Comments on Google Book Search Settlement Coming to a Head (Again)

Ah, it is the beginning of September when thoughts turn to going back to school, the days turn a little colder (in the northern hemisphere) and the smell of lawsuit briefs is in the air. Well, okay — the latter might not be what you expect, but this is a special September, after all. Postponed from MayL1, the deadline for filing comments in the Google Book Search settlement is coming up. And everyone is weighing in (”again” for some) on the details of the settlement. A couple of highlights.

The American Library Association (ALA), the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL)L2 again offered its support for the settlement, if only the court would promise to extend vigorous oversight of pricing and privacy practices of Google and the Books Rights Registry. This came in the form of a supplemental filingL3 to the briefL4 the three organizations filed in MayL5 (just prior to the first comment deadline). Continue reading Comments on Google Book Search Settlement Coming to a Head (Again)

New ABC-CLIO/Greenwood eBook Interface

Got a chance to beta test the new ABC-CLIO/Greenwood interface this week – Digital Collections.  It’s a nice looking interface, easy to navigate with pleasant layout, colors, fonts, etc.  Basic/advanced/browse searching of over 6,200 titles.  They have some cool features too – cite this source ( I still need to check the citations against versions of MLA – 7th and APA – 6th), bookmarks, notes, user profile, RSS feeds, institutional branding, and an admin module.  I really like the self serve MARC record download.  Did a quick glance at the MARC records which look pretty good – didn’t see the blatant errors that some publishers are dolling out with their “free” MARC records.  Printing and emailing available, but number of pages or total content to be printed was not consistent for each title.  Although, I don’t think any eBook interface has gotten this one right yet 😉 ABC-CLIO still has several features in the works for integration in a later release which include:  collection and order management tools, statistics tracking, printing upgrades, image searching, and jumping to specific pages.  I asked for a “back to search results” option and a “permalink” for the persistent url.  They have persistent url’s in place for titles and some chapters/articles, but you currently have to copy/paste the url from the address bar.  Another cool feature is the easy click to increase/decrease font size.  Those of you who are Greenwood Digital Collection customers should see the automatic switchover to the new interface on September 17th.    See the press release below for more info. Continue reading New ABC-CLIO/Greenwood eBook Interface

The Google Book Scanning Project: Issues and Updates – EDUCAUSE Webinar Summary

Sat in on the EDUCAUSE webinar on the Google Book scanning project.  The speakers were

Jonathan Band
Counsel, Library Copyright Alliance
Dan Clancy
Engineering Director, Google Book Search Continue reading The Google Book Scanning Project: Issues and Updates – EDUCAUSE Webinar Summary

AMA eBook Strategy

In an August 25th press release the American Medical Association announced it’s eBook strategy.  They launched an eBook portal, hosted on iPublishCentral from Impelsys.  The platform will allow publishers to provide both formats – e and p to users.  Apparently the platform will have the look/feel of the traditional pages of the print book, but with value added features like access anywhere, searching, bookmarking, and “user personalization.”

New articles of interest

The Daily Utah Chronicle – Student association urges U to put more textbooks online

Open Book Alliance, ULC, Others Want Changes in Google Settlement – 8/27/2009 – Library Journal

Sony releases Mac eBook Library Software

Google book scanning project gains three major tech opponents —

Public library e-book survey tells why OverDrive is on top

E-textbook Mania Strikes Higher Ed | From the Bell Tower – 8/20/2009 – Library Journal

Some numbers on popularity of ereaders

Infobase Publishing Acquires World Almanac Brand

Infobase Publishing Acquires Iconic World Almanac Brand

New York, NY (September 1, 2009)—Infobase Publishing announced today that it has acquired the World Almanac imprint from Weekly Reader Publishing Group. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

World Almanac’s long and storied history as a publisher of award-winning reference titles dates back to 1868. Most notably, The World Almanac and Book of Facts® has become the best- selling American reference book of all time with more than 80 million copies sold. The imprint also includes such popular and best-selling titles as The World Almanac for Kids® and The World Almanac Book of Records®. Continue reading Infobase Publishing Acquires World Almanac Brand

Libraries, are you feeling the love?

As was reported earlier, Sony and Overdrive have partnered to promote library e-book collections.  Sony seems to be embracing the library world as its competitive edge.  Why would one want to buy a Kindle and then have to buy content when you can buy a Sony and borrow much content for free?

It’s unlikely that Amazon will be interested in integrating the Kindle with library e-book collections, since the purpose of the Kindle is  to act as a mobile storefront.

It’s been interesting to read blog comments related to the announcement.  There’s a lot of love out there for libraries, and, it seems, a lot of potential customers who are interested in the remote use of library e-collections.

A large part of the integration of Sony and Overdrive is the “Library Finder” feature linked from the Sony Ebook Store.  I’m rather disappointed in the execution of the service.  Instead of being able to search for a title and see which libraries have it, which you can do from the Overdrive site, you first have to search for a local library and then search for a title.

I’m hoping for a Sony integration partner on the academic market side.  There are academic e-book vendors who support the epub format who would be a natural fit for Sony integration.  In the library where I work we’re planning to circulate Sony Readers to support our EBook Library collection.

The Sony press conference was held at New York Public Library.  I’m still trying to figure out if the partnership with NYPL goes beyond the use of the Overdrive collection.  If any NSR readers have some insight please post a comment.

eReference Platforms – The good and bad features

I spent Monday with several librarians in a discussion on the future eReference platform.  I’m referring to products like Credo, GVRL, Sage Reference Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, etc.  Our discussion revolved around platform features, good features and not so good features.  I’m going to list some highlights of the discussion below, but would really like to have input from others about features you and your end users want and expect. Continue reading eReference Platforms – The good and bad features

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