Charleston Program to feature plenty on eBooks

Anyone interested in eBooks should take a look at the Charleston Conference program, November 5 – 8th.  There are a plethora of sessions including:

Ebook use among a group of large academic libraries
To Supersede or Supplement? Profiling E-book aggregator collections
eBook Intelligence: The 8th Annual Health Sciences Lively Lunch
E-Books – How are they different/how are they the same as online journals?
Expanding the Ebooks Buying Experience: Approval Plans
Patron-driven Purchasing in Ebooks
Top Ten Things to unlearn about eBooks
Integrating Print and Digital Reference Resources
Student’s Perception of E-books: Survey Results and Discussion
electronic books into a UK University Library collection
The E-book Challenge: From Start to Finish, and Beyond
Bouncing, Viewing and Power Browsing: Understanding How Students REALLY Use Your E-books
Identifying and describing e-books: challenges facing publishers, librarians and their partners

I’m very excited to attend many of these sessions, particularly the one on patron driven purchasing – a great new business model offered by some aggregators.  EBL and NetLibrary are the two that come to mind.

Please excuse my personal plug here, but if you have an opinion on patron driven purchasing, stop by the Lively Lunch session Friday at Charleston.  Alice Crosetto (Univ. of Toledo) and I will debate traditional collection development with patron driven purchasing.  We may even have Michelle Harper from NetLibrary with us to describe this biz model better.  Friday – 12:50 – 2:00 “Tossing Traditional Collection Development Practices for Patron Initiated Purchasing:  A Debate.” Embassy Suites


Ohio Textbook Portal

The University System of Ohio introduced a textbook portal last week.  This portal, developed by programmers at OhioLINK, searches many sources for textbooks including:  OhioLINK catalog, OhioLINK Electronic Book Center, Safari Tech Books Online, and CourseSmart, an electronic textbook provider.   Textbooks located on CourseSmart can be leased for about 50% of the print cost.  OhioLINK students also receive an additional 10% off the cost.

CourseSmart represents 6 higher education textbook publishers.  They use one common platform for hundreds of digital textbooks.  Searching, bookmarking, and notetaking are just some of the features available.  Students may also print parts of the book.

Locating a book in the portal is easiest with the ISBN.  If that is not available, title and author will do.  As with any metasearch tool, search capabilities are limited, so the portal should not be considered a replacement for any of the individual resources.

The University System of Ohio includes 14 universities with 24 regional branch campuses, 23 community colleges, and an adult workforce education and training network — operating in more than 200 locations — working  in a collaborative, cooperative environment across the state. With a mission to provide affordable, high quality higher education opportunities for all Ohioans, programs and curricula are designed to meet Ohioans’ individual and collective needs for the 21st century. (USO website)

Independent Publishers – Meet Constellation, your answer to eBooks

I think you all know that I love ebooks, particularly in my reference collection.  My main gripe, the small independent publishers don’t have the resources to publish their titles electronically.  Now, there is a solution.  Yesterday, the Perseus Books Group launched Constellation – an eBook solution for independent publishers.

Constellation will convert print ready PDFs into .epub and other formats in order to distribute them to various eBook content providers.  Ebrary and Overdrive are both on the list, in addition to Amazon and Sony.

Librarians, spread the word to your favorite independent publisher.   Check out the press release from Perseus.

Credo Reference launches new interface

Credo Reference Launches New and Improved Interface

Innovative features greatly enhance research experience

Boston and Oxford, September 3, 2008 — Credo Reference, the award-winning online reference library, has completely updated and enhanced its interface. The new and improved platform now features key elements developed as a result of direct feedback and testing with librarians worldwide. Credo’s user-friendly interface has been optimized to address different types of reference questions.

Credo Reference and its continually expanding online collection provide cross-searchable access to more than three million entries from 300+ key titles and 60+ publishers. Now, with the newly revamped interface, Credo Reference users will be able to take advantage of such features as:

·         Faceted browsing — refine searches in many different ways, such as by subject, type of content, person or entries with images or audio.

·         Improved Concept Map — Credo’s visualization tool.

·         Direct linking to the resources of a library’s choice — view search results in another library resource with one click through Credo’s new “Related Resources” feature. Library configurable.

·         Multilingual interface — English, Chinese, French, Polish, Spanish and Urdu are currently available. More languages to follow.

·         Citation management — export saved results to the user’s tool of choice, such as RefWorks or EndNote.

·         Bookmarking in a favorite, social networking site, such as Del.icio.us or Facebook.

·         Explore titles by heading, person, place, image, audio or video. Hover over an entry in the index for a preview.

The beta-testers for this new interface raved about the enhancements. “One of the strongest features of the interface is Credo’s cross-referencing — ‘Related Entries’, which can help our students expand their research beyond their original search,” commented Gloria Rohmann, New York University Digital Access Librarian. “Our researchers will now be able to click directly from a Credo entry to a related topic, with no extra typing required. That will help make their research experience smoother and more thorough.”

