Last Friday I had a great discussion with Scott Wasinger, the Senior Director of Sales for eBooks and eAudiobooks for NetLibrary. Scott and I discussed how EBSCO is implementing the NetLibrary content into the existing EBSCOhost interface, what changes we can expect to see with the Netlibrary interface, new plans for business models, and how the input from librarians is helping them to shape the future of NetLibrary.
During our interview, Scott mentions screen captures available for preview – NetLibrary EBSCOhost screenshots.
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Listen to all of the NSR interviews, found on our interviews page.
From an OverDrive press release:
OverDrive’s Digital Bookmobile (www.digitalbookmobile.com) will demonstrate digital book downloads available from America’s public libraries at the 2010 National Book Festival (www.loc.gov/bookfest) on Saturday, September 25, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the National Mall in Washington, DC. This high-tech 18-wheeler and mobile exhibit offers hands-on demonstrations of download services available 24/7 from more than 11,000 libraries worldwide.
Digital Bookmobile visitors will be able to browse a library’s download website; sample eBooks, digital audiobooks, music, and video on interactive PC and Mac® computer stations; learn how to download; and test compatible devices including the Sony® Reader, nook™, iPod®, Zune®, and Smartphones—all loaded with digital titles from the library. Continue reading
From an O’Reilly Media press release:
For years O’Reilly Media has supplied digital files of our books to Bookshare, a non-profit that provides accessible reading material to the print disabled. For qualifying readers, these ebooks are made available worldwide. And now, through a collaboration with Bookshare, we’ve started making the easy-access DAISY (Digital Accessible Information Systems) formats available within our ebook bundles on oreilly.com for more than 800 titles. Continue reading
EBSCO Publishing recently announced the added feature of text-to-speech support for all EBSCOhost® databases. The read aloud function is available at no cost through technology from Texthelp Systems.
The functionality allows users to read along while a human-sounding voice speaks the text on the screen. Users have the ability to read-aloud by selected text, sentence, paragraph, or continuous reading with dual color synchronous highlighting (highlighting of the passage being read with a second color highlighting the specific word being read aloud at that moment).
User control of read-aloud personalizes the learning experience for each user. Users can control reading speed as well as select between three different high-quality voices—American, British, or Australian. These options also enable teachers and professionals to incorporate the features as a tool for teaching English and reading.
I’m anxious to see if the new EBSCO ebooks platform (NetLibrary) will offer text-to-speech for the entire book. Hoping so!
Overdrive conducted a study of public library users of audiobooks, surveying 5 of their busiest sites. The results concluded that audiobook listeners were:
- 74% of users are female, between the ages of 30-59.
- Nearly 70% have a college and/or postgraduate degree.
- 60% learned about the download service from the library’s website (if our past blog posts and training sessions weren’t enough to get you to promote on your website, hopefully this is!)
- 87% listen to audiobooks on an MP3 player, 44% of which are iPod users.
- 33% of users own an eBook reader (e.g., Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble nook)
For those who don’t own an eBook reader, 90% stated that compatibility of eBooks from the library is an important factor.
Hat tip to Resource Shelf
I attended the Digital Book World/Aptara webinar today -eBooks vs. Apps: The Pros, Cons, and Possibilities. My notes are below, summarizing the content. Very interesting webinar and some really good content, eye opening for a librarian to see what features are being discussed for enhanced ebooks, brings back memories of interfaces past and present. Slides are available – definitely look at the comparison chart, discussed below.
Speakers: Eric Freese, Pablo Defendini and Peter Costanzo; Moderator: Guy LeCharles Gonzalez
enhanced ebooks – are easier to develop because it the preparation of a data file, usually less expensive, based on a standard, interoperable because they are built on EPUB, but some vendors will wrap DRM around them making them slightly inoperable.
apps – are programs specifically written for a platform and interoperability cannot be guaranteed; easier for the functionality to be successful by it required custom development expertise. Continue reading
Last Saturday while exploring the ALA Annual exhibit hall, I had the chance to sit down and chat with Steve Potash, CEO of OverDrive. There is always so much going on with OverDrive, and the interview highlights so much of this. Have a listen.
Interviews with Steve Potash and over 20 other individuals are available on the NSR interviews page.
One More Story, an online library of classic children’s literature, is offering 3-month home subscriptions for $15.00. The collection features over 60 titles from 10 publishers, including many Caldecott Award titles. Children can see, hear, and read the books, each with personal narration and custom music. Read along features highlight words in the text. Stellaluna, The Snowy Day, and Peter’s Chair are just a few of the titles. One More Story plans to add new titles continuously until they reach 108 titles. I don’t know the meaning of 108, other than there are more books to come!
One More Story is also available for school, public, and hospital library subscriptions.
Red Chair Press and Ripple Readers have joined efforts to bring a series of 12 humorous children’s books together with the ability to record your own voice. FUNNY BONE READERS is, according to the press release, “the first safe and free eBook reader for kids.” Families have the opportunity to purchase the stories as digital eBooks that can be recorded by a parent, grandparent, or even by the child. The book themes focus on being a good friend, sharing, never giving up, and obeying rules. Books are designed for children ages 4 – 8.
More information can be found at www.ripplereader.com or www.redchairpress.com.