Category Archives: Conferences/Events

eBook Course, University of Newcastle

Getting to grips with developing and managing e-book collections: an introduction

to be held in the

Netskills Training Suite, University of Newcastle
Tuesday 27th October 2009, 9.30 – 16.30

Course Outline
This course opens the door to a new electronic format and is designed to support librarians who are beginning to set up e-book collections. In the last eight years, there has been an unprecedented growth in the publishing of e-books with an increasing array of different types available for all sectors. The programme will give you the opportunity to explore different e-books including a range of commercially-published and free reference works, monographs, textbooks, and fiction. Examples will include individual titles and also collections of e-books, such as those offered by NetLibrary, Credo, MyiLibrary and Oxford University Press. The course will also facilitate consideration of the new opportunities e-books offer for librarians and users in academic, public and special library and information services, and will explore the significant collection management and promotional issues which challenge information and library staff.
The course is designed to offer: *    an understanding of the nature of e-books
*    a familiarity with range of commercially-produced e-books from publishers and aggregators
*    a familiarity with range of free e-books *    an appreciation of the advantages and disadvantages of the medium
*    an appreciation of the collection management issues associated with bibliographical control, selection, acquisition, access, evaluation, licensing, and archiving
*    a familiarity with the different ways of promoting awareness and use of e-books.

In addition to talks by the presenters, the course includes practical exercises. One will allow delegates to explore examples of online e-books in a structured way. Others will comprise activities during which delegates will examine the major collection management, and marketing and promotion issues. Plenary sessions led by the course presenters will be held to enable delegates to  discuss their findings in the light of current research and professional practice.

Course Presenters: Ray Lonsdale and Chris Armstrong
Chris Armstrong and Ray Lonsdale have been working and offering courses in the field of e-books, e-resources and collection management for the past 12 years, both in the UK and abroad. Up until recently, they were members of the Joint Information Systems Committee e-Book Working Group, which has been promoting the publishing and uptake of e-books in further and higher education and sixth form colleges. Ray is Reader in Information Studies at Aberystwyth University and a Director of Information Automation Limited. He has specialised in the field of collection management and, in particular, in the management of electronic collections. Ray has published extensively and has edited several national and international professional and academic journals. Chris runs a consultancy, research and training company, Information Automation Limited, which he set up in 1987. The company specialises in all forms of electronic resources and in electronic publishing, a topic on which Chris has taught a module in the Department in Aberystwyth. Chris is a regular writer, and sits on the editorial boards of three professional journals. He is also a National Councillor of CILIP.

For more information or to book a place on this course, please visit <>  or email

Don’t forget the UKeiG Conference 2009

UKeiG will be holding a residential forum that will provide opportunities for information and IT professionals to network while catching up on the very latest developments in e-information. This event will have the added benefits of having the opportunity to wine and dine in excellent social surroundings and being excellent value for money

Book now at <>  or by emailing to get your early bird discount!

UKeiG has the CILIP Seal of Recognition, which recognises high standards in the content and relevance of training courses. See for details

UKeiG is a Special Interest Group of CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. 7 Ridgmount Street, London, WC1E 7AE. Registered Charity No. 313014

Booking Form – Getting to grips with developing and managing e-book collections: an introduction

Netskills Training Suite, University of Newcastle
Tuesday 27th October 2009, 9.30 – 16.30

Costs (including lunch and refreshments):

UKeiG members £160 + VAT (£184.00); others £190 + VAT (£218.50)
Please complete and return this form by 20th October 2009, to Christine Baker, Piglet Cottage, Redmire, Leyburn, North Yorkshire DL8 4EH.  Tel & Fax 01969 625751.  Email:

……………………………………………………………Post  Code………………………….

*I am/am not a member of UKeiG (*please delete as necessary)
*I enclose a cheque for ………………….made payable to UKeiG
*Please invoice me/my organisation
[* please delete as necessary]

A cancellation fee of £25.00 + VAT is payable.  No refunds after 20th October 2009

Please specify any special dietary requirements ……………………………………………

__Please tick if a CPD certificate is required.

Data Protection Act 1998

__Please tick if you do not wish your name and affiliation to appear on the delegate list.

__If you are not a member of UKeiG, please tick if you do wish to receive information about future courses and other UKeiG activities

UKeiG accepts firm bookings by post, fax, email and through the UKeiG Web site. All fees are payable in full prior to the date of the course. Cancellations received less than 7 working days before the start of the course will be subject to the full fee. For non-attendance at a course there will be no refunds and the full fee will be payable. Substitutions may be made at any time without additional cost. UKeiG reserves the right to cancel a course if insufficient bookings have been received. Delegates will be offered an alternative date or a full refund of the course fee. UKeiG reserves the right to make changes to the programme. UKeiG will not be liable for any consequential loss of travel or accommodation fees due to cancellation of the course.

