Ebooks on Crack Get your ebook fix.

25Mar/110

North Carolina libraries receive grant to develop new ebook business models, by Sue Polanka

Library Journal reported today that the four universities that make up the Triangle Research Libraries Network received a ,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation to develop new models for consortial ebooks pricing and acquisition.

From LJ:  ”Some answers to the ebook model dilemma may be in the offing, from the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN)—a collaborative organization of the libraries of North Carolina-based Duke University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina Central University—which announced that it has received a ,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop new models for consortial ebook pricing and acquisition.”


A colleague also forwarded to me today a value statement for the Scholarly Ebook Marketplace from North Carolina State University.  It is reprinted below in full.

NCSU Libraries Value Statement for the Scholarly Ebook Marketplace

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As scholarly monographs shift from primarily print to electronic, the NCSU Libraries seeks to engage both the publishing and library communities in shaping the future of the scholarly ebook marketplace. We believe the following values can form the core of a mutually beneficial market for publishers and libraries that best serves the researchers and students at the heart of the scholarly communication cycle.

We value:

  • Portability between devices, with publishers and aggregator platforms using non-proprietary formats for their ebooks.
  • Consistency of content across the print and electronic format and the incorporation of corresponding supplementary material sometimes available in the print version (i.e CDs, web access).
  • Working jointly with publishers and aggregator platform vendors to develop standards for printing, copy/paste, and saving of ebook content.
  • Quality Full-level MARC bibliographic records that meet current national cataloging standards and practice.
  • The Interlibrary Loan process or comparable way to lend and borrow ebooks between libraries.
  • Perpetual access to purchased and/or subscribed content.
  • ADA compliance.
  • COUNTER compliant usage statistics.
  • Licensing terms which do not limit fair use and first sale doctrines under US copyright law. Adopting SERU as a standard for ebooks would ensure this.
  • Simultaneous format availability of frontlist titles.
  • Alerts that new books have been added to existing collections.
  • Pricing models that are reasonable, flexible and reflect the broad needs of the library market. Restricting ebook access to subscription-only, bundled databases of “all or nothing” content is in direct conflict with reasonable, flexible pricing models.
  • The ability to migrate purchased and/or subscribed content between platforms in the event of the end of life of a platform.
  • The ability to coordinate discovery with third party services such as Serials Solutions and SFX.
  • The ability to incorporate ebook search, discovery, access and purchase into existing workflows.

Via Sue Polanka’s No Shelf Required

    10Mar/110

    Project MUSE Editions and the Univ. Press ebook Consortium merge, by Sue Polanka

    Noshelf

    I received this press release from the AAUP mailing list today.  It is reprinted in part below.

    Two major university press e-book initiatives –Project MUSE Editions (PME) and the University Press e-book Consortium (UPeC) — have joined
    forces. The result of this merger — the University Press Content Consortium (UPCC) — will launch January 1, 2012.

    The partnership allows e-books from an anticipated 60-70 university presses and non-profit scholarly presses — representing as many as
    30,000 frontlist and backlist titles — to be discovered and searched in an integrated environment with content from nearly 500 journals
    currently on MUSE.


    The merger is part of a multimillion-dollar commitment to the ongoing growth and expansion of Project MUSE, according to director Dean Smith.
    “By leveraging the MUSE brand and investing in technology that ensures the program’s future performance, we can grow at a rapid pace while
    continuing our 15-year tradition of providing quality scholarly content at a fair price.”

    Representatives of UPeC and PME worked closely with librarians over the past two years to develop a scholarly e-book model that benefits both
    libraries and presses. Incorporating extensive research and feasibility analysis from both groups, the UPCC Collections will be sold by MUSE in
    comprehensive and subject-based collections, with minimal digital rights management.

    Research on the feasibility of a university press-based scholarly e-book initiative was commissioned by the UPeC directors in 2009 with
    grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Working from the outset with two groups of highly experienced consultants-Informed Strategies,
    which surveyed the needs of the library community, along with Chain Bridge Group, which developed and tested the business model-UPeC began
    its search for a business partner three months ago. While a number of potential partners offered exciting opportunities, JHUP’s success in
    balancing the interests of publishers and librarians informed UPeC’s selection of MUSE, according to Maikowski.

    Content integration, collaboration, and sustainability have emerged as watchwords from this new alliance.

