Tag Archives: ALA

The A to Z of Electronic Reference Product Development – ALA session summary

RUSA (Reference & User Services Division of ALA) sponsored a panel discussion of the product development of electronic reference products.  It was organized by RUSA, with Joseph Yue of the University of California at the lead and moderated by  Kay Cassell from Rutgers SLIS.  The panel included Frank Menchaca from Gale/Cengage, Rolf Janke from SAGE Reference,  Kevin Ohe from ABC-CLIO, and Mike Hermann from Greenwood.

Panelists discussed a variety of topics including: how product topics are selected and the role of librarians in that selection, technology expenses, time needed for product development, how items are priced, and the use of online products.  The comments of all 4 panelists are summarized below, by topic. Continue reading The A to Z of Electronic Reference Product Development – ALA session summary

Mad World of eBooks – part three, ALA Discussion

See parts one and two of this session for more information.  The session was described by one of the speakers as “speed dating for eBooks”- evaluating the relationships between libraries, publishers, vendors.  Best thing I heard all day.

Group three – Becky Clark, Johns Hopkins, Alex Holzman, Temple UP, Rob Kairis and Kay Downey, OhioLINK Continue reading Mad World of eBooks – part three, ALA Discussion

Mad World of eBooks, part two – ALA discussion

For the introductory material on the session, please see part one of this blog post.

Second group – Lenny Allen, OUP, Erin Igoe, Cambridge UP, Tony Horava, OCUL, Joy Kirchner, COPPUL

  • Lenny – budget and workflow are concerns, always looking a year in advance.
  • Erin – CBO general ebook platform focused on perpetual access of titles; forthcoming developments – digital collections from Cambridge Libary, New Cambridge history of Islam; discussing the best use of delivering print materials in a digital format that will be most useful, relevant and user friendly.  Always looking at discoverability and functionality, they really want to be at the simultaneous release of p and e, it’s the workflow issue that is holding things up.  Lots of opportunities for ILL, PDA, metadata (better and more consistent fashion), use reports. Suggests that librarians keep pushing the envelope with publishers. Continue reading Mad World of eBooks, part two – ALA discussion

Mad World of eBooks part one – ALA discussion

On Saturday morning at ALA, a group of librarians and publishers gathered together to discuss the world of eBooks, particularly aspects of consortial purchasing.  Each hour of the discussion a panel of publishers and librarians was on hand to lead the discussion.

The event was organized by Michael Zeoli at YBP, Julie Gammon at the University of Akron, and Tony Horava at OCUL.  Michael began the event with general slides about eBook and print book availability and sales.  He also offered a few anonymous comments from librarians.  I’ll try to get copies of his slides to post. Continue reading Mad World of eBooks part one – ALA discussion

ALA Session – Challenges of Implementing eBooks for Publishers, Libraries, and End-Users

You are cordially invited to the Electronic Resources Management Interest Group ALCTS/LITA meeting at ALA 2010 Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

  • Program: Challenges of Implementing eBooks for Publishers, Libraries and End-Users
  • Date: Friday, June 25th, 2010
  • Time:  4:00pm—5:15pm
  • Location: Hilton Washington-Fairchild Room
  • Speakers: Aaron Wood, Director of Software Product Management, Alexander Street Press. Former Metadata Librarian and Assistant Head of Technical Services at the University of Calgary and  Sue Polanka, Head of Reference and Instruction, Wright State University Libraries Continue reading ALA Session – Challenges of Implementing eBooks for Publishers, Libraries, and End-Users

Have you heard about blio?

