I had the opportunity to work with Publishers Communication Group to present the hot-off-the-press results of their study of library deployment of e-book patron driven acquisition (PDA) programs. The study was conducted by PCG’s Head of Research Emilie Delquie. She is still looking for survey respondents so please contact her if your library has a PDA program in place or if you plan to implement in 2010.
The results were presented at the Spring Conference of the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) which was held in Cambridge, MA this week. The conference was attended primarily by publishing executives, and the theme was “Users, customers, practitioners & librarians talk – Publishers are you listening?”
The key messages I tried to convey to publishers were: include your titles in the aggregator e-book services; release the electronic copy the same day as the print copy; and make the content available in epub format for download to handheld readers.
The survey shows tremendous rapid adoption of patron driven acquisition. Two hundred and fifty libraries were contacted. From that sample: 32 have PDA programs deployed; 42 planned to have a program deployed within the next year; and an additional 90 plan to deploy a program within the next three years. Of the 32 libraries that currently have PDA programs 47% began their program in the past six months.
Thank you to all of you who have already participated in the survey!
Slides are attached for your viewing pleasure: PDA Survey Spring 2010
I understand there are concerns about ebooks and privacy. We should certainly consider how privacy will change with this technology, but I have to say, at a local level I feel I have so much more privacy reading books with an e-reader. Using my ebook reader (Sony) I can buy an ebook or borrow one from the public library and read them anywhere without feeling exposed.
Let’s say I’m having a health issue and I want to borrow a print book from my local library to find out more about it. If I live in a small town I probably know the librarian. Do I want her to know about my health issue when I check out the book? If I read the book on the bus, at work (during lunch of course), at my son’s karate class do I really want all those people to know about my issue? Even in my own home. Do I have to hide the print book from my children, my mom?
With an ebook you have privacy. Nobody knows what you’re reading.
And to be honest, I much prefer privacy at this personal level. I’m less concerned about whether the FBI knows what I’m reading.
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.
Nicolas Baker, famous within libraries for Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper (2001), has written an article about the Kindle for the New Yorker. Not much surprising, general kvetching: the Kindle doesn’t work well with images, text to speach is not an audiobook, not every book is available, etc. but I think it is interesting to see ebooks capturing such a large part of the popular culture’s attention.
The only part I think Mr. Baker missed the mark was in the reader chat forum. A reader asks:
“Do you see e-readers, including the Kindle or even iPod, playing any role in libraries? Or perhaps can you foresee libraries having a role in providing content to such devices? Librarians have played a huge role in my reading life and I’m not ready to cede that role over to Amazon or bn.com at the moment.”
In his response, Mr. Baker mentions print on demand machines and then adds, “but if all books become electronic, the task of big research libraries remains the same—keep what’s published in the form in which it appeared.”
Library = warehouse
I just got my hands on the April 2009 issue of Against the Grain, and lo and behold an interview with NSR’s Sue Polanka. The interview was done by Dennis Brunning from Arizona State University in his cheeky style and is followed by his humorous interview with Kindles 1 and 2. The article is not available online, so here are some highlights. Continue reading Interview with Sue in Against the Grain
From RI Newsline:
Over the next three months readers at the British Library can try out three e-book readers from Sony and iRex Technologies … Devices on display include the Sony Reader, the iRex DR1000 and the iLiad.
From the press release, “Offering a hugely versatile reading experience, e-readers have seen an explosion of interest in recent months, with leading publishing experts suggesting that the industry has finally hit its ‘iPod moment’.”
Michael Pelikan has written an interesting article in Against the Grain about the Kindle Sony ebook reader showdown (Feb 2009 issue, article not available online.) Michael focuses this first article on the personal use market, but I’m (impatiently) awaiting the next installment when he will look at library support for reading devices. Michael is from Penn State where they’ve partnered with Sony to distribute Sony Readers through the library and within selected courses. The article includes interesting comments from faculty about the experience. He also gives a shout-out to calibre, open source ebook management software.