Reference Publishers Debate Single Platform

On the Friday of the ALAMW Conference, the Independent Reference Publishers Group met for a panel presentation/discussion on using one single platform to host all reference content.  It was an interesting discussion.  I’ve summarized the panel in my notes below.

Independent Reference Publishers Group Meeting

Friday, January 23, 2009

Representatives from the following organizations were in attendance: Choice, CQ Press, Omnigraphics, Sharpe, ifactory, Sage, Salem, Neal Schumann, ABC-CLIO, Rosen, Credo Reference, Serials Solutions, NISO, Booklist, CHOICE, Wright State University.

The theme of this meeting and panel discussion was instituting a single platform for electronic reference content. Sue Polanka from WSU started things off with her wish list and each publisher had a chance to respond.

Sue Polanka – Wright State University

One day I’d like to purchase/license all of my reference content, regardless of publisher, and load it on the platform of my choice for the best cross searching available. This platform could be an existing one, like GVRL, Credo, ebrary, EBL, NetLibrary, etc. or some shareware, something developed by libraries. Benefits to patrons and librarians include: Greater access, more content, single search interface for ease of use and discoverabilty, easy to implement in library instruction and on web sites. These systems need to have unlimited simultaneous use, 24/7 access, with no DRM or other restrictions on downloading or printing, the most multimedia available during today’s expensive economic times and an actual ebook price, up front, would be appreciated.

Todd Carpenter – NISO

One platform has barriers to interoperability and they are bigger than technological, as in political and economic. [barriers shouldn’t prevent us from trying to do this. IRPG would be a good venue to discuss this. Seems like publishers would want to do this for reasons of – more exposure, and less cost of producing pricey interfaces – has anyone ever heard of epub or the IDPF? SP]

Peter McCracken – Serials Solutions

Federated products are often a starting point for research and therefore have an opportunity to have a reference role. The current design doesn’t work best for the patron since they get mostly articles. Somehow relevance needs to be a factor to assign tags to reference and get them to the top. We need to use field mapping more effectively. [I prefer a pre-indexed approach since federated products tend to be slow. Publishers/aggregators should take advantage of all metadata and tag reference items appropriately. If federated products are used, the reference content should be faceted as “overview material” or “background information.” SP]

Rolf Janke – Sage Reference

Publishers still have an infrastructure that supports print publishing.  The infrastructure is a difficult component to downsize in favor of doing more digital publishing. Print is a one size fits all model yet e publishing is not so, publishers have a multitude of business models, interfaces, features, etc.  The concept of a one size fits all platform for all publishers content is way ahead of its time, publishers currently could never agree on a standard business model. Pricing standards could help, but are not likely. [Gee, these must be the political and economic barriers that Todd was referring to? Looks like publishers could learn about collaboration from libraries. SP]

Ron Boehm – ABC-CLIO

Publishers need to invest in new things while maintaining our print production, which is expensive for publishers, particularly in these bad economic times. Right now we need to do both [e and p] or we would lose half of our business. The best strategy for ebooks is to have unlimited access. Ron supports the idea of publishers working with multiple aggregators or distributors to have reference content available in a multitude of platforms, but doesn’t recommend the libraries/consortia maintain their own platform. [Ditto on unlimited access and multiple aggregators. OhioLINK has been maintaining its own platforms for years. It’s a great system when you want to make enhancements and don’t have to wait on other companies or the majority of users to agree. SP]

ALA’s Dartmouth Award Finally Goes to an Electronic Source

For the first time in history, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Dartmouth Award, designating outstanding quality and significance to a reference source, was given to an electronic resource.  Greenwood’s Pop Culture Universe, was the 2009 recipient. The Committee selected Pop Culture Universe because it compiles over 300 sources of pop culture information into a fun, user-oriented platform complete with a blog; in essence, Pop Culture Universe signifies the future of reference.  And, as you would expect from a forward thinking reference publisher, they’ve already got a press release on the blog of PCU!

More on the Dartmouth Award from the ALA site:

Established in 1974, this medal honors the creation of a reference work of outstanding quality and significance, including, but not limited to: writing, compiling, editing, or publishing books or electronic information. The award is given to works that have been published or made available for the first time during the calendar year preceding the presentation of the award. Dartmouth Medal Honorable Mention certificates may also be presented.

Dartmouth College established sponsorship of the award in 1974 upon the suggestion of Dean Lathem, Dartmouth College librarian. Dartmouth College commissioned the internationally celebrated graphic artist Rudolph Ruzicka to design the bronze medal. Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, who presided not only over the arts and sciences, but over all intellectual aspects of human life, is featured against a filigree of olive branches.

