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

Swetswise Webinar Summary

I attended a Swets webinar about efficiently acquiring R & D eBooks for the library.  I got a quick glance at the Swets interface, due to launch this January.  They will have eBook title metadata and TOC loaded with ISBNs (and ISBN13) from a variety of publishers (no list available just yet).  Search features look simple enough (quick/advanced) as do the ordering features (shopping cart).  Vendors for particular titles and/or collections were listed with a set price for “one-off” purchases (title by title) and collections.  They offered concurrent user purchases (3, 8, 10, etc.) with a set price for each option which is quite nice.   A participant asked about archiving/perpetual access to eBooks she purchases.  Swets answer – publishers decide if books are available as a subscription or perpetual access.  Those that offer perpetual access, the publisher will host the eBooks perpetually. Can you get a copy for yourself or for a 3rd party to host? – that’s up to the publisher.  Doesn’t sound like Swets will be in the archiving business, but then they aren’t hosting the content, the publishers are.  I asked about MARC records, mentioning the lack of quality of freely available MARC records provided with eBook purchases.  Again, that is the publishers, they provide the MARC records from a variety of sources……let’s just hope the publishers follow the existing MARC standards. Continue reading Swetswise Webinar Summary

Notebooks preferred to Readers for eTextbooks, highlights of the EDUCAUSE webinar on eTextbooks at NWMSU

I sat in on the EDUCAUSE webinar today on the eTextbook pilot project at NW Missouri State University.  Some background:

NWMS University has been purchasing textbooks for their students for the last 100 years!  They also provide notebook PC’s to students for a rather small fee.  Testing the eTextbook plan with the SONY Reader was the logical next step.  The pilot was last Fall.  The campus library is a separate function on campus, they were not involved in this project.  The presenters will be speaking at the EDUCAUSE conference in Denver this fall. Continue reading Notebooks preferred to Readers for eTextbooks, highlights of the EDUCAUSE webinar on eTextbooks at NWMSU

Overdrive and Sony to cross-market

From an Overdrive press release:

(Cleveland, OH) – August 12, 2009 – OverDrive (, the leading global digital distributor of eBooks and audiobooks to libraries, announced today a joint marketing agreement with Sony Electronics, Inc., developer of the Sony Reader Digital Book (  OverDrive and Sony will cross-market OverDrive’s library network and the Reader, the leading eBook device that is compatible with industry standard eBook formats offered by libraries.  Continue reading Overdrive and Sony to cross-market

EDUCAUSE eBook Webinar tomorrow

Short notice, but this one looks good and it’s FREE – EDUCAUSE E-Readers and E- Textbooks: Current Reality and Future Possibilities.  Speakers include Jon T. Rickman and Roger Von Holzen from Northwest Missouri State University. Hopefully they will go into more detail on their pilot program, which was in an EduCause article earlier this year.

Abstract:  This seminar will initially address the current state of e-reader devices and their functionality as platforms for the delivery of e-textbooks, as experienced by Northwest Missouri State University in its 2008–2009 pilot study. The presenters will then explore the full capabilities of e-textbooks for online, blended, and face-to-face classes, along with key practical considerations with respect to costs, infrastructure, and academic issues.

50% off ebook titles – more publishers added

I recently posted about the ebrary 50% off ebook title sale, which included a few publishers.  We’ll it’s grown now to include many more publishers.  See the press release below and use the real-time link of publishers for the most accurate list. Continue reading 50% off ebook titles – more publishers added

Recent Articles

I’ve marked the following articles in my delicious account, which are also listed on the NSR home page.

Some numbers on popularity of ereaders

As classrooms go digital, textbooks are history

Random House, other pubs miserly toward IDPF/ePub, but new e-readers and Sigil editor show there’s hope

Blackwell and Ingram sign ebook deal; Credo partnering with SAGE; Publishing Technology aligning with Serials Solutions and more – 8/6/2009 – Library Journal

Library Organizations Urge DoJ To Take Proactive Role in Google Book Search Settlement – 8/6/2009 – Library Journal

When do you REALLY own e-books, other content? IEEE Digital Property Study Group to seek standards

According to Bowker, men accounted for 55% of ebook purchases

University Presses Stepping Up e-Book Efforts – 7/17/2009 1:56:00 PM – Publishers Weekly

EPUB maintenance to begin this month

An IDPF Press Release:

IDPF Launches EPUB Standards Maintenance Work

The EPUB standards are open and living specifications, rapidly gaining momentum. The members of the working group are committed to assisting with corrections and improvements to the EPUB standards that will lead to wider adoption and greater accessibility.

Toronto, Canada (PRWEB) August 16, 2009 — The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), the standards and trade association for digital publishing, announced that the maintenance activities associated with the EPUB standards will start this month. The DAISY Consortium has stepped forward to provide leadership and resources to assist in the maintenance for the EPUB standards. The working group charter was unanimously approved by the IDPF membership. Continue reading EPUB maintenance to begin this month

Blackwell Webinars for Librarians

Those of you with Blackwell Services, or interested in Blackwell Services, may want to consider attending one of their webinars on connecting electronic resources to ebook aggregators like ebrary, EBL, and Myilibrary.  They have a webinar this Wednesday, August 19th to demonstrate the Infotools option in ebrary, at 11:00 PDT.  Please contact Erik Christopher for more information or to set up a webinar on one of the other ebook platforms.  Erik Christopher, Blackwell Digital Services Sales Manager  800-525-7964

Attention Libraries – Discounted eBooks – backlist titles 50% off

I’ve resisted posting information about sales and specials from various publishers and aggregators for fear of favoritism, but this eBook deal is pretty good, crosses many publishers, and could save libraries lots of money (which is the main reason I’ll post it).  If other aggregators have similar announcements, I’ll be glad to post those in order to be fair.  Here are the details: Continue reading Attention Libraries – Discounted eBooks – backlist titles 50% off

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