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.

eBooks, DRM, and ILL, a superior blend or a toxic cocktail?

My recent discussion with Cynthia Cleto from Springer got me thinking about some issues.  I’m curious if Springer’s model – no DRM and ILL rights – is unique or if other ebook publishers and aggregators offer similar things.  To me, it’s a superior blend, but I’m thinking that most publishers and aggregators feel it’s a toxic cocktail….

DRM – Digital Rights Management.  Springer uses none.  What about others?  I know the services with one book – one user biz models use DRM to control access and checkout/due dates.  But, there are many other services with unlimited simultaneous user access, full print and cut/paste features.  Are they using DRM?  Ones that come to mind are GVRL, Sage, Oxford, Greenwood, and Credo.

Interlibrary Loan – wow, I’ve never heard of any eBook service offering ILL.  Springer allows full ILL on its content, following normal ILL procedures.  Is anyone else doing this?   Typically, ebooks and ILL don’t mix, which is a major disadvantage of ebooks, probably one that is preventing many from taking the eBook route.   Traditionally, we’ve been able to send most of our purchased items via ILL, but with the advent of licensing agreements and authorized uses, we are losing our ILL rights.  It’s nice to see that Springer is not following that road.

I think I’ll start investigating more about DRM and ILL in the eBook world.  That will give me something else to rant about instead of my usual rant – one single platform!

If you have comments or more information on these issues, I’d love to hear them.

October Audio Interview – Cynthia Cleto, Springer

Yesterday I had a wonderful conversation with Cynthia Cleto, Global eProduct Manager for eBooks, Springer.  We discussed the Springer content, business models, and results of some usage surveys they have done.  IMHO, it’s very informative and touches on some interesting eBook issues like DRM and Interlibrary Loan.  Yes, I did just mention eBooks and ILL in the same sentence!

Check it out here, or on the interviews page.

First McGill, now Michigan. Libraries in the Print-on-Demand Biz

I was envious with McGill’s news, and now Michigan!  Talk about rubbing salt on my wounds….

Seriously, this is fantastic news for UM Libraries.  Their new “Espresso Book Machine,” – and it ain’t coffee folks - will print-on-demand titles from the UM digital collection.  Public domain titles from the 2 million item collection will be the first shot for Espresso.  Books will cost around $10.00, but must be picked up in person, as UM doesn’t plan on getting in the shipping business.

LJ News has a nice story. For more information on the Espresso, check out On Demand Books.

ABC-CLIO will now Publish Greenwood Imprints

Big news in reference publishing today.  ABC-CLIO has licensed the content of Greenwood Imprints.  Here’s a clip of the press release:

ABC-CLIO and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt today announced an agreement granting ABC-CLIO a perpetual license to use the imprints and publish the titles of Greenwood Publishing Group, including Greenwood Press, Praeger Publishers, Praeger Security International and Libraries Unlimited. In addition, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will transfer certain assets, including copyrights, contracts and inventory, of Greenwood Publishing Group to ABC-CLIO. This agreement is effective immediately.

According to Ron Boehm, a No Shelf Required Advisory Board Member, oh, and the CEO of ABC-CLIO, they will dramatically be scaling up the eBook program with this combination.  I like to hear that news!

Sounds like the perfect October audio interview to me….Ron, you up for it?

DailyLit – reading your books in small pieces, via email or RSS

Have you heard of DailyLit? – it’s pretty cool.  DailyLit provides small installments of books to users through an email message or RSS feed, daily.  Hey, since it’s not a piece of paper, I consider this an eBook!  It was built on the premise that we don’t have time to read books, but yet we still find time to read email, so they combined the two!

They have over 950 titles either for free or a small access fee.  Many are classics and now, some are provided by none other than Oxford University Press!

It’s easy to set-up a free account and get started.  You can determine how frequently you want the installments delivered, and even choose the time of day.  For my first title, I chose Tom Peter’s 100 Ways to Succeed and Make Money.  My first installment (of 100) was a simple read of 362 words – all about being neat and tidy!

But my next title will definitely be:   Skinny Bitch in the Kitch: Kick-Ass Recipes for Hungry Girls Who Want to Stop Cooking Crap (and Start Looking Hot!)   hmmm.

They have a blog, rating and review area, and plenty of ways for their members (over 125K) to converse.  Check it out.  I’m off to clean my desk ;)

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