CHARLOTTE, N.C., February 2, 2015 – Baker & Taylor, the premier worldwide distributor of digital and print books and entertainment products, announced today the launch of its new Axis 360 app for both Apple and Android devices. The Axis 360 app offers mobile users the ability to discover, download and listen to digital audiobooks, as well as access ebooks to read, within a single application.
Axis 360 app users will enjoy increased functionality and ease-of-use, with one-stop access to content from their public or school library. Users can browse the library or school’s entire digital collection or search for a specific title. Once they discover that perfect new release or longtime favorite, they can check it out using a built-in audiobook player in addition to the existing ebook reader. Axis 360 also presents recommendations from the library’s collection, based on the user’s selection. Continue reading Baker & Taylor launches new Axis 360 app, for Android and iOS devices
Google gives New York City libraries $1 million for 10,000 Wi-Fi devices for program lending Wi-Fi devices to New Yorkers
Dec. 2nd, 2014 NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio, New York City’s three library systems, and Google today announced a $1 million donation from Google for an innovative library program lending Wi-Fi devices to New Yorkers to use at home.
The Library Hotspot program gives families, many lacking broadband access, the opportunity to borrow free Wi-Fi devices from their local libraries. The program was successfully piloted by The New York Public Library over the summer, when families at four branches in the Bronx and Staten Island were able to borrow devices for months at a time. Continue reading Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Library Chiefs Announce Expansion of Library Hotspot Program Through Google Donation
ALA and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) renewed their opposition to a petition filed by the Coalition of E-book Manufacturers seeking a waiver from complying with disability legislation and regulation (specifically Sections 716 and 717 of the Communications Act as Enacted by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010). Amazon, Kobo, and Sony are the members of the coalition, and they argue that they do not have to make their e-readers’ Advanced Communications Services (ACS) accessible to people with print disabilities.
The full press release from ALA.
FCC filing from ALA and ARL
Here is information about a session to be held at the ALA conference this Saturday:
E-Books and E-Readers: Leveling the Playing Field or Widening the Digital Gap? – IRRT Paper Session, Saturday, June 28th, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Location: Las Vegas Convention Center –
S233 Description: With their ease of distribution and availability in large numbers, E-books and e-readers hold great promise for delivering currency and intellectual content to the information poor. At the same time, digital information is often only available to those who can afford internet access and the technological infrastructure needed to provide that access. This program will feature projects and research illustrating how e-books and e-readers have impacted libraries and readers globally in many different ways. Continue reading ALA Session: eBooks and eReaders: Leveling the Playing Field or Widening the Digital Gap?
Pew Internet Research released a new report yesterday on eReaders and eReading. The report, “E-Reading Rises as Device Ownership Jumps” reports an increase in device ownership and eReading among Americans.
- 50% of American adults own either an eReader or tablet device
- eReaders and tablet devices used for reading ebooks nearly twice as much as computers and cell phones
- Reading eBooks on tablet devices has increased from 23% to 55% in 3 years
Much, much more available in the full report.
School Library Journal has published two recent articles about the eBook market in schools. The first is the “School Ebook Market Directory.” This piece features a snapshot of 19 eBook vendors for school libraries. Some of these include ABC-CLIO, Capstone, Rosen, OverDrive, Gale, StarWalk Kids, and Tumblebooks. The second article is “E. It’s Complicated. How Two Schools are Riding the Transition to Ebooks.” SLJ talked to academic experts and visited librarians, teachers, and students at two high-performing Illinois high schools: New Trier Township High School in Winnetka and Northfield, and Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. The article is in a Q/A format and discusses topics such as why go digital, will ebooks help kids learn more, who owns and pays for devices, what are the hurdles to adoption, and many more. Both are worth a read.
ALA’s new eCourse on ebooks starts September 2nd. Well, it’s not exactly new. I taught this four-week course last March and have accepted ALA’s invitation to teach it again this September. On the other hand, it’s not exactly the same class either, since much has changed since I developed the original syllabus in early 2013 — so much, in fact, that the new list of required readings is quite different from the original. While this class still requires no prior knowledge of ebooks and we will again be going over the basics (e.g., formats, reading devices, dominant brands, DRM, purchasing options, etc.), we will also take a closer look at the trends that are currently driving our conversations at conferences and in various online communities. Continue reading ALA’s eCourse on eBooks: Lessons Learned
I am in Lima, Peru this week attending and presenting at the Lima Book Fair (feria internacional del libro de lima). The fair runs for two weeks, July 19th through August 4th. About 120 vendors exhibit at the fair and over 600,000 Peruvians are expected to visit. Lines to enter the book fair circled the block the first weekend. The Peruvians are very attached to books (print especially), which is evident from the large number of bound materials on exhibit at the book fair. Bookstores abound as well.
The U.S. Embassy in Lima invited me here to speak about eBooks. Continue reading The evolution of the book at the Lima Book Fair
Great news from Baker & Taylor about a new app (iOS and Android) for direct download of titles to tablet devices. axisReader is another option for Axis patrons and provides ereading solely for EPUB and PDF formats. When patrons use Axis 360, they can choose between B&T’s blio reader or axisReader depending on the format they are downloading. Here’s more from the press release:
CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 6, 2013 – Baker & Taylor, the world’s largest distributor of digital and physical books and entertainment products, has released a new, free application for tablets and smartphones called axisReader, which allows patrons of libraries with the Axis 360 digital media platform to seamlessly discover, checkout and read ebooks in EPUB and PDF formats on their mobile devices. The axisReader will be available alongside the existing Blio ereader, which provides a fully-accessible ereading experience to Axis 360 users. Continue reading Baker & Taylor launches axisReader app
I attended the American Library Association MidWinter Conference in Seattle, Washington January 26 -29th. While there, I was able to speak with several eBook companies about new features and services. Below you will find a list of companies (alpha order) and new features complete with links for more information.
I also want to bring your attention to a few must read reports. First, the ALA Digital Content & Libraries Working Group publication, Ebook Business Models: A Scorecard for Public Libraries. Second, The Pew Internet Library Services in the Digital Age report. Finally, the Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report (4th Edition). The latter reports provide excellent data to help understand user needs in our digital age. Continue reading eBook updates and must reads from ALAMW Conference