    About the University Press e-book Consortium (UPeC)
    The University Press e-book Consortium (UPeC) emerged in 2009 to explore the feasibility of a university press-based e-book initiative.
    Five press directors serve as UPeC principals: Steve Maikowski, New York University Press; Alex Holzman, Temple University Press; Marlie
    Wasserman, Rutgers University Press; Eric Halpern, University of Pennsylvania Press; and Donna Shear, University of Nebraska Press. UPeC
    planning and development was supported by two grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

    About Project MUSE
    Project MUSE is a leading provider of digital humanities and social science periodical content; since 1995, its electronic journal
    collections have supported a wide array of research needs at academic, public, special, and school libraries worldwide. MUSE is the sole source
    of complete, full-text versions of journal titles from many of the world’s leading university presses and scholarly societies, with over
    100 publishers currently participating.

    Via Sue Polanka’s No Shelf Required blog

    3Mar/110

    Oxford University Press ebooks preserved with Portico, by Sue Polanka

    Noshelf

    From a Portico Press Release:  Portico and OUP announced they have entered into an agreement to preserve the OUP’s entire collection of e-books from its Oxford Scholarship Online resource and Handbooks Online resource. With this agreement, OUP expands its relationship with Portico, which began in 2006 with the publisher’s commitment to deposit its entire list of e-journals in the Portico archive.

    Oxford Scholarship Online is OUP’s cross-searchable digital library of over 4,400 full-text books in academic disciplines such as history, classical studies, religion, political science, business, literature, and mathematics. Oxford Handbooks Online is an online resource of the prestigious Oxford handbooks series, available as a collection of four subject modules.

    Since 2005, the number of titles and types of content preserved in Portico has grown significantly. To date, over 12,000 e-journals, 70,000 e-books, and 39 digitized historical collections have been entrusted to the Portico archive. For a complete list of Portico-related facts and figures, please visit Portico’s Archive Facts & Figures. The complete list of titles and participating publishers is available at www.portico.org/digital-preservation/who-participates-in-portico/.


    For additional information on Portico’s preservation services, please contact [email protected]

    For additional information about Oxford University Press and their online publishing program, contact [email protected]

    Via Sue Polanka’s No Shelf Required blog

    1Mar/110

    Internet Archive’s Brewster Kahle talks about the In-Library Lending Program, by Sue Polanka

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    Last week the Internet Archive announced the launch of a traditional In-Library Lending model for a pooled collection of over 80,000 eBooks.  The program, available on openlibrary.org, provides access to the ebooks through a web browser and download technology.  I had a chance to interview Brewster about the new program in my NSR audio interviews.  The full press release on the In-Library Lending program is available at the Internet Archive.

    The interview with Brewster is also available on the NSR interviews page, along with about 35 others.

    9Feb/110

    Library Journal Publishes Library eBook Survey Results – Sample Data Here, by Sue Polanka

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    Last summer, Library Journal and School Library Journal conducted aneBook survey for libraries.  The survey was designed to measure current and projected ebook availability in libraries, user preferences in terms of access and subjects, and library purchasing terms and influences.  They included an academic, public, and school library version of the survey.  Hundreds of questions were asked and hundreds of libraries responded. The results of those surveys were published in November, 2010 in three separate reports.  The executive summaries of each are available on the Library Journal site(and linked below), and full reports are available for purchase.  There were 1,842 respondents, broken down to 364 academic, 781 public, and 697 school libraries.  I’ve captured some of the data to share with you, but the reports are full of additional information on budgets, marketing, barriers to adoption, patron preference, and much, much more.  A primer on ebook readers and formats is in the appendix of each full report. Thanks to Josh Hadro at Library Journal for sharing the reports with me and allowing me to publish some of the data here on No Shelf Required.Here are a few of the results from the surveys:

    Does your library offer ebooks?

    • 94% of academic libraries offer ebooks
    • 33% of school libraries offer ebooks
    • 72% of public libraries offer ebooks

    Do you circulate ereader devices?

    • 12% of academic libraries circulate preloaded ereading devices, while 26% are considering it.  Kindle topped the device chart at 81%, followed by SONY at 34%, iPad at 28% and nook at 22%
    • 6% of school libraries circulate preloaded ereading devices, while 36% are considering it. The SONY Reader was the top device at 64%, Kindle followed at 47% , nook at15% , and iPad at 4%.
    • 5% of public libraries circulate preloaded ereading devices, while 24% are considering it. Kindle was the top device.