November e-book sales up 108%

The rise of e-books: IDPF reports November e-book sales up 108 percent—and here’s some analysis
By Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords

image Mark Coker is founder of Smashwords and Dovetail Public Relations, as well as moderator of a February 10 panel at Tools of Change on “The Rise of E-Book.” See a San Jose Mercury News Q & A on Smashwords (a publisher for independent writers), which recently signed a Stanza-related distribution deal. – D.R.

The IDPF says e-book sales were up 108 percent for the month of November 2008 compared to the same period a year ago. The data is provided in conjunction with surveys conducted by the American Association of Publishers, and represents wholesale sales from only 13 U.S.-based e-book publishers, so total reported sales figures understate actual sales.

imageFor the first eleven months of 2008, e-book sales were up about 64 percent, according to the IDPF.

Dig beneath the surface, and the numbers are striking. E-book sales are surging while the entire trade book industry suffers a decline. Are print sales suffering at the hands of e-book sales? Unlikely. Something else is happening.

For the five years between 2002 and 2007 (click here for data; opens a PDF), overall trade book sales averaged an annual increase of 2.5 percent. That’s lower than inflation, which means unit sales probably decreased.

By contrast, e-books for the same period turned in a 55.7 percent average annualized increase in sales revenue.

Tiny base—but still an accelerating growth rate

Granted, the robust sales growth for e-books was off of a tiny base to begin with. But fast forward to October of 2008, the date for which year-to-date sales are reported on the AAP web site , and you see overall trade book sales for the first 9 months of the year were down 3.4 percent while e-book sales were up about 58 percent. So the rate of e-book sales accelerated during the first 9 months of 2008 compared to the previous five years.

More interesting, for the month of October the AAP reported overall trade book sales suffered a 20 percent drop in the year over year monthly comparison, while e-book sales accelerated to 73 percent growth.

Numbers for November and December aren’t yet published on the AAP site, though today’s numbers from the IDPF, which are supplied by the AAP, indicated that e-book sales have accelerated yet again, up 108 percent for November.

As any numbers guy or gal will tell you, it’s easy to show great sales growth when you’re growing off of a small base. But when sales show sequential acceleration off of sequentially increasing bases (meaning, you grow faster as you grow larger), then something really interesting is taking place.

If we conservatively estimate that overall trade sales for 2008 declined 3 percent, and e-books sales increased 70 percent, then wholesale e-book sales will rise to $114 million and overall trade book sales will decline to $24.21 billion. In other words, e-books will still only represent 1/2 of 1 percent of book industry sales, at least here in the US.

If you extrapolate the 70 percent growth for five more years (and I would argue that 70 percent is a relatively conservative number), then e-books rise to $1.6 billion, and assuming a 2 percent growth rate of the overall trade book sales to $26.7 billion (generous), e-books would then represent a respectable 6 percent of sales.

If you’re attending the Tools of Change conference February 9-11, I invite you to attend a panel I’m moderating entitled, “The Rise of E-Books,” where we’ll explore the past, present and future of e-books and try to understand the implications of these numbers for publishers and authors alike.

In the meantime, if you’re an author, you need to start exposing your books to the digital realm. Clearly, as the numbers above indicate, you should continue to publish in print because e-book sales will account for only a small percentage of your overall sales. In the years ahead, however, e-books will become an increasingly important format for book consumption.

Read an E-Book Week March 8 – 14

Read An E-Book Week Read an E-Book Week (March 8 – 14) is fast approaching. In preparation for the big event this year we have completely redone our website – http://www.ebookweek.comThis year we welcome several new supporters –, Sony, world-renowned author, Warren Adler, and E Ink to name a few.

Mr. Adler has provided an interesting article for our home page and two well-known guest writers are working on articles about the future of e-books for the website.

Help us celebrate Read an E-Book Week. Let us know what your library or organization has planned for the event and we’ll include you on our Partners page. Perhaps it will be a challenge read, or someone will staff a learn-how-to-download-e-books station to help newbie users.

If you would like a banner for your website they are available for downloading at: Feel free to resize them to fit your needs.

Rita Toews

Founder – Read an E-Book Week

ALAMW Technology Showcase

Those of you heading to Denver this weekend might want to check out several of the vendors presentations in the Technology Showcase (Show floor, aisle 800 or 2200).  The event is Monday, January 26th from 10:00 to 1:00.  Here are several eBook related vendors and times:

Credo Reference – 11:20 – 11:50 Pueblo Theater (aisle 800)

ebrary – 10:40 – 11:10 – Mesa Theater (aisle 2200)

Springer 12:40 – 1:10 – Mesa Theater (aisle 2200)

eBook programs at ALA Midwinter

If you are headed to Denver in a couple of weeks, see if you have time to pop into one of these panel discussions of eBooks and patron driven acquisition.  If anyone knows of other programs, please let me know.  This was all I could find in the online planner by keyword.