Have you heard about blio reader, the free ebook reader from Baker & Taylor?  I got a demo of it last week at the American Library Association conference in Boston.  It’s pretty cool, offering full color and audio for any open system – MAC, PC, iPhone, netbook, etc.  Blio was developed by a gamer – very cool and wise decision in my opinion.  Even children’s books looked and sounded good on this reader.  Some cool features I saw included:

  • full color
  • text 2 speech (TTS) – which sounded pretty good
  • track audio down to the word, start reading again at the exact word
  • embedded multimedia
  • page turning
  • highlight word and get a definition
  • reflowable text
  • change font
  • some titles were narrated, depends on publisher
  • publishers can edit/control the voice for text 2 speech reading – change gender, tone, speed, etc.

blio will be available for the retail market in February with access to over 1 million free ebooks and a large selection of trade/childrens titles for purchase, through the online bookstore.  B & T plans to expand to the library market in the summer of 2010.  The website offers a comparison chart of various ereaders.  Check it out.

2010 Dartmouth Medal Winners

The Dartmouth Medal, honoring a reference work of outstanding quality and significance, is awarded each year by the Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association.  This year, 3 titles were honored, one as the Dartmouth Medal winner and two for Honorable Mention.  All 3 multivolume titles are available in ebook format through the publisher’s reference platform.

Winners for 2010 include:

Honorable Mention –

ebrary announced DASH – Data Sharing, Fast

Subscribers to ebrary’s Academic Complete now have the ability to upload and share their own PDF documents.  It’s all part of a new service called DASH – (Data Sharing, Fast).  Those attending the ALAMW meeting in Boston next week can check it out.  The complete press release is below.

Continue reading ebrary announced DASH – Data Sharing, Fast

Google Books, links to letters, objections/responses

Here’s a link to the letter sent to the DOJ from the Exec Dir’s of ALA/ACRL/ARL on December 15th, outlining concerns of pricing and the lack of academic representation on the Registry Board.

And another link for the NY Law School document outlining the objections and responses in the amended settlement.

ebrary announces sweepstakes for free ebooks

ebrary is launching a monthly sweepstakes for a free ebook a month for one’s institution – complete with ebrary’s  InfoTools.  To enter, just recommend an ebrary title.  Details of the contest are below, in the ebrary press release.  This is a fun idea, but I have to chuckle.  Can you imagine having a sweepstakes for a free print book?  Oh, what technology will do. Continue reading ebrary announces sweepstakes for free ebooks

Comments on Google Book Search Settlement Coming to a Head (Again)

Ah, it is the beginning of September when thoughts turn to going back to school, the days turn a little colder (in the northern hemisphere) and the smell of lawsuit briefs is in the air. Well, okay — the latter might not be what you expect, but this is a special September, after all. Postponed from MayL1, the deadline for filing comments in the Google Book Search settlement is coming up. And everyone is weighing in (”again” for some) on the details of the settlement. A couple of highlights.

The American Library Association (ALA), the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL)L2 again offered its support for the settlement, if only the court would promise to extend vigorous oversight of pricing and privacy practices of Google and the Books Rights Registry. This came in the form of a supplemental filingL3 to the briefL4 the three organizations filed in MayL5 (just prior to the first comment deadline). Continue reading Comments on Google Book Search Settlement Coming to a Head (Again)

The Google Book Scanning Project: Issues and Updates – EDUCAUSE Webinar Summary

Sat in on the EDUCAUSE webinar on the Google Book scanning project.  The speakers were

Jonathan Band
Counsel, Library Copyright Alliance
Dan Clancy
Engineering Director, Google Book Search Continue reading The Google Book Scanning Project: Issues and Updates – EDUCAUSE Webinar Summary

New blog interview – Andy Weissberg, Bowker & ISTC

NSR has a great new interview posted with Andy Weissberg, VP of Identifier Services and Corporate Marketing at Bowker.  One of Andy’s tasks at Bowker is the ISTC, the International Standard Text Code.  This interview discusses the ISTC, ISBN, and other standards which relate to the publishing industry (for ordering/selling/tracking) and for libraries.  It’s a long interview, but well worth the time.  Caution, lots of Acroynms 😉 During the interview Andy mentions his ALA presentation, which you can see here. For more information on the ISTC see their website.

