Q: What is your ideal kind of online library and book store?
A: The kind without comments, reviews and ratings. The kind that only gives useful descriptions and context.
Someone asked me recently to describe an ideal app for reading (inside the app: a mix of ebooks, magazines and newspapers), and I found myself describing a very quiet virtual place, full of knowledge and information, without all the white noise. No Comments section. No opinions. No venom.
This led to another question: So you would not allow readers to express their thoughts online? My answer: I want readers to write and express their own original thoughts by publishing their own works (if they so choose), after being inspired or motivated by reading the thoughts of others. But I would like us all to say and write less about other people’s creation, especially since our inherent need (clearly) is to dislike it at least as much as to praise it. It’s become a nasty race. Everything revolves around liking, rating, heart-ing books online. And we must realize it’s hurting more than helping a large number of writers out there.
The value (and the point) of what we create (whether for entertainment or education) is that it will not appeal to every person at every given moment. The writer owes the reader nothing (I’m referring here only to the process of reading). It isn’t the writer’s responsibility to please every reader’s imagination and taste. It is the reader’s responsibility, however, to remain aware of that. Somewhere along the way, it seems, we’ve forgotten to be respectful of each other’s personal journeys of discovery and ways in which we express ourselves (as any writer can attest, this, too, evolves over time). It simply isn’t enough to ‘walk away’ from something we don’t care to read or that we’ve read and disliked. We must leave our mark. We must ‘warn’ others not to like what we didn’t like. Continue reading Would the world be better off without book reviews and ratings?
Since launching the Free to Read column NSR has morphed into a portal that no longer merely keeps up with press releases, emerging ebook and econtent technologies and new products and services for readers, publishers, and libraries.
It is now a place where ideas are shared about the future of books, publishing, and libraries, and a place where those of us who work with books come together to inspire each other, learn from each other, and bring out the best in each other through action. Continue reading NSR’s Free to Read column has set new standards for publishers and libraries. A year since launching it, we highlight the best posts.
ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions has recently announced a new iteration of its popular eCourse, Understanding E-Books: All You Need to Know Now and for the Future. NSR’s Mirela Roncevic will serve as the instructor for this 4-week facilitated eCourse starting on July 10, 2017.
More information below or on ALA’s site.
Estimated Hours of Learning: 24
Certificate of Completion available upon request
After completing this eCourse, you will understand:
- The basics of how e-books function and their place in the current publishing marketplace
- How e-books are currently being used in libraries, including circulation and lending policies
- The key issues that librarians are likely to face with e-books in the future
The popularity of e-books exploded with the emergence of tablets and e-readers like the Kindle and has risen steadily ever since. For librarians, this growth has meant the development of a new area of service and content delivery. For the librarian who is new to e-books and e-readers, this can be intimidating. Where do you start? How can you learn what you need to know to provide the services that your patrons expect?
Mirela Roncevic has been involved with e-books and e-readers since their emergence, and in this new eCourse she’ll give you the foundation you need to make e-books work for your library and your career. Requiring no prior knowledge of e-books, this eCourse will sketch in their history while showing you how they function in libraries, exploring issues ranging from file formats to delivery mechanisms and lending policies and what they mean for libraries both now and in the future. Continue reading ALA and NSR will launch a new eCourse on ebooks in July; registration now open
For the past many months, I’ve had the privilege of stepping outside the confines of the publishing and library industries (as well as the borders of the United States) to engage in projects that bring books and knowledge to people. There comes a point in every person’s career when we crave to turn our professional jobs into missions, and it simply isn’t enough to earn a paycheck, even amidst the most challenging circumstances. We take a leap of faith and jump.
And jump I did, from New York all the way to Croatia, where I would (not immediately upon arrival but soon thereafter) embark on the project of my life and turn an entire country into an open virtual library (available to all its people without a card and access code and regardless of status, geography, background, citizenship, etc). In early December 2016, Croatia (the country of my birth) became the world’s first free reading country (i.e., an open virtual library) for one entire month. Continue reading What readers want [and what we are not giving them]
Join a panel of librarians, publishers, and thought leaders in a dynamic exchange of ideas for advancing ebook services in libraries.