    Academic Libraries – For which disciplines are you most likely to offer ebooks? What is the preferred purchase term?

    • Social Sciences narrowly topped the chart at 83%, followed by science at 82%, technology at 80%,  humanities at 77%, medicine at 69% and law at 51%
    • Perpetual access and subscription purchases were nearly even in the typical purchasing terms amongst academic libraries, perpetual at 74% and subscription at 71%

    School Libraries – What categories of ebooks do you offer?  How do you license content?

    • Children’s fiction topped the charts at 51%, followed by reference at 42%, children’s nonfiction at 39%, children’s picture books at 34%, and young adult nonfiction 24% and fiction 23%
    • The vendors typically determine the use license and different vendors have different models.  But, of those who responded, one book/one user was 40%, unlimited access 35%, and both 23%

    Public Libraries – What categories of ebooks do you offer? How to you license the content?

    • adult nonfiction 86%, adult fiction 84%, bestsellers 76%, young adult fiction 69%, children’s fiction 56%, young adult nonfiction 46%, children’s nonfiction 38%, reference 35%, and children’s picture books 26%
    • The vendors typically determine the use license and different vendors have different models.  But, of those who responded, one book/one user was 41%, unlimited access 12%, and both 39%

    Survey of eBook Penetration and Use in U.S. Academic Libraries

    Survey of eBook Penetration and Use in U.S. Public Libraries

    Survey of eBook Penetration and Use in U.S. School (K-12) Libraries

    8Feb/110

    Opening the ebook market, by Sue Polanka

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    Reprinted in full from One Librarian’s Perspective, by Tim Kambitsch, Director of the Dayton Metro Library.

    It is fashionable to declared Digital Rights Management (DRM) dead. And maybe in the world of music it is. For eBooks in the library marketplace, however, DRM is alive and well. The book publishers who may be more conservative than the music industry in trying to protect their intellectual property are willing to stymie sales in electronic formats to maximize their sense of security.

    In the ideal open-yet-market-driven eBook environment there won’t be DRM, but regardless of whether DRM lives on, the closed vertically integrated world of eBooks sales to libraries presents a bigger problem; it is that environment that needs to change. For libraries to both offer electronic collections and maintain their role of building collections for the long term we need a layered environment where the purchase of materials is separated from the where those purchased materials are hosted. Further, library patrons deserve distinct choices for the programs and devices they use for readings.

    eBooks buying

    “Purchasing” eBooks may be overstating the actual relationship to the materials we select and offer our patrons. The concept that libraries buy-to-own eBooks is more conceptual than factual. We select titles; we pay different prices for titles that seem to have a relationship to the hardcopy price of the title. However, marketing materials and licenses agreements we sign don’t give one that warm and fuzzy feeling. It might be better to refer to these as titles we have licensed access for our patrons.

    Libraries spending upward and beyond 0,000 per year for these collections and the cumulative investment in eBooks and downloadable audio books with our vendors may only last as long as the vendor stays in business and as long as we are willing and able to pay the annual hosting fees of that vendor. With that being the case vendors are building a captive environment, making it difficult if not impossible for us to walk away from.

    Libraries should be able to select eBook vendors in an open environment, separate from other considerations such as where those titles are hosted and how patrons might access them. In an open environment libraries might buy books directly from individual authors or publishers, but more likely from brokers such as Overdrive, B&T and Ebsco. Libraries should find these vendors competing for my business by offering low prices but also by offering better tools to aid in the acquisition, cataloging and management of digital content. We should be able to buy my eBooks from one or all of these sources.

    The one title per simultaneous user model is something the publishers feel comfortable, particularly with the most popular titles. This model is a strong carry over from the hard copy world and may be difficult for publishers to deviate from when granting licenses. However, other options should be available. Similar to rental collections, licenses for selected copies of best sellers might be limited to only a six month period. They get loaned out just like those that are licensed indefinitely, but the library will pay marginally less to have access to them for just six months. Naturally the hosting servers will know when those copies expire and adjust the number of copies available to a library’s patrons as the rental copies expire.

