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Posts Tagged ‘ebooks’


Dr Matt Finch tweeted a link to his interview with Connor Tomas O’Brien and Chris Cormack, Popcorn? Connor Tomas O’Brien and Chris Cormack on the battle for libraries’ future He originally promoted it as a discussion about e-books in libraries. Since I was intrigued by Eli Neiburger’s statement at #LIANZA13 – “ebooks are bullshit! This is the truth. They are a transitory format, they will only be here for a little while.”  I was pretty interested to read the interview. (Eli made this statement in the context of advances in technology that disrupt what libraries think of as part of their traditional business. He suggested a way for libraries to think about their future was “Don’t transition…diversify.”) Then it moved into the question of “What do you think a public library should be doing in 2013?” Suddenly I’m watching Matt write eloquently about the plight of rural communities, and the concerns he has around equity of service for people who choose to live there. (There’s been a further discussion on Twitter and if anyone Storifys it, I’ll link it.)

In the #LIANZA13 Library future workshop (based on the #ALIAFutures workshops) we discussed the likelihood of people moving to urban centres. In New Zealand that may translate to suburban sprawl instead. (Imagine that – one big city from Whangarei to Hamilton!) We floated the idea that librarians may not work in a library but may rove the country running programmes that engage communities in their local-ness – what makes them unique? What is their heritage? etc.) Matt’s concerns for rural Australia are also applicable to rural New Zealand – what are we going to do about that NZ librarians/libraries?

Matt has also been asking questions about 3-D printers in libraries. “My 3D printer worry is simply this: libraries are spending a lot of time talking about this one gadget, which I don’t see communities crying out for.” He’s been given one answer by Baruk from Auckland Libraries. Baruk has been working on the Auckland Libraries Maker Space over the last few months. His final line “Thinking of 3D printers just as ‘tech’ is like thinking of a wheel as ‘a round thing’” really matches with what Nat Torkington was talking about in his #LIANZA13 keynote ‘When you see people who are doing things with tech, or their services “you don’t become like them by buying the artifacts. [there is] an ocean of possible artifacts and toys.“ What we don’t see is the pedagogy behind it which is how to understand how and why it’s being used.(My emphasis.) It’s not the tech that’s important, it’s what your library believes its role is in providing that tech to its community.

I guess it’s also a good reminder to be aware of what the stories are that are being told about your library. Bill McNaught, National Librarian of the National Library, in his #LIANZA13 keynote said that he was was concerned about ‘The news stories that go out about lending new artifacts tell the wrong story. Anything that undermines the fact that we are in the knowledge business is really unhelpful.’

So, to that end, THIS is what Auckland is getting from a 3-D printer as part of a MakerSpace in its largest library. (Some of @feddabonn’s tweets from launch weekend)

And finally this one to sum up.

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Yesterday this interesting development which will have an impact on eBook delivery came across my inbox. Proquest certainly seem to be taking a very aggressive stance in acquiring academic e-resources.

ProQuest signs definitive agreement to acquire EBL

ProQuest has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Ebook Library, which will significantly expand its e-book delivery and aggregation capabilities with libraries worldwide. The acquisition will further ProQuest’s goal of enhancing the research experience, enabling users to seamlessly discover content across multiple formats including books, journals, dissertations, newspapers, and video. ProQuest acquired e-book pioneer ebrary in January 2011 and plans to combine the strongest features of ebrary and EBL into a single, comprehensive e-book platform once finalized.

January 22, 2013 (ANN ARBOR, Mich.) – ProQuest, an information company central to global research, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Ebook Library (EBL), which will significantly expand its e-book delivery and aggregation capabilities with libraries worldwide. The acquisition will further ProQuest’s goal of enhancing the research experience, enabling users to seamlessly discover content across multiple formats including books, journals, dissertations, newspapers, and video. ProQuest acquired e-book pioneer ebrary in January 2011 and plans to combine the strongest features of ebrary and EBL into a single, comprehensive e-book platform once finalized.

