American Libraries Opens Access

My apologies – this has nothing to do with eBooks, at least directly.  But, I wanted to help ALA spread the word.

1. Our weekly e-newsletter, American Libraries Direct, is now available to anyone who wants to sign up for it, not just ALA members. The sign-up form, as well as the FAQ, is at http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/aldirect/aldirect.cfm .

2. American Libraries has launched its own blog, AL Inside Scoop, http://www.al.ala.org/insidescoop/ . Editor-in-chief Leonard Kniffel offers an insider’s view of goings-on at ALA headquarters and what hot topics ALA staffers are talking about in the hallways. Associate Editor Greg Landgraf offers his perspective from “the lower floors” of what many see as the ALA ivory tower.

3. Login is no longer required to view the current issue of the American Libraries print magazine online (in PDF format), or to view the archives, which date back to the January 2003 issue. Go directly to http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/alonlineebrary/alonlineebrary.cfm . First-time viewers will need to install the ebrary reader to view issues. To download, go to http://site.ebrary.com/lib/ala/Download . Firefox 3 users installing the reader for the first time will need a workaround, http://www.ebrary.com/kb/users/ff3install.jsp , to make the ebrary reader work with their browser.

Increase eBook Product Usage, Ideas from GVRL Clients

Gale/Cengage has collected a growing list of 18 ways to increase usage of your ebook resources.  They are listed below.  Or, visit the site for the full story.

How to Increase Product Usage
Here are a few “best practices” as defined by your colleagues. Many of our customers have already discovered and implemented these ideas for increasing usage of electronic resources at their institution.

  • Create a website that has a link to your electronic resources on the Home page.
    Use our JavaScript to integrate a Gale “PowerSearch” box on your Home page.
  • Keep links to databases, eBooks, journals, and magazines no more than 1 “click” away from the Home page.
  • Register for AccessMyLibrary at http://access.gale.com/mylibrary/others/index.html.
  • Create pathfinders for individual databases and have them accessible next to computers.
  • Organize databases by subject and offer remote access.
  • Place links to interesting content directly on your Home page. Gale InfoMarks (or durable URLs) navigate users directly to interesting content or current articles—bypassing the need to find a database or conduct a search.
  • Use journal cover graphics on your Home page to take the user into a periodical database.
  • Load MaRC records with URL’s to databases, eBooks, journals, and magazines
  • Distribute product information material (user guides, search tips, etc) directly to your users.
  • Use electronic databases to support curriculum through class assignments
  • Integrate appropriate content into lesson plans.
  • Market the library to teachers and work with them to create assignments using the product content.
  • Offer library instruction and distribute product information and URL’s for parents or PTA
  • Make library instruction mandatory for incoming students.
  • Do not allow open web resources in bibliographies or works cited pages for assignments.
  • Deploy a federated search engine
  • Implement a journal locator application and linking through OpenURL

Have another suggestion? Would you like to learn more about what the Customer Resource Center can do for you?
Please call 1-800-877-4253 and ask to speak with your Client Relations Specialist today!

Penguin and Ingram Digital, Partners

Ingram Digital will host, manage, and distribute ebook and audio book content for Penguin.  About 11,000 titles are currently available, with many more to follow.  For more info, see the press release.

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Penguin ebooks can be downloaded in Microsoft Reader, Adobe, or Palm formats.  In addition to lots of fiction, bestsellers, and self-help titles, they have about 300 reference titles, many of which are the “idiots” guides.

Why eBooks and eBook Readers Will Eventually Succeed

Nice article in eWeek.com about why ebooks/ebook readers will succeed.  by J. Gerry Purdy, 10/13/2008

Purdy, a Knowledge Center Analyst feels once the right ebook reader comes along, one that provides the best reading experience, most people will “have to have it.”

Just what makes the must have it ebook reader?…..well if I knew I’d be out making it right now instead of moderating this little blog…..

Purdy suggests 15 “must have” features:

  • correct size
  • instant on/off
  • natural user interface
  • high contrast/high-res/bright colors
  • random access
  • durability
  • storage
  • easy annotation
  • easy dictionary access
  • acceptable cost
  • built in wireless
  • acceptable biz models
  • broader distribution
  • animation/multimedia
  • acceptable DRM/IP

Looks like “acceptable” and “easy” will be the toughest things to figure out in this new “must have” gizmo.

I’d like to see his suggestions for the must have library ;)

Article PDF also available.

Springer’s MyCopy….$24.95 and it’s yours!

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Springer announced it’s new pilot print on demand service – MyCopy –  for “registered” patrons.  The service allows a library’s registered patrons to order a softcover print copy of an ebook the library has ALREADY purchased.  The copy is to be used by the patron for personal use.  11,000 titles are currently available, assuming your library owns all of those!  Books are printed in black and white with a color softcover.