LEADING WITH EBOOKS: NEW STRATEGIES FOR LIBRARIANS AND PUBLISHERS
Sunday, June 29th, Las Vegas Convention Center, Room N252, 3:30 p.m.
Sponsored by Total BooX, an ebook service based on the premise that public libraries need not settle for less than instant, simultaneous access to ebooks or pay for the content not read by their patrons, this panel seeks to challenge existing patterns in ebook management and engage industry leaders to identify the trends moving publishing and librarianship into new territories.
Topics explored include: thinking like digital natives (even if we are not); tracking reading (after the checkout); rethinking marketing (as everyone’s task); valuing content (while embracing technology); and acting now (and walking the talk).
The panel is moderated by Mirela Roncevic, co-editor of ALA’s journal eContent Quarterly and contributing writer to No Shelf Required.
Continue reading ALA Panel Alert: Leading with Ebooks — New Strategies for Librarians and Publishers
ALA’s new eCourse on ebooks starts September 2nd. Well, it’s not exactly new. I taught this four-week course last March and have accepted ALA’s invitation to teach it again this September. On the other hand, it’s not exactly the same class either, since much has changed since I developed the original syllabus in early 2013 — so much, in fact, that the new list of required readings is quite different from the original. While this class still requires no prior knowledge of ebooks and we will again be going over the basics (e.g., formats, reading devices, dominant brands, DRM, purchasing options, etc.), we will also take a closer look at the trends that are currently driving our conversations at conferences and in various online communities. Continue reading ALA’s eCourse on eBooks: Lessons Learned
Last Friday, ALA released it’s latest Library Technology Report (LTR) entitled, “Ebook Platforms for Libraries.” Mirela Roncevic, a No Shelf Required contributor, wrote and compiled the LTR. Mirela posted on her personal blog about the report including background information about what the report contains, what it’s for, and how it can be used by librarians. It is a really nice summary of how and why the publication was created. Here is an excerpt from her post:
At this point, it’s anyone’s guess what the vast and growing ebooks landscape in libraries will look like a year or two from now, but as it stands right now, librarians need to keep up or they will remain behind. That’s what this report aims to do: provide a starting point from which they can embark on their institutions’ ebook ventures. Continue reading ALA’s Ebook Platforms for Libraries – What it’s about and what it’s for
SAGE has just announced a partnership with Coursera, a leading massive open online course (MOOC) provider, to make its educational resources available to more than three million Coursera students. Starting today, this partnership grants Coursera instructors the option to supplement their video lectures with SAGE’s wide-range of titles at no cost to students. The partnership is enabled by Chegg, a learning platform selected by Coursera as its exclusive DRM/eReader provider.
The list of Coursera partners is growing and includes a number of university presses (among them University of California, Stanford, and Rutgers). SAGE is one of several new publishers to enter into an agreement with the learning platform (others are expected to be announced today). NSR reached out to SAGE to get more information on what this partnership means for the publisher and the wider education community, including libraries (full press release is available below the Q&A).
Continue reading SAGE announces a major partnership with Coursera
Months in the making, ALA’ Library Technology Report (Volume 49, Issue 3) on ebook platforms for libraries is finally out.
Note from author Mirela Roncevic: “Librarians, I hope you find the comparative tables useful and the vast landscape of ebooks a bit less daunting after having read this report. Library vendors, I hope you benefit from the insight into how your products compare to others and how you can continue to improve their functionalities and business models.
Thank you to all the publishers, aggregators, and distributors who participated in the survey and supplied requested information. A heartfelt thank you to the team at ALA TechSource for supporting the project. Looking forward to future collaborations.” Continue reading New ALA report on ebook platforms for libraries is out
BREAKING NEWS FROM CREDO OFFICES IN BOSTON AND OXFORD, U.K. Credo’s information literacy platform, Literati, implemented in 600 academic and public library institutions, is now also available for K-12 schools and student athletes. Literati School and Literati Student Athlete share the same goal as the academic and public versions of Literati: to enable librarians and educators to help learnersin this case K-12 students and the athletes among them who face unique challengesobtain information skills necessary to succeed in their scholarly pursuits as well as in life.