    Hosting eBooks for posterity

    In licensing books a library has the responsibility to ensure that for titles it selects it will ensure that appropriate restrictions (i.e. DRM) are in place. We currently rely on our vendors to provide the secure environment so to meet our licensing agreements with the IP owners. There is a real convenience to that. However libraries may have greater needs to take ownership of that responsibility. In a truly open environment libraries should be able to make choices of which vendor(s) are choose to host eBook titles and collections independent of which vendors from which I choose to buy content. With the library taking responsibility for copyright and license enforcement, the library also has flexibility:

    • The library chooses which vendor will host its e-content. This might be a locally managed host or it might be a host operated by a consortium of libraries. The library might also choose a single vendor to host their eBook collections. Overdrive, Ebsco, OCLC, B&T and maybe even Amazon or Google might compete to host my collection.
    • The library could elect to move that content from one vendor’s server to another as it see fit in the best interest of its patrons as long as it operates within the original restrictions of the license agreement with the IP owner.
    • Most importantly, by taking ownership of the decision of where and how to host all of its eBooks, the library has a better chance of integrating the various collections it has chosen to license from individual authors, publishers and brokers. Currently eBooks from one vendor are intellectually organized in a completely different context from that of other vendors. With the mechanics of downloading of materials differ we are creating unacceptable confusion on the part of library users.

    Freeing our patrons

    For libraries to compete with Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google and other eBook stores they must offer the best possible user experience to their patrons. We can help achieve this by offering the end user a level playing field when it comes to e-readers. Additionally libraries shouldn’t be penalized for offering choices of formats for the same title.

    Library patrons should have choices of eBook reader hardware and software. As users check out copies from the library the eBook server should automatically offer them the format they want. Libraries should never have to make a priori decisions to buy x number of copies in one format and x number of copies in another format from the same vendor. We had to do it with DVDs vs. videotape copies, and with large print vs. standard print copies, but with digital content this should not be necessary.

    Within the server software the file format it produces would be decided upon request of the client hardware/software. As users check out a copy of a title, they (or their client hardware/software preferences) will select the format and an appropriate DRM for that device. It would be applied on the fly. Never again should a patron see an available copy encoded for a specific format sit on the electronic book shelf while all available copies for their device are checked out. The mix of formats checked out to patrons might change from day to day, but the hosting server would ensure the total copies on loan would not exceed what is licensed.

    Library patrons shouldn’t be forced to use just the client e-reader provided by the hosting service. In fact, as e-readers devices become more intelligent, users may have many different choices. Today ePub-formatted books hosted by Overdrive can be opened by Adobe’s Digital Editions and by Overdrive’s iOS and Android Media Console clients. But other client software exists. BlueFire is an example. Seeing such choices emerge is a step in the right direction, but currently it takes a pretty sophisticated user to elect alternative clients. Selecting a different client should be as simple as selecting from a dialog box. For instance, as long as the original licensing and DRM requirements are satisfied, then a patron could choose one client for daytime reading and another for nighttime reading – even on the same device.

    New yet-to-be-developed public domain or commercial clients that integrate an e-reader with social networking features such as Facebook and Twitter updates might be the preferred client by some, while consistency with previously purchased eBooks might make it a better choice for other library patrons.

    Moving Forward

    The current vendors in the library eBook marketplace may cringe at some of the above suggestions. They may see profits erode as they are forced to compete more aggressively where they haven’t had to before. However, these recommendations are not offered to drive them out of business. Publishers may have to charge more per title if libraries will never have to buy replacement copies. They may also have to pay more per title if they buy fewer copies because they doesn’t have to buy different versions just to accommodate the odd eBook reader. Hosting fees may have to rise substantially if a library wants a vendor to host all of their eBooks not just the eBooks they buy from that vendor. Individual library patrons may actually want to pay for a superior e-reader client or it may choose to make due with a free or shareware reader. Certainly how various players make money may change but ultimately more eBooks will be purchased and more revenues and profits will ensue.

    Libraries want book authors, publishers, and brokers to succeed. If they cannot make appropriate revenues libraries won’t have an opportunity to offer eBooks to their patrons. Opening up each segment of this market to competition will foster better products, better support and a better user experience. Libraries will probably have to pay more, but their collections will be better integrated into their service model and libraries will have a longer more secure future for the collections they are investing in today.

