Study released on impact of digital courseware on student learning

A new report from SRI Education evaluates Gates Foundation’s investments in digital courseware over the last five years.  Executive Summary available.  Abstract below.  Report offers lessons learned, gaps in knowledge base data, and nine recommendations for future courseware investments.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Postsecondary Success initiative seeks to understand what is required for technology applications to produce positive student impacts at scale. SRI analyzed the features of 137 different courses from 12 major postsecondary courseware-related projects and performed a quantitative meta-analysis of student outcomes to estimate the impact of digital courseware on student learning. Follow-up analyses examined the design features, conditions, and practices associated with differences in student outcomes. A conceptual framework relating evaluation approaches to stages of learning technology investment is provided.

Ingram Construct makes customizing books easier

Interesting product.  If I were to customize content, I would want to customize a children’s book to use a child’s name in the story or customize a travel book for a trip I might be taking.

NASHVILLE, TN – Publishers’ ability to customize content and give readers exactly what they want just got easier with Ingram Construct, a comprehensive, custom publishing solution for print-on-demand and e-books from Ingram Content Group Inc. Ingram Construct gives publishers a simple way to tailor their books to end users’ needs using existing titles, going from creation to production to distribution in minutes.

“We want to help publishers better connect with customers, and Ingram Construct gives them an easy way to customize any title to best meet customers’ needs,” said Brian Hogue, Vice President of Content Systems, Ingram Content Group. “With Ingram Construct, a publisher can use existing content to create customized print or digital books within minutes. It’s another way Ingram is using our technology and infrastructure to help our clients grow their business and find new streams of revenue. Continue reading Ingram Construct makes customizing books easier

DPLAfest 2015

DPLAfest 2015 — April 17-18, 2015

DPLAfest 2015—our second celebration of all-things DPLA—will take place on April 17-18, 2015 in Indianapolis.

The two-day public event, set to coincide with DPLA’s second birthday, will bring hundreds of people from our large and growing community of librarians, archivists, and museum professionals, developers and technologists, publishers and authors, teachers and students, and members of the public to Indianapolis, Indiana for interactive workshops, hackathons, engaging discussions with community leaders and practitioners, fun events, and so much more. DPLAfest will appeal to librarians, archivists, museum professionals, developers and technologists, publishers and authors, teachers and students, and members of the public alike who are interested in an engaging mix of discussion-oriented workshops and hands-on activities.

Area institutions serving as co-hosts include the Indianapolis Public Library (Central), the Indiana State Library, the IUPUI University Library, and the Indiana Historical Society.

You can keep up to date about DPLAfest 2015 by subscribing to our news list, bookmarking our news and blog feed, or following us on Twitter and Facebook. See you in April 2015!

If you are interested in becoming a DPLAfest corporate or institutional sponsor, please contact Rachel Frick, Business Development Director.

eBook, eLibrary, and ePublishing News Summary For the Week Ending Sunday, January 11

bibaI am the former Editor-in-Chief of TeleRead, the Internet’s first blog devoted to ebooks. I now run a curated Twitter feed devoted to ebooks, elibraries, and epublishing.

This is a listing of those tweets for the last week. A new listing will be published on No Shelf Required each Monday morning.

If you are interested in following the feed in real time, follow me on Twitter: @paulkbiba — Paul Biba
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HarperCollins isn’t the only publisher to wipe Israel off the map – Washington Post (blog) http://t.co/xHwbudmdl3

Scribd Raises $22 Million Funding Round to Expand its Book Subscription Service http://t.co/AAkapj4TWX
Continue reading eBook, eLibrary, and ePublishing News Summary For the Week Ending Sunday, January 11

OdiloPlace debuts in the U.S. with 60,000 titles

Miami, FL – January 9, 2015 – ODILO announces the launch of OdiloPlace, their digital content marketplace featuring titles from publishers such as ABDO, Atlantic Publishing, Book View Café, Diversion Books, Encyclopedia Britannica, Enslow Publishers, HarperCollins Publishers, Little Pickle Press, Macmillan, Open Road Media, Prologue, Simon & Schuster, Rowman & Littlefield, Untreed Reads Publishing, Xist Publishing, and many others. Additional titles from other big, mid, and small publishers are expected soon. ODILO products and services allow libraries to better manage digital content, integrate a mix of content sources, and distribute high-quality content to patrons in mere seconds. Unlike other expensive content management systems, ODILO offers flexible and affordable pricing, along with bestselling books in a variety of languages. Continue reading OdiloPlace debuts in the U.S. with 60,000 titles

Library eBook use up 33% in 2014 through OverDrive

CLEVELAND—January 8, 2015—Capitalizing on the latest advances in eBook technology and popular catalog availability, public libraries saw digital checkouts rise again to record levels in 2014.  OverDrive (www.overdrive.com), the leading eBook and audiobook platform for libraries and schools, announced today that circulation of eBooks, audiobooks and other digital media increased 33% in 2014 to 137 million checkouts, while web traffic and discoverability similarly increased, especially on mobile devices.

