On Tuesday, May 3rd I recorded a 15 minute segment for the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education on Think TV, the local public television station in Dayton, Ohio. My topic was the rise of digital textbooks and options available for students and faculty to access and produce textbooks and learning materials. Below is a snapshot of my general comments with links to various sources for more information.
Our current textbook system is broken. We have arrived at $200 textbooks and have students who cannot afford them. As a result, students try to borrow a textbook from the library or a friend (sometimes the older edition), purchase a used one, or go without. Neither of these options provides revenue to the publisher, thus resulting in higher price points in an effort to recover the costs or production. What can we do about this catch 22? Continue reading Digital Textbooks and Open Educational Resources – Summary of SOCHE Think TV session
I never thought I’d see the day! Great news Amazon and OverDrive. News release from Kindle here.
From a Publishers Weekly article: Amazon announced this morning that Kindle owners will soon be able to borrow books from public libraries. Working with vendor OverDrive, which manages e-book lending for the vast majority of public libraries, the deal will make thousands of titles available via more than 11,000 of OverDrive’s public library partners. To date, Kindle has been noticeably absent from library lending, as OverDrive’s service worked only with ePub-enabled devices, including the Sony Reader, the Nook, iPads, and smartphones. Amazon officials said that with Kindle Library Lending, library-ebooks managed by OverDrive will now be available for all generations of Kindle devices and for use with free Kindle reading apps on most other devices, including Android, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone.
The service will launch later this year.
Public, school, and college libraries now provide direct EPUB eBook downloads on BlackBerry® mobile devices with the free OverDrive® Media Consoleâ„¢ app for BlackBerry. Users at more than 13,000 libraries worldwide can wirelessly download and enjoy EPUB eBooks, as well as MP3 audiobooks, on their BlackBerry devices. Libraries offer best-selling titles, such as “The Social Animal” by David Brooks and “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett, which can be borrowed and enjoyed using OverDrive’s app for BlackBerry. Popular business eBooks and audiobooks, as well as titles in virtually any subject, are also available from the library using the BlackBerry app.
The OverDrive app for BlackBerry is available from OverDrive’s website and the MobiHand Superstore. The app will also appear in BlackBerry App Worldâ„¢ in the coming weeks. To see if your library is a member of the OverDrive network, visit OverDrive Search. Continue reading OverDrive releases the Media console app for BlackBerry
Today I attended a discussion at Bowling Green State University on the future of academic reading. It was a day long session involving a panel discussion of students and faculty, along with Amy Pawlowski, the Web Applications Manager at the Cleveland Public Library and myself as respondents.
The panelists were mostly upper-class and graduate students, and several faculty/administrators using a variety of devices and tools to read books. Below is a summary of the comments from the panelists. Consider this a snapshot of individuals, each offering a slightly different perspective on eReading, but with many commonalities.
Some interesting quotes from panelists and audience members:
“I didn’t want my fundamental reading experience to change. I didn’t want my book to tell me I had email.”
“I covet my print books, I don’t like to break the spine on them.”
“Someone told me to get a nook because I could share my books, why would I want to share?”
“After the students [3rd graders] read books on the iPad, they wanted to keep reading.”
In addition to my summary below of the morning session, BGSU representatives blogged the discussions. Those can be found here:
Continue reading The Future of Academic Reading – BGSU Discussion
From an OverDrive Press Release: Public, school, and college libraries now provide direct eBook downloads on the iPad® with the free OverDrive® Media Consoleâ„¢ app. The optimized app enables users at more than 13,000 libraries worldwide to wirelessly download and enjoy eBooks and digital audiobooks from a local library on the Apple® device. Popular and best-selling titles, including “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson, “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand, and “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, are a few of the Most Downloaded Books from the Library (www.overdrive.com/mostdownloaded). These digital books and more in popular genres like romance, mystery, thriller, and virtually every subject can now be borrowed from libraries and enjoyed in an optimized iPad app.