Continue reading Credo announces Literati School and Literati Student Athlete
2012 was a busy year for e-content: new alliances were formed among both publishers and vendors, more mergers took place, controversies surrounding ebook lending in public libraries persisted, open access initiatives showed no signs of slowing down, and the pressing need to digitize scholarly publishing gave rise to several monograph e-platforms. With each passing week, those of us keeping up with e-content were reminded that emerging technological advances continued to push the boundaries of what we thought was possible only a year before.
Our industry was challenged to rethink its own expectations about digital library environments but also dare to aim higher. We asked the same questions as in the years past: Who remained ahead of the curve? Who took the most risk? Who spoke directly to the needs of users? And who brought us products that would stand the test of time years from now?
During the slow month of December, “best lists” are released all over Library land. They give us a chance to take a break from “keeping up” and simply reflect. So let’s pause from chasing press releases and reflect on some of the most impactful digital resources released in 2012. Continue reading E-Content in Libraries: 2012 in Review
Corwin, an imprint of SAGE Publications specializing in books and multimedia resources for Pre K-12 professionals (including principals, administrators, teachers, and consultants), is launching its new eLibraries product today at the Learning Forward Annual Conference in Boston. eLibraries consists of topic collections of ebooks that provide online access to Corwin’s robust professional development content. The first three topic collections focus on Common Core, Bullying Prevention, and Cultural Proficiency. Others focus on Assessment, Differentiation, English Language Learning, and Response to Intervention. Continue reading Corwin launches ebook platform for Pre K-12 educators
November 21, 2012 – CHICAGOALA Editions announces eContent Quarterly, a new online journal. Launching in Fall 2013, eContent Quarterly will offer practical, user-driven solutions and ideas for curating, developing, integrating and managing content in rapidly-changing digital library environments.
The journal is edited by Sue Polanka and Mirela Roncevic, whose deep knowledge of the e-content landscape and vast library and editorial experience combine to bring clarity and focus to the journal’s purpose: helping information professionals keep pace with e-book and journal platforms, databases, multi-media products, digital solutions and discovery services. Written by and for information professionals in the business of producing, selling and buying e-contentincluding librarians and publisherseach issue will consist of in-depth articles that explore the many facets of electronic content, as well as supplements ranging from product reviews to interviews with key players. Look for subscription information for eContent Quarterly in 2013. Continue reading ALA Editions announces eContent Quarterly, a new online journal co-edited by Sue Polanka and Mirela Roncevic
Common Core is all the rage in K-12 publishing catering to middle and high school students these days. When Common Core first began to make waves a couple of years ago, reference publishers in particular were quick to recognize the value of their contentespecially in digital formfor educators implementing the newly proposed standards into their curriculums. This is why we are starting to see more releases (and re-releases) of products strongly aligned with (and supporting) Common Core coming from major aggregators as well as publishers like Facts On File.
Continue reading Facts “on file” and “Common Core-aligned”
Oxford University Press announced yesterday the re-launch of Oxford Handbooks Online (OHO), now featuring coverage that has grown to 14 disciplines (translating to about 300 handbooks and 10,000 articles in total)a significant expansion of the original platform first launched in the not-so-distant 2009 with just four subject modules, which included Business & Management, Philosophy, Political Science, and Religion. The new platformdesigned (and referred to by OUP) as a publishing “program” enables articles to publish immediately after passing peer review, which, according to OUP’s press release, will deliver new scholarship to those who need it faster and more efficiently.
Continue reading The new Oxford Handbooks Online: Research platform and publishing program
I am in the midst of developing a library technology report for ALA TechSource (a unit of the publishing department of the American Library Association), due out in the Spring of 2013. The focus: ebook platforms in libraries. As I am amassing information about various products from publishers and aggregators on the specifics of each platform, I’ve decided to open it up to a broader audience in the early stages of the writing process and obtain feedback from all who may benefit.
