Tag Archives: EBL

eBook platform comparison chart

I’m not sure how I didn’t find this earlier, but thanks to a colleague, Erik Christopher, I am now aware of the JISC eBook comparison chart. It is available on the JISC site at http://www.jisc-adat.com/adat/adat_ebooks.pl and offers a comparison of up to 7 different eBook platforms including:  Credo Reference, NetLibrary, ebrary, EBL, MyiLibrary, Dawsonera, and Taylor and Francis eBookstore.  Over 50 functional features are compared with basic Y/N responses including search, access control, search results, linking, restrictions, exporting, etc.  All data is supplied by the vendors.  They are obviously missing some reference eBook databases, so I hope Gale, SAGE, ABC-CLIO, Oxford, Rosen, and others can hop on board this chart.  If anyone is shopping for eBook platforms, or if publishers are considering launching an eBook site, this is a great place to go for ideas and industry standard features.

They also offer a comparison chart for scientific databases.

Financial Importance of Short-term loaning eBooks, a Case Study

I was given permission from EBL to post this case study on the financial importance of short-term loaning of ebooks.  The study references Grand Valley State University in Michigan.  It’s posted in it’s entirety below.

The Financial Importance of Short-term Loans:  An Example from Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in Michigan

Prepared by David Swords, EBL

Note:  The data for this case study come from Ron Berry of NYU in Abu Dhabi  (ron.berry@nyu.edu) and Doug Way of GVSU in Michigan (wayd@gvsu.edu).   The information is used with their permission. Continue reading Financial Importance of Short-term loaning eBooks, a Case Study

Blackwell Webinars for Librarians

Those of you with Blackwell (or considering Blackwell) may want to sit in on some of their webinars.  They work with ebrary, Myilibrary, and EBL, and offer webinars on connecting your electronic resources to each of these ebook aggregators.  They are offering a webinar this Wednesday on ebrary, details are below.Join Blackwell for a FREE Infotools webinar on August 19th, 11am PDT.If you have ebrary or have an interest in ebrary as your ebook aggregator, join us and see how you can connect all your electronic resources you currently own to ebooks on the ebrary platform. We’ll show you how Infotools can connect your current resources and how Blackwell makes the acquisitions, collection development and discovery of ebooks easier and efficient.If you cannot make the webinar or if you wish to attend another time, contact me to set one up. We also work with Myilibrary and EBL platform as well, feel free to contact me to setup webinars for those as well.Please RSVP to me for login instructions.Erik Christopher, Blackwell Digital Services Sales Manager, Toll Free: 1-800-525-7964Erik.Christopher@Blackwell.com

EBL expands content, offers title alert service

eBook aggregator EBL (Ebook Library) just announced the addition of 10,000 new titles in recent weeks, taking their title count to nearly 130,000.  Due to several enhancements to their production process they are now processing new titles even more quickly than before.  They now offer a New Title Alert service for librarians and end users.  The optional service will notify you via email when titles in your subject area are received.  50 subject areas are currently available and cover the Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities.

EBL’s new patron interface ready for testing

From an EBL press release:

ImageEBL’s new patron interface is now ready for it’s final stages of testing. We’ve created a preview account where we encourage customers to login, test the new interface, and email all feedback to support@eblib.com . The interface will be going live December 15th, 2009.

As well as a fresh, clean, brand new look, you’ll notice that the new EBL Patron Interface also has the following new features:

  • * Bookshelf: access current loans, collections, and recently accessed titles from a centralized location.
  • * Collections: add and organise titles in “My Collections”.
  • * Bookmarks: access and export patron ebook notes without having to enter the ebook itself, and bookmark ebooks at page level.
  • * Search Result Filtering: filter down search results at the click of a button, by Publication Date, Publisher, Category or Language.
  • * Metadata Hyperlinking: link to similar titles in the EBL catalog using LCCH, Dewey, LCCN, Author or Category hyperlinking.