The OverDrive Media Console app for iPad is available in the App Store (http://bit.ly/OverDriveApp). To see if your library is a member of the OverDrive network, visit http://search.overdrive.com. Continue reading OverDrive Media Console app for iPad – direct library eBook & audiobook downloads
From an OverDrive press release: Libraries and schools worldwide were at the forefront of the eBook boom in 2010, as patrons and students downloaded millions of digital books for iPhone®, Androidâ„¢, Sony® Reader, NOOKâ„¢, and personal computers. More than one million new users signed on to access free eBooks, audiobooks, and more from â€˜Virtual Branch’ websites last year, resulting in a 200 percent increase in eBook checkouts and a 52 percent increase in audiobook checkouts over 2009. To find eBooks, audiobooks, music, and video titles from a library near you, visit http://search.overdrive.com.
Key statistics for library eBooks, audiobooks, and more from OverDrive-powered digital catalogs include: Continue reading 200% increase in eBook checkouts from OverDrive virtual libraries….and more stats
OverDrive (www.overdrive.com) has released apps for iPhone® and Androidâ„¢ that enable users to download library eBooks and audiobooks directly to their devices for the first time. The free apps include a “Get Books” feature that guides users to their local library’s digital catalog of best-selling and new release titles, allowing them to easily browse, check out, and download with just their device. More than 13,000 public libraries, schools, colleges, and universities now offer eBook and audiobook downloads via OverDrive, including institutions in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and nine other countries. Continue reading OverDrive apps for iPhone and Android enable direct library downloads
Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak with Ken Petri, the Director of the Web Accessibility Center at The Ohio State University, about the accessibility of eBooks and eBook readers. Ken is incredibly knowledgeable on the topic and offered a great deal of information during the interview. It’s about 25 minutes in length, so I strongly encourage you to download the file before listening due to it’s size. Ken provided us with a great list of resources for various aspects of eBook accessibility, which are below. Thanks Ken!
NSR offers monthly interviews with librarians, publishers, and others involved in the eBook industry. Have a listen from the interviews page. Continue reading Accessibility and eBooks – Resources and an Interview
Below is the press release from K-NFB announcing the official availability of the blio reader for Windows. There’s been a lot of chatter on twitter today about reviews, download issues, complaints from MAC users, etc. The CNET coverage of blio is worth a look. For a more colorful review, try The Digital Reader. KNFB responded the next day – first day jitters.
I had some download issues of my own, the attempted download froze up Firefox two times, so I had to revert to IE, which worked just fine. I also noticed in the small print on the blio site than an accessible version will be out in October. So, MAC users and those requiring the accessible version will have to wait for the blio experience. Continue reading blio available for download today – mixed reviews
From an OverDrive press release:
OverDrive’s Digital Bookmobile (www.digitalbookmobile.com) will demonstrate digital book downloads available from America’s public libraries at the 2010 National Book Festival (www.loc.gov/bookfest) on Saturday, September 25, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the National Mall in Washington, DC. This high-tech 18-wheeler and mobile exhibit offers hands-on demonstrations of download services available 24/7 from more than 11,000 libraries worldwide.
Digital Bookmobile visitors will be able to browse a library’s download website; sample eBooks, digital audiobooks, music, and video on interactive PC and Mac® computer stations; learn how to download; and test compatible devices including the Sony® Reader, nookâ„¢, iPod®, Zune®, and Smartphonesall loaded with digital titles from the library. Continue reading OverDrive will demo digital downloads at National Book Festival
Barnes & Noble’s nook study is now available for download for both PC’s and MACs. It’s a free software to assist with studying and comes with 50% off list price for digital textbooks, 1 millions eBooks and eTextbooks, 7 day free trial on ebooks.
Great article in the WSJ from June 29th summarizing the Internet Archive’s initiative for openlibrary.org. The IA along with several libraries, plans to digitize and make available thousands of eBooks for public download to a PC/MAC or reading device. According to the WSJ article, “with its latest project, the organization is making inroads into the idea of loaning in-copyright books to the masses. Only one person at a time will be allowed to check out a digital copy of an in-copyright book for two weeks. While on loan, the physical copy of the book won’t be loaned, due to copyright restrictions.”