“EBL’s first-rate user experience, innovative business models, and acquisition tools are very complementary to ebrary,” said Kurt Sanford, ProQuest CEO. “These features will be combined with ebrary’s unmatched content selection, award-wining subscription service, and cutting edge, patent-protected core platform technology. The result will be an unparalleled e-book research platform that is connected to all of ProQuest’s products and services.” Founded in 2004 by Ebooks Corporation, EBL pioneered a wide range of new services in the library market, including the patented Non-Linear Lending (NLL) model, demand-driven acquisitions, short-term loans, and chapter-level purchases for reserve circulation and coursepacks. EBL offers more than 300,000 e-books from more than 500 publishers to libraries around the world and counts some of the world’s most prestigious academic and research institutions among its customers. Kari Paulson, EBL’s President, will join ProQuest to manage the combined e-book business unit and lead the effort to merge EBL and ebrary into one optimized platform. “From the beginning, EBL’s vision has been to advance research and knowledge through technology,” said Ms. Paulson. “I look forward to joining ProQuest and to have the opportunity to be part of an organization with the very same goal.”

Kari will report to Kevin Sayar, Senior Vice President, ProQuest Workflow Solutions, who said, “I have long respected what Kari has accomplished at EBL and I’m looking forward to working with her to push the boundaries of how e-books are provided to libraries and used by patrons.”

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As someone who has dreams of one day being a published author, I have followed the Google Vs Publishers battle over the copyright status of scanned books with interest. It has been a intense battle, and is far from over.

So the latest development out of the US with a group of libraries doing similar things has left me uneasy. Libraries and publishers and authors have always had a fragile relationship. Many Authors love libraries and many don’t. Some publishers like libraries, and again some don’t.

Libraries Have a Novel Idea: Lenders Join Forces to Let Patrons Check Out Digital Scans of Shelved Book Collections [Wall Street Journal Online] By Geoffrey A. Fowler

Libraries are expanding e-book offerings with out-of-print editions, part of a broader effort to expand borrowing privileges in the Internet Age that could challenge traditional ideas about copyright.

Starting Tuesday, a group of libraries led by the Internet Archive, a nonprofit digital library, are joining forces to create a one-stop website for checking out e-books, including access to more than a million scanned public domain books and a catalog of thousands of contemporary e-book titles available at many public libraries.

And in a first, participants including the Boston Public Library and the Marine Biological Laboratory will also contribute scans of a few hundred older books that are still in copyright, but no longer sold commercially. That part of the project could raise eyebrows, because copyright law is unclear in the digital books arena. Google Inc., which is working on its own book scanning efforts, has been mired in a legal brouhaha with authors and publishers over its digital books project.

To read the books, borrowers around the world can download and read them for free on computers or e-reading gadgets. Software renders the books inaccessible once the loan period ends. Two-thirds of American libraries offered e-book loans in 2009, according to a survey by the American Library Association. But those were mostly contemporary imprints from the last couple of years—say, the latest Stephen King novel.

The Internet Archive project, dubbed Openlibrary.org, goes a step further by opening up some access to the sorts of books that may have otherwise gathered dust on library shelves—mainly those published in the past 90 years, but of less popular interest.

Many libraries have built out their digital libraries by buying copies of new e-books from companies like Overdrive Inc. Openlibrary.org plans to catalog 70,000 of the books offered by Overdrive, and provide links to check them out from local libraries.

“We know that our users are starting their search for information online,” said Thomas Blake, the digital projects manager at the Boston Public Library, which is contributing some in-copyright genealogical titles to the new effort. “Instead of sitting back and waiting for the people to come back into the library, we want to meet our users where they’re living.”

Continue reading here.

It sounds all good, but I am uneasy over the scanning of in copyright material, even when out of print. Ebooks, and libraries lending them, certainly look like “The Issue” for libraries over the next few years.

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The e-book


Well, news last week that Kindle has not only been reduced in price (to approx. AUD313) but will be released internationally – but that New Zealand misses out.  Is anyone too upset by that news?  I know, I’m currently not a fan of ebooks so that news didn’t upset me in the least, although I know there are a lot of you out there that would love to have one (including Corin).  The only benefit I see in ebooks so far is their potential in replacing hefty textbooks for students.

Not to worry, the Eco Reader is available in New Zealand for approx. AUD449 – rather more than Kindle but at least you can use it.  Aesthetically at least, it doesn’t look too bad.  For a start it’s a reassuring black rather than blindingly white and opens up rather like a book.  Massey University is going to trial one and I hope to go along and have a look.  I’ll let you know if it sells me on ebooks.  In the meantime I’m one of those who can relate to the following:

kindlechart

from Valleywag.

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