Last Friday I spoke with Nader Qaimari, the Senior VP of Marketing for Cengage Learning, about MindTap (TM). MindTap is a program of digital products and service, including Cengage content, that engages students via interactivity. MindTap plans to bring digital textbooks to life. In the interview, Nader discusses how library resources fit into MindTap. More information on MindTap, including sample videos is available at cengage.com/mindtap.
The Ohio Digital Bookshelf, Where will the 2nd Year Take Us? A Webinar from the University System of Ohio TeachU, Presented by Stephen R. Acker, Research Director, The Ohio Digital Bookshelf
The following is a summary of my interpretation of the webinar. My best efforts were made to ensure accuracy.
Affordability, engagement and preparedness are the 3 big factors that influence student success in college. For many of higher education faculty, admistrators, and policy creators years ago, these were mutually reinforcing- “poverty” as a teaching associate led to more campus-based activity and greater preparedness through grading, lecturing, and the like. Now, higher costs for education and lack of related income-generating opportunities for students, drives students off campus and takes time they would better be spending on study. We need to concentrate on affordability if we’re to bring campus engagement and preparedness back into reasons for successrather than reasons for failure for today’s student, who lives in a much different world. Continue reading The Ohio Digital Bookshelf, webinar summary
Panel discussion on eTextbooks in Higher Education: Practical Findings to Guide the Industry. Panelists included Jade Roth, Curtiss Barnes, Nick Francesco, David McCarthy, Jacob Robinson, and Susan Stites-Doe. Panelist names/titles are available on the conference website.
Notes are my own interpretation and my best attempts were made to ensure accuracy.
Some overview data: 15% of textbook content is avaiable in digital format, yet only 1 – 3% of higher education sales are digital, sales are across all disciplines, there is no clear winner in the format.
14% of students have purchased digital materials, primarily for cost savings, 18% purchase for features, and 10% for curiosity. Continue reading TOC – Digital Textbooks Panel Summary
Jeff Shelstad, Founder and CEO of FlatWorld Knowledge spoke first.
Jeff provided some stats on higher education:
- 19.1 million students in 2010 in college
- $850 avg spent on textbook
- so, it’s about a 10billion industry
- Cengage, Pearson, McGraw-Hill are the big 3 publishers along with many other small ones
Problem is that the industry has outworn their value proposition and is not willing to pay for the product the industry is offering. Affordability is a huge problem.
36% of community college student in a study said that the cost of textbooks had caused them to leave/dropout Continue reading Charleston Conference – Open Textbooks Model & Library Involvement
Received this email from Ingram today: Ingram’s VitalSource launches Bookshelf® application for iPadâ„¢, iPhone®, and iPod Touch®now offers three ways to access content
LA VERGNE, TN — Vital Source Technologies, Inc., the leading e-textbook solution provider for publishers, academic institutions and students today announced the availability of the VitalSource Bookshelf application for Apple’s iPadâ„¢, iPhone®, and iPod Touch®.
Continue reading Ingram Launches VitalSource Bookshelf application for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch
Some really interesting articles and blog posts this week about a variety of eBook issues including: eReader prices, lending eReaders in libraries, open source textbooks and new Cengage textbook content.
Last years law suit against 4 Universities piloting the Kindle reader as a eTextbook solution has done a lot to guarantee the accessibility of textbooks to all students.
Ingram Content Group, working with the American Foundation for the Blind consulting group (AFB Consulting), announced a new disability release for their eTextbook platform – VitalSource. The release, which makes the application more usable for disabled students, contains extensive internal feature and function enhancements, as well as support for third-party screen-reader applications. These new features include the new DTD (Document Type Definition) v3.4 and VitalSource’s “MathSpeak” program which adds rich English-language articulation to MathML tags. With this release, VitalSource is the only eTextbook platform on the market to offer full accessibility in downloads, online, and mobile access points for content. Windows, Macintosh®, and online updates are expected in June, and iPhone®, iPod Touch®, and iPadâ„¢ releases in August. Continue reading Accessibility Release for Ingram’s VitalSource Bookshelf
Earlier this week I attended the O’Reilly Tools of Change (TOC) Conference for the first time. Over 1250 attendees gathered in New York City to discuss and network about issues and trends in publishing, in particular, digital publishing. While much of the information presented was for the publishing industry, I did manage to find several great ideas and concepts that relate to libraries. I’d like to share these with you, in no apparent order. Continue reading 10 Takeaways from the O’Reilly Tools of Change Conference for Librarians
Interesting article in the NYT today about Barnes & Noble’s textbook rental program. According to the article, textbooks can be rented from college bookstores for about 42% of the retail price. B & N piloted the program last year in a few schools, it has now been expanded to 25 campuses. Renting textbooks isn’t a new phenomenon, but it’s picked up in popularity due to federal grants for bookstores to start rental programs (to combat the high cost of textbooks). Cengage and Chegg.com are also options. Are you allowed to highlight and write in the rented books I wonder? If this takes off, how might this impact the regularity of new editions? Unfortunately, it only offers an option to students, renting. It doesn’t get to the heart of the matter, which is the high cost of the book.
Here in Ohio we experimented with leasing e-textbooks from CourseSmart. It didn’t work out so well because the program has been canceled. Students just aren’t ready to embrace the e-textbook, they want “a real book.”