As this is a beta testing period, please keep in mind you may notice further enhancements, fixes and tweaks to the interface while testing is in progress. Also, during this testing period, we’ve disabled the “Help/Feedback” function while we finalise functionality and assess just how intuitive the patron experience is. Continue reading EBL’s new patron interface ready for testing

Interview with Erik Christopher, Blackwell

Spoke with Erik Christopher, Digital Services Sales Manager at Blackwell about their Collection Manager System for eBooks.  Blackwell is partnered with EBL, ebrary, and Ingram Digital.

For more information on this product, I’ve attached a pdf of Blackwell’s Collection Manager.  The top of the first page is white, so keep scrolling.

Libraries, are you feeling the love?

As was reported earlier, Sony and Overdrive have partnered to promote library e-book collections.  Sony seems to be embracing the library world as its competitive edge.  Why would one want to buy a Kindle and then have to buy content when you can buy a Sony and borrow much content for free?

It’s unlikely that Amazon will be interested in integrating the Kindle with library e-book collections, since the purpose of the Kindle is  to act as a mobile storefront.

It’s been interesting to read blog comments related to the announcement.  There’s a lot of love out there for libraries, and, it seems, a lot of potential customers who are interested in the remote use of library e-collections.

A large part of the integration of Sony and Overdrive is the “Library Finder” feature linked from the Sony Ebook Store.  I’m rather disappointed in the execution of the service.  Instead of being able to search for a title and see which libraries have it, which you can do from the Overdrive site, you first have to search for a local library and then search for a title.

I’m hoping for a Sony integration partner on the academic market side.  There are academic e-book vendors who support the epub format who would be a natural fit for Sony integration.  In the library where I work we’re planning to circulate Sony Readers to support our EBook Library collection.

The Sony press conference was held at New York Public Library.  I’m still trying to figure out if the partnership with NYPL goes beyond the use of the Overdrive collection.  If any NSR readers have some insight please post a comment.

Swetswise Webinar Summary

I attended a Swets webinar about efficiently acquiring R & D eBooks for the library.  I got a quick glance at the Swets interface, due to launch this January.  They will have eBook title metadata and TOC loaded with ISBNs (and ISBN13) from a variety of publishers (no list available just yet).  Search features look simple enough (quick/advanced) as do the ordering features (shopping cart).  Vendors for particular titles and/or collections were listed with a set price for “one-off” purchases (title by title) and collections.  They offered concurrent user purchases (3, 8, 10, etc.) with a set price for each option which is quite nice.   A participant asked about archiving/perpetual access to eBooks she purchases.  Swets answer – publishers decide if books are available as a subscription or perpetual access.  Those that offer perpetual access, the publisher will host the eBooks perpetually. Can you get a copy for yourself or for a 3rd party to host? – that’s up to the publisher.  Doesn’t sound like Swets will be in the archiving business, but then they aren’t hosting the content, the publishers are.  I asked about MARC records, mentioning the lack of quality of freely available MARC records provided with eBook purchases.  Again, that is the publishers, they provide the MARC records from a variety of sources……let’s just hope the publishers follow the existing MARC standards. Continue reading Swetswise Webinar Summary

Blackwell Webinars for Librarians

Those of you with Blackwell Services, or interested in Blackwell Services, may want to consider attending one of their webinars on connecting electronic resources to ebook aggregators like ebrary, EBL, and Myilibrary.  They have a webinar this Wednesday, August 19th to demonstrate the Infotools option in ebrary, at 11:00 PDT.  Please contact Erik Christopher for more information or to set up a webinar on one of the other ebook platforms.  Erik Christopher, Blackwell Digital Services Sales Manager  800-525-7964  erik.christopher@blackwell.com

Is it possible to donate an eBook to the library?