Publishing will never be the same folks.  I hope Springer shares the title data with libraries.  That could be a useful collection development tool.

I couldn’t help but think about this on the way home today….but wouldn’t this be the best way for students to buy cheap textbooks?  Libraries subscribe to the ebooks of major textbook publishers and they all do print-on-demand for patrons at $24.95.  Oh wait, we are talking about textbook publishers here, better make that $99.95!�

e-content will overtake traditional books in sales by 2018

Just one of the findings from the Frankfurt Book Fair survey of over 1,000 industry professionals.  All of the survey results are in the press release.

Here’s a snippet about the challenges, which I find interesting:

Challenges facing the industry

70 per cent of respondents may feel ready for the digital challenge, but industry professionals nevertheless recognised the need to work together to tackle certain issues. The following top four concerns will be discussed at length during this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair:

• copyright – 28 per cent – typical…
• digital rights management – 22 per cent  – Oh, that nasty DRM
• standard format (such as epub) – 21 per cent  – how about one platform while you’re at it
• retail price maintenance – 16 per cent – hopefully this will filter to library price maintenance too

Credo’s Resource Link

I sat in on a Credo Reference webinar earlier this week, to get a better idea of the new interface and discovered something that wasn’t visible to me in the trial.  Credo has “Resource Links,” external links to a library’s other resources like the catalog, a metasearch tool, or a particular database.  Libraries can set-up the resources in the very detailed administrative module, proxy server stuff and all!

This is a really cool feature as it allows users to start research in Credo, get an understanding of the topic and various perspectives, then continue that search for books or articles in other resources.

More information on this feature and how to set it up in the Admin module are available in a Credo document.

JISC Survey Report – Managing and Promoting e-Content a Major Concern

JISC released a survey last week reporting the major concerns of library management (UK libraries).

Key findings included:

e-Resources/electronic content was cited most frequently as a key challenge facinglibraries and LRCs with issues including management, sharing, provision, access toand financial constraints. Others challenges included wider funding and financialissues (particularly within HE), and keeping up-to-date with new technologies andincorporating them into library/LRC services. Pressure on space was also mentionedcommonly by HE respondents. Press Release Full Report

SCONUL 2008 Top Library Concerns Survey

SCONUL, the Society of College, National and University Libraries released the results of it’s 2008 Top Concerns Survey.   This organization represents the libraries in the UK and Ireland.

E-resources and the E-environment were some of the top concerns.  Here is a snippet from the survey:

For the next twelve months, the three concerns with the highest ratings were:

• Space and buildings (94%) • Funding and financial management (84%) • E-environment (84%)

An additional question in the 2008 survey attempted to get more detail on aspects of the e-environment. The two areas with the highest ratings were:

• Access Management (87%) • Provision of E-Resources (86%)

SCONUL 2008 Top Concerns Survey

New Credo Interface, my quick review

Credo has upgraded its interface.  I got a quick trial so I could check out some of the features (old and new).  Of course the best part of Credo is the ability to cross reference a search.  This allows researchers access to definitions, people, places, and general overviews of their topic from multiple disciplines and sources, a fantastic way to start your research.  Here are some highlights:

  • over 3 million entries in 366 titles (and growing), all cross-referenced
  • nice simple search screen – googlish, with options for advanced search and the concept map
  • interface is available in six languages
  • browse the collection by subject and title options
  • search results have faceted results for subject, pub date, entry type, media, and person
  • great multimedia features – audio files, video clips, flash, and dynamic table creation, images, and maps
  • optional display of the “gadget tool” with easy access to definitions, people, locations, crossword answers, conversions, quotations, and holidays and festivals (each category has a search box)
  • concept map is still there.  I believe I had previously called this “brainstorming on steroids.”  Nice visual and interactive way to search for concepts that are related.
  • store/mark records – easily done with checkbox.  ability to export saved results  – email, save, print, or export for multiple citation management systems
  • cite this source – APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA
  • bookmark to social networking sites
  • Content sensitive HELP with index to all HELP items
  • customize for your institution
  • download marketing materials
  • lots of usage statistics

and a few snafus:

  • faceted results are great, but no way to turn them off, and no breadcrumb trail of facets
  • no breadcrumb trail to keep you oriented, but maybe you don’t want to be oriented in a cross referencing tool???
  • odd search results with the concept map.  my siberian huskies search kept displaying the map of a related person to huskies, maybe there just wasn’t enough content on huskies….
  • I was using Firefox.  After entering my search term and hitting the enter key my search would sometimes stop.  Once I clicked search it was fine.

For more information, visit Credo Reference, and ask David to give you a test drive!

If you are uncertain what titles to purchase, ask for their recommended lists….compiled by several people in the reference reviewing field.

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