    Via Sue Polanka’s No Shelf Required blog

    20Jan/110

    32%: lending service from a library an important feature of eReaders, by Sue Polanka

    nsr_cover.jpgI finally had a chance to skim through the recent study done by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC on eBooks, Turning the page: The future of eBooks. A full description of the study is below. I immediately searched for the word library/libraries in the document and found only 7 references, most to a personal library on one’s ebook reader. But, there was a statistic related to borrowing ebooks from libraries. The question was asked, how important are the following features of an ereader for you?

    approximately 24% – 32% responded that “lending service from a library” was important to them. The responses were from 4 countries (UK, Germany, Netherlands, and US) with the US having the highest rate – 32% (see page 21 of the report for the chart). It’s not 100%, where we librarians would like it, but 32% isn’t a bad start. Unfortunately, my skimming of the document didn’t uncover any suggestions to publishers or eReader vendors about how to best work with libraries to accomplish the lending of eBooks. And why would it be a focus when the need for an integrated eBook store was a much greater need of the 1,000 survey respondents.

    From the website – This new study examines trends and developments in the eBooks and eReaders market in the United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Germany, and discusses major challenges and key questions for the publishing industry worldwide. It also identifies market opportunities and developments for eBooks and eReaders, and makes recommendations for publishers, traditional retailers, online retailers, and intermediaries.

    Given that publishers, internet bookstores, and companies that manufacture eReaders have high expectations for the digital future of the book industry, the study asks if a new generation of eReaders may, at last, achieve the long-awaited breakthrough that lures consumers away from paper and ink.

    Via Sue Polanka’s No Shelf Required blog

    14Jan/110

    Two articles on lending ebooks, by Sue Polanka

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    My friend and colleague, Erik Christopher (@eBookNoir), recently wrote a two part article on lending eBooks for Publishing Perspectives.  Cleverly titled, “Friends Romans, Librarians:  Lend Me Your eBooks” (parts 1 and 2), Christopher discusses lending issues with Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and OverDrive.

    Friends, Romans, Librarians: Lend Me Your E-book (Part 1)

    Friends, Romans, Librarians: Lend Me Your E-books (Part 2)

    Via Sue Polanka’s No Shelf Required blog

    14Jan/110

    Interview: “Sue Polanka Discusses E-books, E-readers, and Librarians”

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    In a Q&A interview posted on the ALA TechSource Blog, Daniel A. Freeman chats with with librarian, author, blogger, and speaker, Sue Polanka, about all things e-book/e-publishing.

    Polanka is the “go to” person on the topic of the acquisition/usage of ebooks and ereaders in libraries.

    On January 25th and February 1st, she’ll lead a two part ALA TechSource Workshop titled, “Integrating E-Books and E-Readers into Your Library.”

    Here are two exchanges from the interview.

    DF [Danial Freeman]: Do you think we’re at the point where e-books and e-readers are a must-have for libraries? If not, will we be there soon?

    SP [Sue Polanka]: Yes, we’ve been at that point for a while now. Ebooks are at the tipping point, each day we get more and more questions about the books and readers. If we cannot answer these questions or provide services to support them, our users will not connect libraries with ebooks.

    DF: What topics will you be covering in the workshop?

    SP: The first workshop is focused on purchasing eBooks; evaluating vendor offerings and business models and patron driven acquisition plans. We’ll allso discuss access issues. The second workshop is all about eReader devices. We’ll discuss the various types and formats, compatibility with library collections, and best practices for eReader lending programs.

    You can access and read the complete interview here.

    14Jan/110

    Interview: “Sue Polanka Discusses E-books, E-readers, and Librarians”

    images.jpg

    In a Q&A interview posted on the ALA TechSource Blog, Daniel A. Freeman chats with with librarian, author, blogger, and speaker, Sue Polanka, about all things e-book/e-publishing.

    Polanka is the “go to” person on the topic of the acquisition/usage of ebooks and ereaders in libraries.

    On January 25th and February 1st, she’ll lead a two part ALA TechSource Workshop titled, “Integrating E-Books and E-Readers into Your Library.”

    Here are two exchanges from the interview.

    DF [Danial Freeman]: Do you think we’re at the point where e-books and e-readers are a must-have for libraries? If not, will we be there soon?

    SP [Sue Polanka]: Yes, we’ve been at that point for a while now. Ebooks are at the tipping point, each day we get more and more questions about the books and readers. If we cannot answer these questions or provide services to support them, our users will not connect libraries with ebooks.

    DF: What topics will you be covering in the workshop?

    SP: The first workshop is focused on purchasing eBooks; evaluating vendor offerings and business models and patron driven acquisition plans. We’ll allso discuss access issues. The second workshop is all about eReader devices. We’ll discuss the various types and formats, compatibility with library collections, and best practices for eReader lending programs.

    You can access and read the complete interview here.

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