Roger Sperberg wrote an interesting piece, “How to give away an ebook after you’ve read it” in the Teleread blog.  He discusses the idea of patrons purchasing an ebook to read for themselves and donating it to the library when they are finished.  Roger states, “If I buy an ebook of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, then it’s glued to me. Love it or hate it, I can’t give it to the library for others to read. So why doesn’t the library set up a program for donors: “Buy it in our name and we’ll lend it to you first.” Continue reading Is it possible to donate an eBook to the library?

EBL adds new publishers

EBL just announced the addition of new publishers to their platform.  They include:

* Harvard Health Publications
* Continuum International Publishing Group
* Ashgate Publishing Group
* Spinifex Press (Australian publisher)
* Hindawi Publishing Corporation
* Perseus Books

EBL titles on iPhone, iTouch

From the EBL blog:

We’ve recently announced that EBL titles can be downloaded to the Sony Reader, but did you know that EBL’s new reader is already accessible on an iPhone and iPod Touch?

Patrons can access EBL  titles on their iPhone or iPod Touch through the normal webpages.  The image view in the reader will render the full book.  Scrolling works by using two fingers. We’re planning to offer a scaled down view more suitable for mobile access later this year.

And news just in… downloading EBL ebooks to the iPhone/iPod Touch is soon to follow.  Adobe have just announced a partnership with Stanza Reader, the reader application designed for the iPhone. Read more here.

Patron Initiated Purchasing at ACRL

Thanks to the 100+ Librarians who attended our ACRL session on Patron Initiated Purchasing.  During the presentation, Alice and I surveyed the attendees, using audience response systems.  These results have been posted to the ACRL Virtual Conference.  In a nutshell:

85% of you have collection development responsibilities

94% purchase ebooks

61% were familiar with patron driven/patron initiated models

13% already use it, 68% are interested, and only 2% would not use it, the rest were uncertain

Reasons for using patron driven/patron initiated models include:

save time 11%, increase usage 25%, give patrons choices 25%, just in time resources 27%, provide chapters 11%

We had a great Q/A discussion afterwards as well.  During this I mentioned several resources on the blog.  They are linked here:

article on ebook pricing

article on Patron Driven Acquisition

Poll on PDA – currently on the homepage of the blog

interviews with publishers, aggregators, librarians

Glad you could attend.

Sue Polanka, Alice Crosetto,with Kari Paulson (President, EBL)

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]

EBL ebooks can now be loaded on Sony Reader

From the new EBL blog:

Sony Reader and Adobe announced the release of Digital Editions firmware which can be loaded onto the Sony Reader PR505 and the new PR700.  As EBL download uses Adobe Digital Editions, EBL ebooks can now be loaded onto Sony Reader devices.

You can read more about the software and how to get it to work on the Sony Reader here…

http://blogs.adobe.com/digitaleditions/2008/07/sony_505a_firmware_released_1.html

EBL is one of the only major ebook providers which enables downloading to Adobe Digital Editions and so is among the first to be able to offer downloads to reader devices!

Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA)

The current NSR poll asks, “is your institution using patron driven acquisition to purchase eBooks.”  PDA is a business model, offered by (currently) 3 ebook aggregators  – NetLibrary, EBL, and Ingram Digital.  In this model, patrons determine which eBooks are purchased based on the eBooks they use.  There are many variations to PDA, but each variation does allow for librarians to pre-select groups of titles to choose from, establish budgets, and put controls in place to monitor usage and purchases.

For a more thorough look at PDA, you can read my upcoming Off The Shelf column in Booklist Online.  It will be published in the January 1, 2009 issue.  �

Booklist Online Articles Feature Follett, NetLibrary, and Overdrive

offtheshelf-f1.jpg Those of you interested in learning more about Follett and Overdrive should take a look at the recent  Off The Shelf column in Booklist Online – E-book Distributors for the Public and School Library Markets.  The article provides an overview of the content, features, and business models of both of these distributors.

NetLibrary, due to it’s recent transformation, has a feature article in the Nov. 1, 2008 Booklist issue (and Booklist Online)

Academic aggregators – ebrary, EBL, and Myilibrary – were featured back in May, 2008.

