This week in Literature and Arts

Happy birthday to Lee Marvin, born February 19, 1924, in New York City. He was named Lee after Robert E. Lee, a distant cousin (shockeroo, eh!).

After getting expelled from a handful of schools, Marvin enlisted in the marines in WWII and was twice wounded fighting in the Pacific. Post war he was working as a plumber’s assistant in a theater, and when one of the actors took ill, he filled in and the rest is our good fortune.

After portraying a plethora of gritty cowboys, soldiers, and crooks, Marvin, ironically, snagged his lone Oscar for a comedy (Cat Ballou).

The eyes of a killer.

Lee Marvin collage


Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

New (but not surprising) AAP findings this week: paperback, hardcover, and audio sales grow; ebook sales decline

AAPAAP has released some new numbers this week that point to the trend we saw in previous findings: that print (paperback and hardcover) and audio sales continue to grow while ebook sales continue to decline. See full report here.

As always, when such reports are released, NSR zooms in on ebook numbers. They continue to go down (not up), as we can clearly see, but as we’ve noted previously on this issue, this may actually be a good thing. At least for those who advocate for more affordable access to books online, and especially for those whose advocate free access to books online (beyond libraries). Although disappointing, numbers like this do not confirm that people don’t want to read and access content in digital format. Instead, they confirm that they simply do not want to pay for ebooks, or at least not as much they’ve had to pay thusfar. Continue reading New (but not surprising) AAP findings this week: paperback, hardcover, and audio sales grow; ebook sales decline

Smashwords, where indie authors may price their books at ‘free,’ but ‘free’ isn’t the core mission

smashwordsThe focus of this week’s Free Content Alert column is ebook distributor Smashwords, which occupies a unique niche in the world of free ebook collections in that its focus is indie ebooks. As stated on Smashwords’ website:

Smashwords is the world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks.  We make it fast, free and easy for any author or publisher, anywhere in the world, to publish and distribute ebooks to the major retailers  and thousands of libraries. Continue reading Smashwords, where indie authors may price their books at ‘free,’ but ‘free’ isn’t the core mission

More ebook choices for OASIS users

OasisProQuest has just announced it has joined forces with De Gruyter to make De Gruyter’s 26,000 ebooks (from over 15 international imprints) available for purchase through the OASIS® system. This prompted us to revisit OASIS—ProQuest’s free web-based system for searching, selecting, and ordering print and electronic books for academic libraries—and provide a quick update on its growth.

Indended for academic, corporate, and government libraries, OASIS (Online Acquisitions and Selection Information System) supports multiple ordering and selection workflows for print and ebooks, including approval plans, firm orders, standing orders, demand driven acquisition, EDI ordering and MARC ordering. It now provides libraries with access to over 1.5 million unique ebook titles and 25 million print titles. Continue reading More ebook choices for OASIS users

NSR invites publishers and vendors to support EveryLibrary’s efforts to protect libraries

every library

EveryLibrary—a nonprofit social welfare organization chartered to work on local library ballot initiatives and the only national organization dedicated to political action at a local level to create and protect public funding for libraries—has just put out a statement to all who support its mission to fight for the future of libraries to join its efforts by pledging support.

As part of its efforts, EveryLibrary is working to roll-out a coalition strategy in 2017 that looks to expand, not shrink, library budgets, even in the current political climate. As part of its coalition strategy, EveryLibrary signed on to the One America Coalition to focus on a core part of libraries: services to immigrants and new Americans. In addition, EveryLibrary has been part of a coalition protecting Net Neutrality for over two years and next month it will announce an expansion of its voter registration and ballot access mission.

This is a good opportunity for publishers and vendors working with libraries—public, school, and academic—to consider making a donation to support EveryLibrary’s mission. Efforts like these should serve as a reminder to publishers and vendors that sell to libraries—and whose businesses thrive from their relationship with libraries—that libraries continue to face serious challenges with funding and their livelihood depends on the continued support from the public.

Individual contributions are always welcome and make a difference, but organizational contributions have the potential to make the deepest impact. Hence this post.

More information on EveryLibrary’s 2017 agenda is available here.

Book of the Week: Bedtime for Buzzy (T.J. Hackworth)

No Shelf Required is an ardent supporter of independent authors writing and producing their work on their own terms and with their own resources. In an effort to draw attention to quality independent (aka self-published) literature (fiction and nonfiction published by independent authors and indie publishers around the world), and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights a wide variety of titles reviewed on BIR’s site each week. Enjoy this week’s (very timely) pick.

https://www.blueinkreview.com/book-reviews/bedtime-for-buzzy/

About Author

hackworth

 

T.J. Hackworth is a writer of short stories and children’s fiction. His work has also appeared recently in the Wisconsin Review. He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and daughter.