“The new interface is a lot more intuitive, which makes it easier to maneuver through,” agreed Anna Grigson, Assistant Digital Resources Librarian at University of Westminster Library. “The vastly improved Concept Map — which is great for visual learners — helps to better visualize the relationships between topics, something that can be invaluable with more complex research topics. It’s great that Credo Reference is reaching out to all researchers no matter what their language or learning style.”

“We’re pleased to launch the significantly enhanced Credo Reference platform,” added John G. Dove, Credo Reference President. “We’ve listened carefully to all the feedback that we’ve received from librarians and end-users and have worked to develop a reference experience that matches our unparalleled and exceptional content.  Our intention is to save time for learners, which is what reference is all about.”

The enhanced Credo Reference interface is available via subscription at www.credoreference.com. Librarians can request a free trial at http://corp.credoreference.com/freetrial.

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Credo Reference, with offices in Oxford and Boston, has been offering completely customizable reference collections for libraries since 1999. Formerly known as Xrefer, Credo’s General Reference and Specialist Reference services combine extensive content from multiple publishers with unique cross-referencing technology, effortlessly delivering authoritative answers to over four million researchers worldwide. Visit www.credoreference.com.

Credo Reference

316 Stuart Street, Suite 301   Boston   MA   02116

Ebrary adds 14 new publishers to ebook collection

Ebrary has added 14 new publishers to their collection.  They are:

Ashgate Publishing
Continuum Books
CQ Press
Georgetown University Press
The University of Washington Press
The University of Alberta Press
The University Press of Kentucky
McFarland & Co.
The International Monetary Fund
Grey House Publishing
The Policy Press
Templeton Foundation Press
Smithers Rapra
Math Solutions

For more info, see the press release.

10 Reasons Not To Write Off Reading From a Screen

Top 10 list in support of ebooks.  From the Writers Handbook Blog.

10 Reasons Not to Write Off Reading From A Screen
Over the past few months there has been much discussion of an impending digital revolution in the way we read books. While much of this is hyperbole there has been incredulity in many quarters that anybody would ever want to read from a screen. We are all attached to books and the idea seems, at first glance, anachronistic. However there are some good reasons why it might not go away as quickly as you’d think.

Here’s why:

1.)    We do it all the time anyway. Whether its emails, blogs, the newspaper or text messages for the bulk of us, most of our reading is already on screen. The New York Times now was 13 million online readers per day against a print readership of 1.1 million.

2.)    Those who read books read the most online. The Guardian reported that “women and pensioners were [the] most active readers” (22/08/08). A recent study showed women, the most enthusiastic readers, dominate social networks; 16% of “silver surfers” spend over 42 hours per week online. Moreover overall internet usage was up 158% in the UK from 2002-2007.

3.)    e-Ink technology removes many of the disadvantages of screens. Using ionized black and white particles it eliminates eye strain and glare, expertly recreating the look and feel of paper and print.

4.)    New devices (using e-Ink) like the Sony Reader and Amazon Kindle are backed by technology giants who know how to make a product work. They come with features like an MP3 player (the Sony) and wireless connectivity (the Kindle). Expect them to only improve in the coming years.

5.)    In Japan mobile phone fiction- keitai novels- have gone from being a niche market to big business, with some novels being downloaded over 200k times a day. It has been reported that half of bestsellers in Japan are now mobile.

6.)    Likewise in China online novels are huge. The most searched for term on Chinese search engine baidu.cn is “novel”. According to Wired 10m “youth” now list reading online as one of their main hobbies.

7.)    The iPhone has changed the parameters again by offering a fantastic reading experience, on a portable easy to use, multi-functioning device. Apps like eReader and Stanza make an already desirable phone a viable ebook reader.

8.)    Paper costs are going through the roof- up 150% this year. With no slowing of the commodity book in site paper and manufacturing costs are likely to increase. Along with the cheapness of delivery the economics of electronic reading start to make sense.

9.)    Government policy is to invest in ereading. Education policy wonks view reading from laptops and PDAs as a handy workaround to encourage book averse but technophile teenagers to read. A school in Birmingham even replaced all textbooks with Palm Pilots.

10.)  The internet offers a whole new way of consuming content. Bundling, chunking, web only content, integrated multimedia elements, exciting new serialisations are only the beginning. This is reading from a screen not as something like lost but as something gained.
No one is saying that we will all run off any read all our books off a screen. Books are here to stay. Reading from one type of screen or another is not about to replace books, rather it is an addition to the varied climate to literature that already exists, a creative challenge, a commercial opportunity and new way for readers to enjoy texts.

Michael Bhaskar is Digital Publishing Executive at Pan Macmillan and blogs at http://thedigitalist.net.

McGill University to digitize materials and print on demand

What a fabulous innovation from McGill University.  They purchased a Kirtas APT BookScan 2400RA  and will be digitizing rare materials from their collection to sell via print-on-demand.  It’s fabulous to see a library embarking on a project like this, one that will bring income!  Wow, the envy I have…..

For the full story see the press release.