All articles are linked from No Shelf Required, just check out the articles link.

DRM – What is it and why should libraries care?

What is DRM?

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management, coding added to digital content to control access.  DRM prevents copying, editing, and sharing of digital files.   You may have come across DRM in your personal use of digital music or digital video recorders.  More importantly, if your library offers or plans to offer ebooks, audiobooks, DVDs, and other media, usage of this content will be controlled by DRM.

Why is DRM used?

To protect copyright. Media and publishing companies want to protect their content from piracy, illegal copying or editing, and sharing, ie. to control access.

DRM is controversial.

Many people feel that DRM prohibits the fair use of media by the majority of the general public.  For example, some DRM programs prevent the creation of backup copies of music and DVDs, printing of ebooks, recording of TV shows or movies for home viewing, and the selection of some hand held devices, since Sony and Apple use different DRM software.  Additionally, DRM is now supported by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a consumer advocacy group for the networked world says “the DMCA has become a serious threat that jeopardizes fair use, impedes competition and innovation, chills free expression and scientific research, and interferes with computer intrusion laws.”

Why should I care about DRM?

DRM is particularly relevant to libraries since many are providing digital media in the form of ebooks, audiobooks, digital music and videos, and software and games.  Chances are the media you are purchasing to deliver digitally is controlled with DRM software.  For libraries, the DRM software prevents copying and editing of digital content, controls printing of ebooks, and magically makes the digital content “disappear” after a due date, even if patrons have downloaded a copy to their personal computer, external storage device, or a hand held device.

If you purchase ebooks or audiobooks from aggregators and distributors such as:  EBL, ebrary, Follett Digital Resources, Gale Virtual Reference Library, NetLibrary, and OverDrive, you will have digital content with DRM, so it’s important to understand DRM and how it is used by each of the vendors.
More information on DRM can be found here:

American Library Association

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)

How Stuff Works

Microsoft

Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)

EBL’s new improved online reader

The new and improved EBL online reader is set to be launched on 23rd September 2008 and we’re inviting you to preview it…

The new reader features improved design and layout enhancements, and offers patrons these brand new features:

*  Fast-loading image view as well as PDF view -the image view gives readers the ability to scroll through pages rather than turn them one at a time.
* Maximised Reading Space on Screen — we’ve minimised headers and frames so that the patron can virtually open the ebook in the whole browser screen, providing a more immersive reading experience.
* Detailed Access Permission Information — more detailed access information, including total and remaining print and copy permissions.
* Intuitive Print Tools – enabling printing by page, page range or chapter.
* Enhanced read aloud controls – read aloud can now be launched for any title from the online reader toolbar.
EBL’s new online reader uses standard Adobe Reader software – there is still no custom plug-in required.

Your patrons will continue to enjoy EBL’s other popular functionalities, such as adding and exporting notes, linking by chapter, and full-text search within the book.

The official launch of the new reader will be next Tuesday, September 23rd.
You can preview EBL’s new online reader here:

http://www.eblnewreader.eblib.com/EBLWeb/patron/

User name: ebltest1
Password:  EBLtest1

User name: ebltest2
Password:  EBLtest2

User name: ebltest3
Password:  EBLtest3

User name: ebltest4
Password:  EBLtest4

User name: ebltest5
Password:  EBLtest5

User name: ebltest6
Password:  EBLtest6

We encourage you to test the reader thoroughly before it goes live next week.  If you are happy with the general performance of the new reader, we suggest that you make the switch before the official launch next week to ensure that all features are working within your library’s local authentication and network set-up.

There is no work required on your end to change to the new reader, simply contact support@eblib.com to request the upgrade.  The existing reader will stay in place for the short-term so if your library does experience and teething problems with the new reader, we will be able to instantaneously revert to the old reader.

Until then, please feel free to preview EBL’s new online reader and provide us with any feedback. We’d love to hear what you think!

Regards,

Drew Watson
EBL Technical Account Manager
drew.watson@eblib.com

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