 

 


About BlueInk Review

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

The flawed (and outdated) art of categorizing books and knowledge in digital formats

books-401896During 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

Program for DPLAfest 2017, to be held in Chicago April 20-21, now available

 DPLA 2017

DPLAfest 2017—the fourth major gathering of the Digital Public Library of America’s community—will take place on April 20-21, 2017 in Chicago at Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington Library Center. The event will bring together librarians, archivists, and museum professionals, developers and technologists, publishers and authors, educators, and many others to celebrate DPLA and its community of creative professionals.

DPLA has just released the schedule, including a very extensive listing of the speakers.

From a DPLA press release:

We received an excellent array of submissions in response to this year’s call for proposals and are excited to officially unveil the dynamic program that we have lined up for you. Look for opportunities to engage with topics such as social justice and digital collections; public engagement; library technology and interoperability; metadata best practices; ebooks; and using digital collections in education and curation projects.

DPLAfest 2017 presenters represent institutions across the country—and as far as Europe—but also include folks from some of our host city’s premier cultural and educational institutions, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum and Chicago State University. We are also grateful for the support and collaboration of DPLAfest hosting partners  Chicago Public Library, the Black Metropolis Research ConsortiumChicago Collections, and the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS).

The Best of NSR: Why education continues to fail digital content and students

The Best of NSRIn her opinion piece for NSR, Why education continues to fail digital content and students, CEO of learning technology company Metrodigi, Kathryn Stewart, calls for a “much-needed disruption” in education, giving three reasons why it has been slow to leverage the benefits of digital content: inferior user experience, shortage of engaging content, and lack of commitment to overcome institutional barriers. Read full article here.


If you are a book, library or information professional interested in contributing to NSR, please contact the Editorial Director at mirelaroncevic@gmail.com. Please include a writing sample and a brief description of the topic you wish to explore. For more on NSR’s vision, visit our About and Mission pages. To browse our opinion pieces for inspiration, visit our Ideas page.

Free Trial Alert: Race Relations in America, a timely new resource concerning all

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Adam Matthew has just released a new—and very timely—online collection, Race Relations in America, culled from the extensive work of the Race Relations Department at Fisk University (Nashville), an influential think tank and center of scholarly investigation and public conversation on civil rights in the 20th century. Presenting speeches, reports, surveys and analyses, the resource sheds light on the Civil Rights Movement, segregation, discrimination and racial theory in America between 1943-1970.

NSR thanks Adam Matthew for giving us free access to share with our readers, valid for four weeks. If you are interested in exploring the resource (no strings attached) log in here. Then use the following:

  • Username: NSR2017
  • Password: amdRRIA7

The free trial ends on March 16, 2017. Please note that username and password are case sensitive. Please also note download options are not available during trials. Continue reading Free Trial Alert: Race Relations in America, a timely new resource concerning all

World Public Library, an impressive collection of free books and documents but a cumbersome registration process

WPL logo

We can see at this point in our Free Content ‘tour’ that ‘free’ ebook (or econtent) collections online are based on various premises (e.g., a true nonprofit or a quasi-nonprofit) and take different approaches to issues such as the need to register with the site, as well the ability to download items from the site. As I’ve learned more about DRM and ebook platforms over the past few years, I’ve also learned that the variations in how these collections operate are considerable and speak to models of access.

With that in mind, this week’s focus is on the World Public Library—a service that, contrary to the others considered so far in NSR’s Free Content Alerts (see Project Gutenberg, Bookzz, and Internet Archive posts), requires disclosing personal information to obtain an “e-Libray card”. Continue reading World Public Library, an impressive collection of free books and documents but a cumbersome registration process

Western Sydney University makes etextbooks available for free to all first-year students

Western Sydney Uni

A ground-breaking collaboration between Western Sydney University and ProQuest provides digital textbooks for commencing university students through the University’s library, reducing the overall cost of education to students and increasing access to required learning materials.

One of the world’s largest initiatives of its kind, Western Sydney University is differentiating itself from other universities by making etextbooks from 60 academic publishers available to students via Ebook Central, ProQuest’s ebook platform. Continue reading Western Sydney University makes etextbooks available for free to all first-year students

The Best of NSR: Technology is not the death of deep reading

The Best of NSRIn her opinion piece for No Shelf Required, Content and Media Editor at BiblioLabs Emilie Hancock argues that if we make even the smallest efforts to use technology as a means toward reading more, “we can re-establish a reading culture in the digital age.” At a time when many ‘blame’ technology for ‘killing’ reading, Emilie’s article serves as a reminder that perhaps we haven’t been looking closely enough to notice that technology can, in fact, help us to read more, not less.

