our patrons want a lot of things we can’t give them — to always be first on the waiting list for the new James Patterson, to not pay fines when their books are late, for the library to be open earlier or later, or to have a system besides Dewey because despite using it their entire lives they still cannot figure it out. When it comes to ebooks, we cannot give them what they want, not really, we cannot give them books from Simon and Schuster or MacMillian or new books from Penguin or Hatchet, and not more than 26 times from HarperCollins, and probably not many books from Random House. What we can do, what maybe we should do, is spend their tax money wisely, and I am no longer convinced that spending it on the current ebook system is a wise move.
A great article is available on the Library Renewal site – $2 BILLION FOR $1 BILLION OF BOOKS: THE ARITHMETIC OF LIBRARY E-BOOK LENDING written by Jonathan Chambers.
Here is a clip from the introductory material: Library Renewal wants to help libraries build a powerful new way to get econtent to their patrons. We envision a new infrastructure, one that is vastly improved, equitable and fairly priced (with hidden costs eliminated). In order to figure out exactly how to make something like that a reality and create an actionable plan we have been busy doing research and meeting with experts from a variety of areas. We’ve naturally talked with plenty of library folks, but we have also actively included and sought out others that have legal, business and publishing expertise. Jonathan Chambers, the author of this piece, fits that bill perfectly and has worked directly with us a great deal over the past year. Here you’ll see the sort of approach some folks working with Library Renewal are thinking about. We (both Library Renewal and Mr. Chambers) would love to hear your reactions to this post in the comments.
*note* While the pricing changes implemented very recently by Random House are not factored into the dollar amounts discussed here, that in no way changes the conclusions that are drawn in this piece. Drastic changes like what we have been seeing related to libraries and econtent are endemic to the systems currently in place. We believe that these sorts of market shifts serve to strengthen the premise that specific types of action are in order and that Library Renewal is the perfect partner for that work. Enjoy!
The Hague, February 29, 2012
A new service for Open Access Monographs: the Directory of Open Access Books.
OAPEN is pleased to announce a new service for Open Access monographs: the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB). DOAB will provide a searchable index to peer-reviewed monographs and edited volumes published under an Open Access business model, with links to the full texts of the publications at the publisher’s website or repository. The beta version of the service will contain publications of a selected number of academic publishers. The beta version will be made public early spring 2012.
The primary aim of DOAB is to increase discoverability of Open Access books. Academic publishers will be invited to provide the metadata of their Open Access books to the DOAB. Metadata will be harvestable in order to maximize dissemination, visibility and impact. Aggregators can integrate the records in their commercial services and libraries can integrate the directory into their online catalogues, thereby helping scholars, students and the general public to discover the books. The directory will be open to all academic publishers and should contain as many books as possible, provided that these books are peer reviewed and published in Open Access. DOAB will determine requirements for publishers to qualify as Open Access academic book publishers and will maintain a certification procedure. Continue reading Directory of Open Access Books launches in Europe
Big news from an OverDrive Press Release today – they have entered into an exclusive worldwide distribution agreement with Pottermore. I’m thrilled to see these popular books become available for library lending sans the exclusive agreements. Here is more from the press release:
Pottermore, the online experience and home of the Harry Potter eBooks created by J.K. Rowling and partnered by Sony, announced today it has entered into an exclusive worldwide eBook and digital audiobook distribution agreement with OverDrive for public and school libraries. Under the terms of the agreement, OverDrive, a leading global distributor of eBooks and digital audiobooks, will manage hosting and digital fulfillment for libraries for the Harry Potter collection of eBooks and digital audiobooks in English and more than 20 other languages to OverDrive’s growing network of over 18,000 public and school libraries worldwide.
Continue reading Pottermore and OverDrive reach exclusive distribution agreement
It’s been coming for months. Today Penguin announced it has ended its relationship with OverDrive. Starting tomorrow, it will no longer sell e-books and audiobooks to OverDrive for library lending. Interestingly, ALA and Big Six publishers met last week to discuss library e-book lending. In an article in paidcontent.org, Laura Hazard Owen points out ALA’s concern about statements publishers made regarding “friction.” Publishers felt a degree of friction existed with physical book checkout – involving 2 trips to the library. They felt the online availability would alter the friction calculation. My response to that….clearly they have never tried to download an e-book from the public library. According to Library Journal’s patron profiles, 23% of ebook patrons reported being unsuccessful in borrowing ebooks because of technical difficulty, while almost 44% could not do so because of title unavailability.” That’s a lot of friction.