Gale and Greenwood eBook Partnership Expands
Current Greenwood Titles Now on Gale Virtual Reference Library
Farmington Hills, Mich., September 12, 2008 — Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, and Greenwood Publishing Group have enhanced their partnership to include more high-demand Greenwood titles, including more than 130 titles released in 2008 as eBooks on Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL). Previously, only titles published prior to 2005 were available on GVRL.
“This is a significant benefit to our GVRL customers as it greatly enhances our K-12 eBook collection,” said Erin Sullivan, product manager at Gale. “Greenwood has responded to the requests of their customers to have a larger number of current titles available on GVRL and allow users to cross-reference the most recent titles from Greenwood, Gale and others through GVRL, to provide the most current information available.”
“Customers need to have access to our titles in the platform and format that works best for them,” said Ron Maas, VP Business Development and Sales at Greenwood. “We’ve been pleased with the response to our initial collection on GVRL, and look forward to expanding our offerings.”
GVRL allows librarians to adapt their reference collection to meet the changing needs of their patronsoffering researchers simultaneous, 24/7 remote access to titles with no special reader or hardware required.
Some of the Greenwood titles now available on GVRL include:
â€¢ African American Icons of Sport: Triumph, Courage and Excellence
â€¢ Barack Obama: A Biography
â€¢ Encyclopedia of Cybercrime
â€¢ Global Warming 101
â€¢ Going to School in the Middle East and North Africa
â€¢ How Your Government Really Works: A Topical Encyclopedia of the Federal Government
â€¢ Icons of Crime Fighting: Relentless Pursuers of Justice
â€¢ LeBron James: A Biography
â€¢ Race Relations in the United States, 1940-1960
â€¢ Sports Scandals
â€¢ Women Icons of Popular Music: The Rebels, Rockers and Renegades
â€¢ Young British Muslim Voices
â€¢ And many more
This new content expands the depth and breadth of the reference available through the GVRL, which in addition to several Gale imprints, includes over 2,000 titles from other leading publishers. For more information, visit www.gale.com/gvrl.
About Greenwood Publishing GroupThe Greenwood Publishing Group is one of the world’s leading publishers of reference titles, academic and general interest books, texts, books for librarians and other professionals, and electronic resources. With over 18,000 titles in print, GPG publishes some 1,000 books each year, many of which are recognized with annual awards from Choice, Library Journal, the American Library Association, and other scholarly and professional organizations. For more information contact Publicity Director, Laura Mullen, email@example.com
About Cengage Learning and Gale
Cengage Learning delivers highly customized learning solutions for colleges, universities, professors, students, libraries, government agencies, corporations and professionals around the world. Gale, part of Cengage Learning, serves the world’s information and education needs through its vast and dynamic content pools, which are used by students and consumers in their libraries, schools and on the Internet. It is best known for the accuracy, breadth and convenience of its data, addressing all types of information needs — from homework help to health questions to business profiles — in a variety of formats — books and eBooks, databases and microfilm. For more information visit: www.cengage.com or www.gale.com.
Director, Corporate Communications
May 6, 2008
I had a nice conversation with Frank Menchaca, Executive VP and Publisher of Gale/Cengage Learning. We discussed the importance of updating eBooks and what plans Gale has in place to do this, including Smart Reference and GVRL 2.0 – both forthcoming.
I recommend you download the file first, then listen.
Gale Virtual Reference Library
Review. First published November 1, 2006 (Booklist).
Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) contains more than 700 reference titles from more than 25 publishers, including Gale, Wiley, Sage, and Cambridge, and focuses on multivolume encyclopedias from a variety of fields. Purchased title by title, GVRL can be customized to fit any library. GVRL runs on the PowerSearch interface, which is clean and structured with many special features. Content is easy to navigate with browse, basic, and advanced searches. Users may select from three basic search optionskeyword (default), document title, or full text. Keyword searches the title, introductory text, authors, and first 50 words of an article. GVRL’s advanced search offers several field-search types (document title, image caption, publication title, ISBN, author, start page, document number); limits by date, publication title, subject area, audience type, and documents with images; and search-history accessa feature unique to GVRL. Limits are only available on the advanced search screen. Results are ranked by relevance and may be sorted by document or publication title.
Several features stand out in GVRL. Articles are delivered in html (showing actual page breaks) with links to pdf versions. Users may mark, store, and export items for print, e-mail, or download. Multiple citation formats are includedAPA, MLA, and plain text with direct exports to EndNote, Procite, RefWorks, and Reference Manager. Articles can be translated into eight languages (but be careful: translation is not exact but rather employs a gisting software). The InfoMark tool allows the user to obtain persistent links to books or articles with options to bookmark or e-mail. E-books include all front and back matter with hyperlinked tables of content and indexes. The Subcollection Manager Tool allows libraries to create small subject collections within GVRL that can be linked to courses or subjects on the library Web site and searched separately from other GVRL content. Many articles include a find-similar-articles option, which utilizes e-book indexes. Libraries may use the customization options to include messages, logos, and links to library services and to track usage. Users may set preferences of font, colors, language, and number of results per page during their sessions. The cost of individual titles is 10 percent above the print cost. Annual hosting fees range from $50 to $300 depending on the number of titles owned. – Sue Polanka