This very thinking hits at the core of NSR’s mission—to draw attention to the power of ebooks and econtent to transform the world into a place where reading flows and is an integral part of life in any enlightened society. Read the full article here. Continue reading The Best of NSR: Technology is not the death of deep reading

Book of the Week: The Night Everything Fell Apart (Joy Nash)

No Shelf Required is an ardent supporter of independent authors writing and producing their work on their own terms and with their own resources. In an effort to draw attention to quality independent (aka self-published) literature (fiction and nonfiction published by independent authors and indie publishers around the world), and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights a wide variety of titles reviewed on BIR’s site each week. Enjoy this week’s (very timely) pick.


https://www.blueinkreview.com/book-reviews/the-night-everything-fell-apart/


 

About Author

joy nashJoy Nash is a USA Today Bestselling Author.  She’s best known for her pre-Arthurian romantic fantasy series Druids of Avalong, and for her contributions to the best-selling paranormal series Immortals. When Joy was sever years old, she read a book about a girl living on the moon and thought is was real.  Her big sister set her straight.  Ever since, Joy has been of the opinion that fiction is more interesting than reality.  She credits her love of tortured heroes to the Bronte sisters, her fascination with magical adventure to J.R.R. Tolkien, and her weakness for snarky humor to Douglas Adams.


About BlueInk Review

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

ProQuest’s new white paper explores obstacles and opportunities in managing collections (print and electronic)

ProQuest white paperThe white paper, titled “Obstacles and Opportunities: Ebooks, Print and the Impact of Choice on Libraries and the Users They Serve,” explores the complexities of balancing print and ebooks, highlighting opportunities for collaboration between librarians and content aggregators. Focusing on the U.K. higher-education book market, the paper combines commentary from U.K. librarians with global data to draw attention to the complexities of managing book collections in multiple formats, focusing on:

 

  • Similarities between managing print and digital books.
  • Collection management obstacles—and opportunities—introduced by ebooks.
  • How librarians can work with content aggregators like ProQuest to simplify the management of collections comprised of content in multiple formats.

Continue reading ProQuest’s new white paper explores obstacles and opportunities in managing collections (print and electronic)

Ingram’s Consortium now represents over 100 independent publishers. New partners have just been announced.

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MINNEAPOLIS —Consortium Book Sales & Distribution, a brand of Ingram Publisher Services, announces five new publishers for the Spring 2017 season: Animal Media Group LLC, Cassava Republic Press, Hoxton Mini Press, Iron Circus Comics and Transit Books. All presses began distribution with Consortium on Jan. 1, 2017, with the exception of Animal Media Group, which began Sept. 1, 2016.

Consortium grew out of a small book wholesaling cooperative in 1985 to become a full-service distributor, earning a reputation as an advocate for independent publishers. Consortium now represents more than one hundred independent publishers from the United States, Canada, Europe, India, and Australia, enabling them to successfully reach the trade, library, and academic markets for their books. More information about Consortium is available here.

The Best of NSR: Academic libraries are shrinking, while content is growing. How did we get here?

The Best of NSROriginally published in the Fall of 2016, this opinion piece on the present and future of academic libraries remains one of the most read articles on NSR. Michael Zeoli (VP, YBP Library Services and Publisher Relations) takes a close look at how collection development practices have evolved in academic settings in recent years, especially since the advent of ebooks and proliferation of digital content. Regardless of how familiar book professionals are with complex purchasing models in academic libraries, it is important that we understand how we ‘got here’ before we can understand how best to move forward.

We also must acknowledge that we all participated in the creation of complex business models for buying and managing content. We must now all participate in simplifying them. The reality is, as Michael explains, the academic library world is shrinking, even as more content is created and new technologies are implemented. This raises serious questions about the future of the academic library and the roles we all play in shaping it. Perhaps the most important sentence in the piece is: “All parts of our ecosystem have an active role to play; none should act out of fear and remain passive.” Read the full article here. —Ed.


If you are a book, library or information professional interested in contributing to NSR, please contact the Editorial Director at mirelaroncevic@gmail.com. Please include a writing sample and a brief description of the topic you wish to explore. For more on NSR’s vision, visit our About and Mission pages. To browse our opinion pieces for inspiration, visit our Ideas page.

ProQuest launches free access to its databases for researchers affected by travel ban

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Kudos to ProQuest for this.

From a ProQuest press release:

No-charge access to ProQuest databases helps individuals continue their research and learning

ProQuest has launched a program to provide no-cost access to its databases for students and researchers who have been separated from their universities and libraries because of travel bans or other immigration changes. The company has an email hotline ContinueMyResearch@proquest.com where these displaced researchers can arrange for access to the materials they need to continue their work.

“ProQuest is an open and inclusive organization that takes its role in supporting research and learning very seriously,” said Kurt Sanford, ProQuest CEO. “We’re doing whatever we can to mitigate the interruptions facing our community of students and scholars around the world.” Continue reading ProQuest launches free access to its databases for researchers affected by travel ban

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