Here are some articles with more of the story:
Penguin ends E-book Library Lending and Relationship with OverDrive, Paidcontent.org
Penguin Group Terminating Its Contract with OverDrive, The Digital Shift
Penguin Unfriends Libraries, Agnostic Maybe
Penguin Cuts Off All Library Ebooks, The Digital Reader
And others added after the original post:
ALA, Author’s Guild, and 3M weigh in on Penguin-OverDrive Dispute, The Digital Shift
E-Book Lending Library Rises, Publishing Industry Grapples with Change – Digital Book World
Yesterday, ALA released a press release summarizing the meetings between ALA President Molly Raphael, an ALA delegation and representatives from publishers Penguin, Macmillan, Random House, Simon & Schuster and Perseus. It’s a great summary of the meeting. The discussions show promise! Here is the text, copied in full from the ALA press release:
American Library Association (ALA) President Molly Raphael led an ALA delegation to New York last week to meet separately with representatives from publishers Penguin, Macmillan, Random House, Simon & Schuster and Perseus.
The representatives at these meetings included CEOs, division presidents and other executives. Continue reading ALA President and delegation meet with publishers
The following is a summary of:
RUSA/CODES Reference Publishing Discussion Forum: Life after the Statistical Abstract.
What will the proposed demise of the Statistical Abstract mean for reference librarians and library users? Now in its 130th annual edition, Statistical Abstract has played a central role in guiding users to statistics since before we were born. Since finding statistics can be challenging under the best of circumstances, what are our strategies for dealing with this loss? Are there new services and products we would like to see from commercial publishers?
Alesia McManus, owner of the “Save the US Statistical Abstract” Facebook page, moderated the discussion. About 50 librarians, publishers, and vendors attended.
Alesia McManus, Dan Coyle from ProQuest and Bruce Samuelson from Bernan Publishing all spoke briefly to start the session. Continue reading Life after the Statistical Abstract – ALAMW discussion summary
Below is a summary of various news articles and related Apple sites discussing the Apple announcement today about digital textbooks.
General news articles:
The past few weeks there have been several interesting articles and interviews related to libraries and digital lending, the pros/cons of lending eBooks readers, and publisher/library relationships. A few are listed below:
Threats to Digital Lending – American Libraries Magazine
Interview with Michael Porter of Library Renewal – via Teleread
Interview with Paul Biba from Teleread about Amazon, epublishing, and why publishers hate libraries – via Dquarium
Libraries – Arguments for the check-out of eReaders – PCSweeney’s blog
An eBook is not a Book (arguments against the check-out of eReaders)- PLA blog
So you want to start a Kindle lending program? – via code4lib
If Libraries Didn’t Exist, Would Publishers be Trying to Kill Book Lending – via TechDirt
Interesting article in Inside Higher Ed this morning about a new JSTOR program, Register & Read. The program allows any visitors the opportunity to check out 3 items fromt he JSTOR archive. Here is an excerpt from the article:
“The new program, called Register & Read, will soon let anybody read articles in the JSTOR archives at no cost. Under the new program, unsubscribed visitors will be allowed to check out three “items” from the JSTOR archive every two weeks, which they will be able to read for free. In order to prevent piracy, the texts will be displayed as image files (so that text cannot be copied). Users will not be able to download the files. The depletion of the traditional professoriate has produced a new demographic of unmoored scholars who might not have “the consistency of access that they want,” says Heidi McGregor, a spokeswoman for JSTOR. The goal of Register & Read would be to better serve that population as well as others that the organization might not have even known about. Seventy journals are participating in the pilot, including Ecology, American Anthropologist, PMLA, the Journal of Political Economy, the Journal of Finance, and the American Historical Review.
The Douglas County Libraries (Colorado) have been working on a project to purchase eBooks direct from publishers and locally load them on an Adobe Content Server. The titles are then loaned to patrons for use on their personal devices or computers. To date they are working with 8 publishers (listed below). Dzanc Books is the latest partner. To hear more about their project, listen to an audio interview with Jordana Vincent, Collection Development Librarian, Douglas County Libraries (11/11).
From the 1/11/12 Press Release: DCL and Dzanc join forces for eContent
Douglas County Libraries and Dzanc Books have joined forces to allow for library purchase of eBooks from Dzanc Books. Dzanc Books is the first nonprofit publisher to join DCL’s eBook purchasing experiment, and is a champion of literature and writing. Continue reading Douglas County Libraries adds 8th Publisher to locally loaded eBook collection
News from DeGruyter on a recent acquisition of Versita, an open access publisher. More from the press release:
Berlin, January 9, 2012
De Gruyter, the Berlin-based academic publishing company, is acquiring the publisher Versita. As a service provider to academic organizations and bodies, Versita publishes over 230 journals on Open Access basis, i.e. outside the traditional subscription model. With this acquisition De Gruyter is substantially increasing its presence in an important future market of academic publishing. The complete staff of Versita is being retained in this take-over. Continue reading DeGruyter acquires Versita, increasing their open-access publishing business