eBook Standards – summary of NISO/BISG program

Last Friday at ALA I was part of a NISO/BISG panel on the changing standards landscape.  There were many speakers, each discussing various aspects of eBook standards like business models, ISBNs, epub, DRM, and the standards and features needed by librarians (which was my part).  I’ve summarized my presentation here and would welcome additional suggestions and ideas from librarians.  Sue Continue reading eBook Standards – summary of NISO/BISG program

Booklist launches new reference blog

CHICAGO—Booklist Online announces the addition of Points of Reference to its growing family of blogs. Mary Ellen Quinn and a team of front-line experts from academic, public and school libraries post about reference sources and trends in reference publishing and services. Continue reading Booklist launches new reference blog

Sage Handbooks Available on Sage Reference Online

Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, and Washington DC (June 29, 2009)—SAGE announced today that the new SAGE Reference Online Handbook Collection, a set of 80 of its highest rated handbooks, digitized and hosted on the award-winning SAGE Reference Online platform, is now available for libraries worldwide. The first demos of the Handbook Collection will be given to attendees of the American Libraries Association meeting in Chicago, July 11-13. Continue reading Sage Handbooks Available on Sage Reference Online

Google Book Search Settlement

Posting on behalf of Peter Murray, OhioLINK, full post at:  http://dltj.org/article/gbs-summary/

Today was to be the deadline for objecting to, opting out of, and/or filing briefs with the court on the Google Book Search Settlement. That was the plan, at least, when the preliminary approval statement from the court was issued last year. That deadline changed, and that is part of a recent flurry of activity surrounding the proposed Settlement. In honor of the original deadline, this e-mail provides a summary of recent news and an index of documents that you might want to read for more information. Continue reading Google Book Search Settlement

ebrary Creating Patron Driven Purchasing Model

At the ALAMW Conference I sat in on a brainstorming session with ebrary folks and about 50 librarians.  The topic was patron driven/initiated purchasing models.  ebrary is in the beginning stages of creating a model and wanted to get feedback from librarians.  Some common themes that came up included:

budgets – librarians weary of budget control, who has the right to buy, how to budget, which budget, and what happens when we run out of money, is the service turned off?

access – when is the book purchased? first click, after 5/10 minutes?  how much “free” time does a user have to browse a title before they decide to access/pay for it? is it just one user or simultaneous, and how does price change that?

usage – what type of usage statistics will be available?  these will be important to analyze the cost effectiveness of this program.  can we get usage stats on printed pages? downloads? pages viewed? and, what consitutes a “usage” in terms of purchasing the ebook?

ILL – purchasing ebooks essentially means we no longer have ILL rights.  So, will ebrary work this model into consortial agreements or could ILL fees be instituted?

pay per view/rent-to-own – paying a smaller fee to use the ebook one time, two times, etc. If the book price is reached, the library would own it, if not, its a cheaper way to provide access to many more titles.  Librarians were concerned about spending money on intangible items and how to educate the auditors and penny pinchers about this new model.

Thanks to ebrary, I was able to get some comments from one of the moderators.

Allen McKiel, Dean of Library and Media Services at Western Oregon University summarized his thoughts on one of the ebrary Patron Driven Models sessions.  He said:

I heard librarians flirting with pay-per-view in a number of their comments as Leslie plied them with leading questions. The responses labored around a mixed subscription/pay-per-some-features model until patrons had encumbered a charge that was equal to the price of the book, in which case the library would then ‘own’ the book. Librarians find it hard to realize that e-books no longer require charging structures that are based in physical objects. The conversation from my hearing leaned toward resolution in a pay-per-view model. Five hands shot up when Leslie asked if anyone was interested in pay-per-view. Then he dropped the subject and never went back to it. I think librarians may finally be ready to talk about pay-per-view as a real option. Pay-per-view compliments research and educational environments. Discovery and learning are facilitated by access to information particularly information that is produced by the academy. Pay-per-view would optimize access and thereby facilitate research, the production of information, and learning. Publishers would provide an editorial selection role based in their being able to identify resources that researchers and students would find useful since they would receive compensation for their service proportional to use of their publications by faculty and students.

