New ALA webinar: Understanding Ebooks — The Challenges and the Possibilities

I am grateful for this opportunity and hope that we will bring each other to higher levels of thinking about what is possible with ebooks. MR

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  • Understanding Ebooks: The Challenges and the Possibilities
  • A 90-minute workshop
  • Thursday, May 25, 2017, 2:30 p.m. Eastern/1:30 p.m. Central/12:30 p.m. Mountain/11:30 a.m. Pacific

The popularity of ebooks exploded with the emergence of tablets and ereaders like the Kindle and has risen steadily ever since. For librarians, this growth has meant the development of a new area of service and content delivery. For the librarian who is new to ebooks and ereaders (as well as for a content creator new to digital publishing), this can be intimidating. Where do you start? How can you learn what you need to know to provide the services that your patrons expect?

In this new workshop, Mirela Roncevic, director of No Shelf Required, a well-known site on ebooks and econtent in libraries and beyond, will help you get started. Roncevic will cover ebooks from every angle, giving a practical overview of the ebook landscape that’s easy to follow no matter your experience working with ebooks or ebook vendors.

Looking at both the academic and public library realms, Roncevic will cover a variety of topics, including

  • Current and emerging e-book platforms and lending services
  • Advantages and disadvantages of various e-book business models
  • Dominant players in the e-book market
  • Criteria for purchasing products
  • Channels to explore beyond traditional library vendors and publishers
  • The self-publishing phenomenon and the opportunities it affords libraries
  • Groundbreaking e-book initiatives that place libraries at the heart of public life

You will learn how to navigate different types of e-books, understand their technical aspects, and fully grasp key issues surrounding e-books in libraries today. You will also be invited to engage in a discussion about the future of e-books with the following considerations:

  • Will libraries be able to keep up with the sheer volume of e-content produced and sold?
  • Have existing e-book business models created more chaos and driven readers away from (not toward) e-books?
  • How aware are we that most of the world’s books in digital format remain undiscovered?
  • Are publishers’ fears of electronic content competing with print content justified?
  • Have libraries and publishers done enough to educate the public about the benefits of e-books and constantly improving technologies?
  • Have libraries and library vendors considered all viable options when it comes to how readers consume e-books via libraries?
  • How can libraries be more proactive in their efforts to create more sustainable and appealing conditions for e-book reading in libraries?

Register here.

About the Instructor

Mirela Roncevic is a professional editor, writer, content developer, and consultant to publishers and library vendors. Over the course of her career, she has written, edited, and published countless articles, reports, magazine features, and book and product reviews. She has also spearheaded the publication of a wide range of books, book series, journals, and digital resources for libraries and developed web sites and e-resources for publishing and information professionals. She is Director of No Shelf Required, a portal on the present and future of digital content that seeks to inspire book and library professionals to be more proactive in their efforts to bring e-books to people. In 2016, Mirela launched the Free to Read initiative, which brings developers, publishers, libraries, and sponsors together to turn public and private spaces into zones (i.e., open virtual libraries) where people have free and uninterrupted access to books in digital format. Mirela is currently working on her second issue of Library Technology Reports for ALA TechSource, tied to her work on the Free to Read initiative, and is scheduled to teach her fourth class on e-books for ALA in July 2017.

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