Publishers and aggregators: Please take a moment to read the proposed contents of the report (below) and let me know where your products fit and why. I plan to cover a variety of resources.
Librarians: What are your main frustrations when selecting ebook platforms? Please take a moment to consider if the details I plan to include about each product will help you make informed purchasing decisions.
I’ll be accepting suggestions through the end of November. Thanks for speaking your mind. It matters.
MR Continue reading Ebook Platforms in Libraries: A new report in the works
No Shelf Required is pleased to announce that Mirela Roncevic has joined the blog as a contributing writer and editor. In this role, Roncevic will cover stories related to reference publishing and content development as well as contribute opinion pieces and interviews with industry leaders.
Mirela Roncevic is an independent content developer, writer, and library market researcher, with 17 years of experience in the publishing and library fields. She assists publishers and content producers in positioning their products in libraries, develops resources geared to librarians and book professionals, and orchestrates initiatives that strengthen relationships between the two communities. Her previous roles included overseeing coverage of print and electronic reference sources and ebooks at Library Journal and assigning books for review in arts, humanities, literature, and education. She also spearheaded an LIS book series, an LIS newsletter, and several webinars on ebooks and reference publishing. Over the course of her editorial career, Mirela has published countless articles and news stories on reference publishing and librarianship. She was also the editor of Neal-Schuman’s 2009 title, Library Journal Guide to E-Reference Resources.
Publishers and aggregators of reference and research content may send all PR materials directly to Mirela at firstname.lastname@example.org
Today, Salem Press launched The Library Grants Center, a free, online directory of grants for libraries. Developed and Edited by Mirela Roncevic for Salem Press, the grants tool empowers librarians to locate library grant funding sources on the national, state, regional and local levels (US sources). The center is free, requires no login or authentication, and will be updated on a regular basis. It also contains a how-to area with a tutorial, FAQ, and lists of resources.
According to the Salem press release, the web site focuses on grants available to all types of libraries and from a range of sourcespublic and private including professional organizations, large corporations, and family foundations. “Everyone’s aware of the financial pressures on libraries. They are enormous and growing,” said Peter Tobey, Salem Press’s Director of Sales & Marketing. “So we were motivated to try to relieve some of that pressure by developing self-help tools for librarians. The Library Grant Center is that tool.”
The Library Grants Center consists of three distinct sections:
- National Library Grants features a sophisticated search tool that lets grant seekers perform simple keyword searches or narrow their search options. A range of browsing options is also provided, including browsing by grant category, purpose, and deadline.
- State Library Grants is a state-by-state guide that points librarians to grant information specific to their state and to the foundations in their area that support libraries.
- Library Grants How-To provides in-depth information on the grant applications process, complete with extensive lists of resources for further research and pointing to grant writing tools available online at no cost. Continue reading Salem Press launches FREE Library Grants Center
IGI Publishing launched the inaugural issue of the Advances in Library Information Science (ALIS) Newsletter today. The newsletter provides a value-added tool that gives a pre-publication, no-strings-attached glimpse into the library and information science content. The Editor-in-Chief for the IGI ALIS series is Mirela Roncevic, formerly with Library Journal.
In the first newsletter, the forthcoming title edited by Sue Polanka, E-Reference Context and Discoverability in Libraries: Issues and Concepts, is highlighted offering eight essays. The full book, to be released in the fall of 2011, boasts over 20 unique chapters on the issues and concepts surrounding reference content, written by thirty-one contributors representing academic, public, and school libraries, publishers, library school professors, and other information industry professionals.
More information about the ALIS newsletter .
Read the preface of the forthcoming E-Reference title.
I knew upon seeing the mailing address of IGI Global – Chocolate Ave. in Hershey, PA, that I would like them. But, upon leaving the NY offices I was presented with a box of chocolates, and I liked them even more. What I didn’t know but soon came to discover, was the enormous amount of eBooks, journals, and databases they have produced since their founding in 1988.
Here are some highlights of the products, available and forthcoming, from IGI Global: Continue reading IGI Global offers array of eBooks, databases, and forthcoming library science series