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM on 01/24
OCLC 10 Years of eBooks – What’s Next?
Location: Colorado Convention Center in Room 301

8:00 AM – 10:00 AM on 01/26
PVLR Forum: Patron-Driven Acquisition and Its Impact on Libraries, Vendors, and Publishers
Location: Colorado Convention Center in Room 301

Charleston Conference Loaded with eBooks

I just returned from The Charleston Conference and was amazed by the sessions and general discussions relating to eBooks.  I tried to get to most of them, but that was impossible due to the amount of sessions.  If you attended or presented one of these sessions, I invite you to post your comments to No Shelf Required.  I know we can all benefit from hearing more about ebooks.

Some highlights for me were Lindsey Schell’s discussion of patron driven purchasing at UT-Austin – a “platform agnostic” library, and the “banana” story told by Jason Price.  I was also humbled by the number of people that attended my session – the debate between patron driven purchasing and traditional collection development.  Thanks to all of you for attending, and for participating.  We used the audience response systems to survey the attendees, so I’ll post those results on NSR.

eBooks usage revealed, a webinar from Springer

This morning I “attended” the Springer webinar on eBook usage.  It was very informative and obviously focused on Springer content, but it did confirm some of my suspicions about eBook usage.   Here are some highlights:

They use COUNTER, as do most other eBook publishers/aggregators.  COUNTER is incredibly detailed with usage stats….are you using yours to investigate usage and trends?  why not?

2007 – over 25 million eBook chapter downloads, the numbers for 2008 thus far are higher.  I’m seeing this in my eBook usage from various aggregators and publishers.

Handbooks had the highest number of downloads, textbooks were next in line, followed by reference works.  Most of my eBook collection is reference, so that gets the highest use, but I do have a ton of Springer titles, and stats show my users are finding the handbooks and textbooks.

The older eBooks were still used a lot, older defined as 2005 and 2006.

Springer confirmed a couple of things from the ebrary student and faculty eBook surveys:

  • students want more eBooks in their subject areas – yeah, who wouldn’t!
  • faculty prefer electronic material over print

How do you drive usage to your eBooks?  Discoverability is the key.

  • Are you cataloging ALL of your eBook titles with MARC records in the catalog?  The SuperBook Project from the University College of London confirmed that cataloged books get 2 times as much traffic as non-cataloged books.  Makes sense to me.
  • Do you have link resolvers in place to drive users from A & I services to the eBook titles?
  • Are the eBooks you own indexed in google?  According to Springer, 2/3 of their eBook visits came from google – that’s any part of google, not just scholar.  Check with your publishers and aggregators to see if they allow google to index the eBook metadata or fulltext.  And if they do….how are those users getting to the eBook via your library?

eBook usage internationally is big – I’m hearing this from most publishers.  Springer compared eBook usage to eJournal usage.  Internationally, Hong Kong and Munster had approximately 51% journal and 49% eBook usage but U.S. libraries had more of the 80/20 breakdown.

The webinar was hosted by Wouter vander Velde, eProduct Manager, eBooks, Springer

Wouter had a lovely powerpoint with the charts/stats available, but I haven’t heard from him if I can share that on the blog.  If you would like to see it, you could probably email him.

Charleston Program to feature plenty on eBooks

Anyone interested in eBooks should take a look at the Charleston Conference program, November 5 – 8th.  There are a plethora of sessions including:

Ebook use among a group of large academic libraries
To Supersede or Supplement? Profiling E-book aggregator collections
eBook Intelligence: The 8th Annual Health Sciences Lively Lunch
E-Books – How are they different/how are they the same as online journals?
Expanding the Ebooks Buying Experience: Approval Plans
Patron-driven Purchasing in Ebooks
Top Ten Things to unlearn about eBooks
Integrating Print and Digital Reference Resources
Student’s Perception of E-books: Survey Results and Discussion
electronic books into a UK University Library collection
The E-book Challenge: From Start to Finish, and Beyond
Bouncing, Viewing and Power Browsing: Understanding How Students REALLY Use Your E-books
Identifying and describing e-books: challenges facing publishers, librarians and their partners

I’m very excited to attend many of these sessions, particularly the one on patron driven purchasing – a great new business model offered by some aggregators.  EBL and NetLibrary are the two that come to mind.

Please excuse my personal plug here, but if you have an opinion on patron driven purchasing, stop by the Lively Lunch session Friday at Charleston.  Alice Crosetto (Univ. of Toledo) and I will debate traditional collection development with patron driven purchasing.  We may even have Michelle Harper from NetLibrary with us to describe this biz model better.  Friday – 12:50 – 2:00 “Tossing Traditional Collection Development Practices for Patron Initiated Purchasing:  A Debate.” Embassy Suites