Category Archives: Academic Libraries

Widgets Increase Use of eReference Collections

From the Gale/Cengage RE:sources blog, May 2009

Widgets pack a wallop

Results from K-12 school, academic and public libraries confirm that usage soars when you add the ability to search all or part of your Gale Virtual Reference Library collection with a widget. Comparing the number of user sessions before and after the addition of a widget on the pages of a high school in Minnesota, a college in Texas and a public library in Ohio, Mark Springer, a data analyst from Gale, documented gains of 178%, 167% and 140% respectively. Read more results like these in the RE:sources blog next week.

Results of widgets in three libraries

The 2010 Outlook

What are the challenges and opportunities collection development librarians are faced with during these tight budget times as the nature of collections continue to evolve?  How can academic libraries maintain their purchasing power for collections when severe budget cuts are the norm at many academic institutions?  Can publishers and vendors be more flexible in their pricing models in order to assist libraries sustain purchasing for collections during this difficult budget time?

In January ICOLC warned publishers that academic libraries face impending budget cuts and asked them to develop alternative solutions to the dilemma. In February ARL issued a statement confirming that the situation is dire and must be taken seriously.

Since then it has been reported that several ARL Libraries face serious budget cuts.  Some publishers have responded by freezing prices for 2010.  How is your library coping with budget cuts?

Respond to this post with practical suggestions and solutions about what your library has done, or is planning to do, to weather this recession.  Feel free to communicate with publishers and vendors with price freeze suggestions as well.

E-book Usage Data Article

The April 1, 2009 “Off The Shelf” column features an article on E-book usage data.  The article surveyed 10 e-book vendors and aggregators for information on their usage data.  A comparative chart accompanies the article, which is only available online, on the NSR articles page.

7 vendors replied to the survey, 1 couldn’t participate due to usage data restructuring, and 2 did not reply.  The 2 no replies serve primarily the public and school library markets, so this usage chart is heavy on academic providers.

Can eBooks replace the print collection? A study at Claremont Colleges

Jason Price and John McDonald, from Claremont Colleges, have completed a study profiling various ebook aggregator collections to their print collection.  Their goal, to find out if eBooks can supersede the print collection, or just supplement the collection.  They presented this in Charleston last November, but have now finalized their stats and have posted the presentation and results. The study, To supersede or supplement: profiling aggregator e-book collections vs. our print collections, found that they cannot supersede the print collection with ebooks as 70% of their print collection is not available in ebook format.  So, eBooks will have to supplement the collection.

Jason and John discovered in their research that aggregator title lists are largely unique.  Also, titles in visual arts, painting, and romance literatures had the least amount of eBook content.

For more information, read the report, or contact Jason or John.

Jason.price@libraries.claremont.edu
John.mcdonald@libraries.claremont.edu

New Audio Interview with UT-Austin Librarian, Lindsey Schell

UT-Austin Libraries has a huge eBook collection, about 600,000 titles in all.  Lindsey Schell, Librarian for Journals, English Lit, and Women’s Studies, has had plenty of experience in acquiring eBooks for UT-Austin.

In this interview, Lindsey and I discuss the variety of eBook collections/platforms at UT, the successes and challenges of their eBook program, purchasing eBooks through Patron Driven Acquisition, and other neat and cool things about eBooks.  So, if you have eBooks, want to expand your collection, or are on the fence about starting an eBook collection, give it a listen.   You’re bound to learn something. And, hopefully you’ll be jazzed about eBooks!

Other NSR interviews can be found on our Interviews page.

eBook sales will increase in UK libraries

According to a survey conducted in the UK by NetLibrary, most libraries do intend to increase the acquisition of eBooks in the coming years.

The highlights:

300 libraries responded

  • 3/4 of academic libraries intend to increase eBook collections
  • 1/2 of public libraries intend to increase eBook collections
  • 85% of publics were interested in fiction eBooks
  • 65% of publics were interested in building an audiobook collection

for more information, contact uk@oclc.org

October Audio Interview – Cynthia Cleto, Springer

Yesterday I had a wonderful conversation with Cynthia Cleto, Global eProduct Manager for eBooks, Springer.  We discussed the Springer content, business models, and results of some usage surveys they have done.  IMHO, it’s very informative and touches on some interesting eBook issues like DRM and Interlibrary Loan.  Yes, I did just mention eBooks and ILL in the same sentence!

Check it out here, or on the interviews page.

First McGill, now Michigan. Libraries in the Print-on-Demand Biz

I was envious with McGill’s news, and now Michigan!  Talk about rubbing salt on my wounds….

Seriously, this is fantastic news for UM Libraries.  Their new “Espresso Book Machine,” – and it ain’t coffee folks – will print-on-demand titles from the UM digital collection.  Public domain titles from the 2 million item collection will be the first shot for Espresso.  Books will cost around $10.00, but must be picked up in person, as UM doesn’t plan on getting in the shipping business.

LJ News has a nice story. For more information on the Espresso, check out On Demand Books.

Infobase to release eBook platform this Fall

Attention public, school, and community college libraries.

Infobase, publisher for Chelsea House, Facts on File, Ferguson, and Bloom’s Literary Criticism will release it’s own eBook platform this Fall.  However, titles will still be available from previously established interfaces.

Current titles and backlist titles will be available at launch (1800+) and forthcoming titles will also come in e version.

Looks like the business model is similar to GVRL – unlimited simultaneous access and an archival PDF copy of each title purchased.  Which, leads me to believe this will NOT be a subscription product.  No word yet on pricing.

I’m hoping to get a sneak peek at the interface in the next couple of weeks, so details on the interface bells and whistles to follow.

Duke University Press releases eBooks, and the price is right!

Super cool!  Duke University Press has just released their scholarly eBook collection.  The collection includes over 100 titles and is run on the ebrary platform.  If you are not familiar with ebrary, they are an eBook aggregator and offer institutions the opportunity to load their own material into the ebrary platform.  Clearly, Duke University Press has taken advantage of this option, which is the first I’ve seen.  The Duke content is not part of other ebrary collections, but can be cross searched with  titles libraries already own in ebrary.

Those who purchase the eBooks can also get access to 900 backlist titles, depending on which years they purchased the print.  And, for an extra $500.00 libraries will receive the cloth editions of all titles from a given year.

Duke was actually bold enough to post their pricing – way to go Duke!  And, it’s incredibly reasonable.  For the 100 title collection, prices range from $500 to $6000 depending on a library’s Carnegie classification.  So, if my math is right (which usually isn’t), that’s 100 titles for $5.00 each up to $60.00 each.  No, that’s not a typo, I didn’t misplace the decimal point!  I’d like to see those kind of prices for all my eBooks ;)

University Presses, jump on the ebrary wagon.  This is awesome.  Hey ebrary, will you work with independent publishers too?  If so, Kevin Sayer, then you’re truly a rock star!