I think publishers have a window of opportunity to develop access to everything on a pay-per-view model that can evolve gradually using a mixed subscription/pay-per-view model. A variety of collections available through subscription/pay-per-view would permit reasonable access to a variety of academic institutions at affordable prices that would also permit reasonable profit margins for publishers. It would also permit publishers to experiment with models that would optimize their revenue while simultaneously optimizing access for all students and faculty. Library budgets that are driven more directly by faculty and student use would be more likely to increase than budgets dependent upon librarian requests.

Reference Publishers Debate Single Platform

On the Friday of the ALAMW Conference, the Independent Reference Publishers Group met for a panel presentation/discussion on using one single platform to host all reference content.  It was an interesting discussion.  I’ve summarized the panel in my notes below.

Independent Reference Publishers Group Meeting

Friday, January 23, 2009

Representatives from the following organizations were in attendance: Choice, CQ Press, Omnigraphics, Sharpe, ifactory, Sage, Salem, Neal Schumann, ABC-CLIO, Rosen, Credo Reference, Serials Solutions, NISO, Booklist, CHOICE, Wright State University.

The theme of this meeting and panel discussion was instituting a single platform for electronic reference content. Sue Polanka from WSU started things off with her wish list and each publisher had a chance to respond.

Sue Polanka – Wright State University

One day I’d like to purchase/license all of my reference content, regardless of publisher, and load it on the platform of my choice for the best cross searching available. This platform could be an existing one, like GVRL, Credo, ebrary, EBL, NetLibrary, etc. or some shareware, something developed by libraries. Benefits to patrons and librarians include: Greater access, more content, single search interface for ease of use and discoverabilty, easy to implement in library instruction and on web sites. These systems need to have unlimited simultaneous use, 24/7 access, with no DRM or other restrictions on downloading or printing, the most multimedia available during today’s expensive economic times and an actual ebook price, up front, would be appreciated.

Todd Carpenter – NISO

One platform has barriers to interoperability and they are bigger than technological, as in political and economic. [barriers shouldn’t prevent us from trying to do this. IRPG would be a good venue to discuss this. Seems like publishers would want to do this for reasons of – more exposure, and less cost of producing pricey interfaces – has anyone ever heard of epub or the IDPF? SP]

Peter McCracken – Serials Solutions

Federated products are often a starting point for research and therefore have an opportunity to have a reference role. The current design doesn’t work best for the patron since they get mostly articles. Somehow relevance needs to be a factor to assign tags to reference and get them to the top. We need to use field mapping more effectively. [I prefer a pre-indexed approach since federated products tend to be slow. Publishers/aggregators should take advantage of all metadata and tag reference items appropriately. If federated products are used, the reference content should be faceted as “overview material” or “background information.” SP]

Rolf Janke – Sage Reference

Publishers still have an infrastructure that supports print publishing.  The infrastructure is a difficult component to downsize in favor of doing more digital publishing. Print is a one size fits all model yet e publishing is not so, publishers have a multitude of business models, interfaces, features, etc.  The concept of a one size fits all platform for all publishers content is way ahead of its time, publishers currently could never agree on a standard business model. Pricing standards could help, but are not likely. [Gee, these must be the political and economic barriers that Todd was referring to? Looks like publishers could learn about collaboration from libraries. SP]

Ron Boehm – ABC-CLIO

Publishers need to invest in new things while maintaining our print production, which is expensive for publishers, particularly in these bad economic times. Right now we need to do both [e and p] or we would lose half of our business. The best strategy for ebooks is to have unlimited access. Ron supports the idea of publishers working with multiple aggregators or distributors to have reference content available in a multitude of platforms, but doesn’t recommend the libraries/consortia maintain their own platform. [Ditto on unlimited access and multiple aggregators. OhioLINK has been maintaining its own platforms for years. It’s a great system when you want to make enhancements and don’t have to wait on other companies or the majority of users to agree. SP]