A Visit to Encyclopaedia Britannica

Monday, August 11th I stopped by the Encyclopaedia Britannica offices on LaSalle street in Chicago.  I visited Michael Ross, Senior VP of Corporate Development.  Michael gave me a nice tour of the Britannica headquarters and I took some photos to share with everyone.  You’ll see some remarkable similarities between an international publisher and a library.

britannica-001.jpg They have bookshelves AND servers.

britannica-002.jpg 60+ servers in 3 locations as a matter of fact.

britannica-004.jpg No, this isn’t spaghetti, it’s Britannica ONLINE!!  Don’t cut the pink one….

britannica-011.jpg Despite the thousands of wires to support Britannica online, they still have a print library collection.

britannica-009.jpg And they use white boards to sketch out future plans.

britannica-005.jpg I even got a sneak peek at the cover art for the 2009 Almanac!

britannica-010.jpg And they dress business casual, just like me!

Seriously now, Britannica has a really cool feature coming to all of their online products sometime this fall.  Right now it is called “project darwin” but it will take on a new name online.  This new feature will bring web 2.0 features to Britannica online including user comment/feedback areas.    Some other facts about Britannica:

Over one million visitors use Britannica online every day.

Britannica offers multiple interfaces for their products (they manage over 30) – public (free, with annoy wear) , individual membership, institutional/libraries, and multiple foreign language interfaces including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, French, and 2 in Spanish.

They offer thousands of videos too.

Britannica Blog offers daily posts on thousands of topics, by hundreds of writers – many well known.

For more information, check out Britannica Online here:  www.britannica.com

And thanks, Michael, for the tour!

Esquire’s October print cover will be electronic

From Marketing VOX July 28, 2008

Digital Meets Print on Esquire’s Cover

The 75th anniversary October issue of Esquire will feature an electronic cover with flashing words and images. The cover, created with electronic paper display (EPD) technology, will scroll “The 21st Century Begins Now” when it hits newsstands in September, reports MediaBuyerPlanner.

To offset the cost of its digital-meets-print edition, Esquire sold the inside cover ad to Ford, which will also use the EPD technology, according to Folio. Nothing was revealed on how Ford would incorporate the technology into its creative, though the company did say that it will feature its Ford Flex in the double-page spread.

To create the cover, Esquire worked with E Ink, the electronic paper display technologies firm that developed the technology for Amazon’s Kindle and the Sony reader. Hearst, which owns a stake in E Ink, says this is the first time an electronic cover has been done. “The 21st century begins this fall. The entire issue is devoted to exploring the ideas, people and issues that will be the foundation of the 21st century,” editor-in-chief David Granger stated.

Development of the EPD cover began two years ago. Hearst wouldn’t divulge the final price tag for creating a scrolling cover, but Granger said the company hopes to find a way to bring costs to do it again. He believes EPD technology could revolutionize the way magazines are read.

EPUB Standard now on Sony Reader

From Publishers Weekly:

Sony Adopts EPUB Standard for Reader

By Jim Milliot — Publishers Weekly, 7/24/2008 7:16:00 AM

The International Digital Publishing Forum’s epub e-book standard received a big vote of support this morning when Sony announced that effective immediately its Sony Reader will now support the standard. Beginning in August, all new devices shipped will use epub, and right now owners of existing devices can go to http://esupport.sony.com to update their device’s software for epub support.

Brennan Mullin, v-p of Sony Audio, said the company was adopting the epub standard to encourage more vendors, booksellers and publishers to get involved in the e-book market and to broaden the amount of content that can be viewed on the Reader. The move to use epub is a significant change in approach for Sony, which has used its own standards and restricted consumers to buying e-books for the Reader from its own store. The use of epub will allow consumers to buy titles from a variety of outlets and will grow the number of titles compatible with the Reader to well passed the 45,000 now available through its online store. Another avenue for new material will be Adobe: Sony also annouced today that the device will support Adobe e-books with DRM and will also have the capability to reflow standard PDF e-books and other documents.

Publishers, who generally favor the one-format approach made possible by epub, welcomed Sony’s decision. “Sony’s support of epub is an important step forward in the cooperation of publishers and portable digital book manufacturers to create better experiences for readers,” said Brent Lewis, v-p digital & internet for Harlequin. “We’re thrilled with the upgrade.”  IDPF, of which Sony is a member, approved epub as an industrywide standard in an attempt to foster interoperability among e-book reading devices.

Mullin said sales of the Reader have been steady and that sales of titles have increased. Interest in e-books has grown and although reluctant to credit a competitor, Mullin acknowledged that the buzz around Amazon’s Kindle “has been good for everybody in the e-book market.” Amazon, however, has not adopted the epub standard.

In addition to adopting the epub standard, Sony has announced it has started offering the Reader in the U.K.

Future of Reference Publishing – Panel Summary

A View From the Top Panel, ALA Annual Conference John Barnes, Rolf Janke, Sue Polanka, Michael Ross, Casper Grothwohl

For those of you unable to attend the ALA Panel – The Future of Reference Publishing:  A View from the Top, there is a summary of the program available on Booklist Online.

We encourage comments, questions, and discussion on the blog.

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