Case Western Students will use Kindle for Textbooks

CWRU Chemistry and Computer Science students will use the new Kindle to access textbooks in Fall ’09.   See the full article in either the Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 6, 2009 or The WSJ, May 5, 2009. Amazon has worked a deal with publishers to load the textbook content on the Kindle, which will be “supplied” to students.  Nothing in the articles about costs…

The other universities are:  Pace, Princeton, Reed, Darden School at the University of Virginia, and Arizona State.

Google Book Search Settlement

Posting on behalf of Peter Murray, OhioLINK, full post at:  http://dltj.org/article/gbs-summary/

Today was to be the deadline for objecting to, opting out of, and/or filing briefs with the court on the Google Book Search Settlement. That was the plan, at least, when the preliminary approval statement from the court was issued last year. That deadline changed, and that is part of a recent flurry of activity surrounding the proposed Settlement. In honor of the original deadline, this e-mail provides a summary of recent news and an index of documents that you might want to read for more information. Continue reading Google Book Search Settlement

Gale Offers Free Access to Health & Wellness Resource Center

Farmington Hills, Mich., May 5, 2009 – In support of National Women’s Health Week, Gale, part of Cengage Learning, is providing one month’s free access to Health & Wellness Resource Center, an electronic resource providing a comprehensive array of medical reference and periodical materials. To obtain access to the resource center, libraries can download a specialized widget throughout the month of May at http://access.gale.com/widgets/whm. Continue reading Gale Offers Free Access to Health & Wellness Resource Center

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.

The Cost of Publishing a Book

One thing librarians are always ranting about is the cost of eBooks.  In some instances, the eBook can cost 150-200% of the list price.  The Kindle 2 blog just posted an interesting break down on the cost of print books.  When it comes down to it, printing costs are only about 10% of the total book cost.  Author royalties, marketing, proof reading/editing, cover design and the like all take a piece of the pie as well.  These expenses don’t magically go away on the eBook.  The 10% printing cost is used to manage interfaces, buy servers, and to pay programmers, which probably costs more than 10% of the book I would think.  Ron Boehm, from ABC-CLIO, wrote a nice article about the economics of publishing and ebooks for NSR, it contains more information on the pricing of p vs. e.    The question still remains, why are some eBooks priced at list and others at 150 – 200% over list?  I think some of this has to do with the number of simultaneous users, 24/7 access, and other value added features that a publisher or aggregator may offer.  Recouping costs of development and storage are probably factored in their too.  None of this makes it any easier to swallow for those of us paying the higher costs, but one can only hope that over time, as the eBook matures and interfaces are perfected, that the costs will stabilize.

Finally, a Textbook Program for Students with Disabilities

Being part of the Wright State University community has given me a whole new perspective on students with disabilities.  Approximately 10% of our population is part of this community.  It is very difficult for these students to get their textbooks and other course material in a format appropriate to their needs.  That has just been made easier with the announcement of the U.S. College and University Partnership with Bookshare.  Bookshare is the largest accessible online library for people with print disabilities.  Their press release contains all the details of this new program.  Text of this release is also below, click on more.   Continue reading Finally, a Textbook Program for Students with Disabilities

Will Print-on-Demand Stifle eBooks?

There is a really interesting article (with comments) on the TeleRead blog about the Espresso Book Machine.  If you remember, UM purchased the Espresso back in October.   This new article, written by Court Merrigan, focuses on the machine’s use in bookstores – store front or in one’s closet.  It’s big in the UK, with plans to expand the 500,000 title Espresso offering even further if Blackwell can negotiate the rights to in-copyright books.

Merrigan ponders the future of bookstores, amazon, and the impact of POD to the eBook industry.  Comments from publishers offer even more ideas and perspectives.   One comment, from Michael Pastore, states “This machine could also be deployed in libraries, and help make some money for libraries, which are much in need right now. And independent bookstores might be looking at this machine reverently, as a mechanical messiah.”

IDPF Conference on eBooks

On May 11 – 12th the IDPF will hold its Digital Book 2009 Conference in NYC.  The theme is “an eBook Stimulus plan for Publishing.”  More information is available on the conference website.  Looks like there will be some sessions on DRM, ePUB, XML, and a presentation from Google on the Book Search program. Anyone attending?  If so, consider posting your comments here on the blog.

WSJ article – How the E-Book Will Change the Way We Read and Write

Interesting article in the WSU on eBooks, “How the E-Book Will Change the Way We Read and Write.”  It focuses on more popular reading than academic sources, but brings out some interesting points about marketing, discovery, and selling pieces/parts of books.

An added FYI, when I find articles related to eBooks I bookmark them on my delicious site, which is linked to the blog.  Just go to the homepage to see the recent delicious bookmarks.

A blog discussing the news and issues surrounding eBooks, for librarians and publishers.