Continue reading Library eBook use up 33% in 2014 through OverDrive

Free webinar on library digital content lending from Jamie LaRue, sponsored by Odilo

Webinar, January 14th at 1 p.m. EST.  Register here.

Library digital content lending has come a long way. Aggregators, authors, libraries, and publishers have all had to adapt to new, and sometimes not so desirable, business models. It is time for libraries to take matters into their own hands with alternative solutions.

Join renowned speaker, Jamie LaRue, as he discusses innovative and emerging technologies for digital content management. Participants will come away with a greater understanding of digital content issues, along with recognizing the benefits of using a new content management approach.

While all are encouraged to attend, this webinar is ideal for those involved with consortiums, state library agencies, and public library acquisitions and technical services. Learn more.

DPLA releases strategic plan

Download the DPLA Strategic Plan here.

Full message below:

The Digital Public Library of America launched on April 18, 2013, less than two years ago. And what a couple of years it has been. From a staff of three people, a starting slate of two million items, and 500 contributing institutions, we are now an organization of 12, with over eight million items from 1,300 contributing institutions. We have materials from all 50 states—and from around the world—in a remarkable 400 languages. Within our collection are millions of books and photographs, maps of all shapes and sizes, material culture and works of art, the products of science and medicine, and rare documents, postcards, and media. Continue reading DPLA releases strategic plan

OverDrive announces 10 public library systems in the “1 Million Checkout Club”

From the OverDrive blog:

We’re excited to announce that 2014’s “1 Million Checkout Club” includes 10 public library systems, surpassing the six lirbaries that accomplished this feat in 2013! Checkouts include all borrowed digital items including eBooks, audiobooks, music, streaming video and periodicals from the library’s OverDrive-powered collection and each of the libraries experienced significant year-over-year growth from 2013.

The following libraries have joined the 2014 Million Digital Checkouts Club:

2 Million or more digital checkouts

Continue reading OverDrive announces 10 public library systems in the “1 Million Checkout Club”

Smashwords 2014 Year in Review

Below is an excerpt from the Smashwords blog highlighting service milestones for the year 2014.  The full article has some background and 2015 plans as well.

Among our service milestones for the year:

  • New distribution channels – We added new distribution partners including OverDrive, the world’s largest ebook supplier serving over 20,000 public libraries, and Txtr, a European retailer.  New partners Oyster and Scribd were brought fully online.
  • Faster distributions – Working in close partnership with all our retail partners, Smashwords dramatically increased the speed and reliability of our distribution systems in 2014.  We’re now shipping multiple times daily to most of our retailers, and near-real time to iBooks, where, for example, and it’s not uncommon for authors to upload a book to Smashwords and see it appear at iBooks the same day.  Faster distributions of new titles and metadata updates give our authors more control over their publishing.
  • Faster sales reporting – We improved the speed of sales reporting.  In May, we introduced our Daily Sales tool which provides next-day and same-day sales reporting from iBooks, Barnes & Noble, OverDrive and Kobo.
  • Added EPUB 3 support – Smashwords now accepts EPUB3 files as part of our Smashwords Direct feature.  EPUB3 gives authors and publishers greater language support and text layout options, including right to left reading and vertical reading.
  • We helped more authors realize their full potential – Smashwords authors bring us their talent, and we give them tools to help realize the full potential of their talent.  Multiple Smashwords authors hit retailer bestseller lists in 2015 as well as national lists such as New York Times and USA Today, aided in part by the power of Smashwords preorders to iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Kobo, and also supported by enhanced metadata tools such as Smashwords Series Manager which improves series discoverability at retailers.
  • Diversification pays off – Our broad distribution network helped authors and publishers diversify their exposure to an industry-wide slowdown in ebook retailing.  Strong merchandising support for Smashwords authors by our wonderful colleagues at iBooks combined with sales growth from new distribution partners FlipKart, OverDrive; Oyster and Scribd helped many Smashwords authors and publishers have a great year.
  • Diversification pays off again – Authors who fully distributed their titles with Smashwords were partially insulated from the dramatic sales drops many Amazon authors reported following the introduction of Kindle Unlimited.  If you know indie authors who only upload to Amazon, invite them to diversify their distribution with Smashwords.

Continue reading Smashwords 2014 Year in Review

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