OverDrive has signed a preliminary agreement with Disney Digital Books (www.disneydigitalbooks.com) that will enable libraries to offer access to Disney’s comprehensive library of books online. Young library patrons and their parents will be able to enjoy-for the first time-unlimited access to over 600 new and classic Disney books for kids of all ages with just an Internet-connection and library card. The extensive library features hundreds of digital books available at the click of a mouse, including favorites from popular Disney franchises such as Mickey Mouse, Toy Story, Disney Princess, Cars, and Hannah Montana, along with many other classic and contemporary Disney stories. Continue reading OverDrive to offer Disney Digital Books
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
Wow, great news for those of us with Apple devices. OverDrive announced today the availability of their free app – OverDrive Media Console for iPhone – in the iTunes store. Users can now download audiobooks (from their local library or a retail site) via wireless network directly to their Apple device. I am very excited about this since I was unsuccessful at downloading library audiobooks from OverDrive for my recent vacation, something to do with using a MAC instead of a PC. The For more information and to download the app, visit – http://bit.ly/OverDriveiPhone or see the press release. Android users, hold on to your hats, your app can’t be that far behind.
from an OverDrive Press Release:
OverDrive Audiobook App Now Available in Androidâ„¢ Market
Android app enables wireless audiobook downloads from libraries and booksellers
Cleveland, OH — February 11, 2010 — OverDrive (www.overdrive.com), the leading global distributor of audiobooks and eBooks to libraries and retailers, announced that its audiobook app for Androidâ„¢ is now out of beta and available as a full release. OverDrive’s audiobook app for Android enables users to wirelessly download MP3 audiobooks from more than 10,000 libraries and major online retailers, including Barnesandnoble.com, BooksOnBoard.com, and Borders.com. Major devices, including DROIDâ„¢ by Motorola®, DROID Erisâ„¢, and Nexus Oneâ„¢, can now be used to access OverDrive-supplied MP3 audiobooks on the go. To install OverDrive® Media Consoleâ„¢ for Android v1.0, visit the Android Market on your device or download directly from http://overdrive.com/software/omc. Continue reading OverDrive Audiobook App Now Available in Android Market
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.
From an OverDrive Press Release:
OverDrive Expands International Distribution for eBooks & Audiobooks
Leading booksellers and libraries in Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, Norway, and the UK join global network
(Las Vegas, NV, January 5, 2010) — Consumer Electronics Show — OverDrive (www.overdrive.com), the global leader in eBook and audiobook distribution, announced today that it recently entered into agreements with top booksellers, publishers, and libraries on five continents. OverDrive will demonstrate its global network and success in enabling access to 400,000 digital books on popular devices, including PC, Mac®, iPod®, iPhone®, Zune®, Sony® Readerâ„¢, nookâ„¢, and DROIDâ„¢ by Motorola®, at CES booth #12145 on January 7-10, 2010.
Continue reading OverDrive Expands International Distribution for eBooks & Audiobooks
November 30th. Barnes & Noble nook – $259.00. It looks pretty cool, check out the nook video on the B&N site. Here are some cool features:
- runs on 3G network
- wireless download of over 1 million titles
- $9.99 titles
- daily updates of news sources
- full color navigation of titles
- lending titles to friends!!!
In fact, here is the small print about lending titles to friends – “Most eBooks can be lent for up to 14 days at a time. Just choose the book you want to share, then send it to your friend’s reader, cell phone, or computer. You can share nook to nook, but it doesn’t stop there. Using the new Barnes & Noble LendMeâ„¢ technology… you will be able to lend to and from any iPhoneâ„¢, iPod touch®, BlackBerry®, PC, or Mac®, with the free Barnes and Noble eReader software downloaded on it.”
A press release from Overdrive, September 9, 2009
First in a Series of Mobile Apps for Over-the-Air Downloading From Booksellers and Libraries
(Cleveland, OH) – September 9, 2009 – OverDrive (www.overdrive.com), the leading global distributor of digital audiobooks and eBooks to libraries and retailers, announced the release of the first in a series of free digital book applications for mobile devices. OverDrive® Media Console(TM) for Windows Mobile® (http://overdrive.com/software/omc) enables users with Windows Mobile phones to wirelessly download audiobooks, music, and video to their devices and play the titles with the same superior navigation features of OverDrive’s desktop software. To view a list of supported devices including Sprint Palm Treo(TM), AT&T Samsung Jack(TM), and Verizon HTC Touch Pro(TM), visit http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/en-us/devices/default.mspx.
Continue reading OverDrive Releases Digital Audiobook Application for Windows Mobile(R)