No Shelf Required has been busy this past year exploring the many topics of eBooks and libraries. Very soon, two new publications will be available from ALA Publishing which share the No Shelf Required name. These new publications contain completely new content, expanding upon No Shelf Required: E-books in Libraries, ALA Editions, 2011. Details are below. For a complete list of NSR publications, please visit our publications page.
The first publication will be the No Shelf Required Guide to E-Book Purchasing. This guide will appear in the November/December (v. 47 n. 8) issue of Library Technology Reports (direct URL coming soon). Chapters and contributors in this double issue include: Continue reading
Eric Hellman has a new blog post on his Go To Hellman site with updates on his new project to support open access eBooks– Unglue.it (or unglueit.com).
From the post: For readers new to this blog, “ungluing ebooks” is what I’m calling the process of raising money to make creative-commons licensed ebook editions of the books that you love, so that everyone, everywhere can read them. You betcha…We’re developing the Unglue.it website on the Amazon cloud; in addition to the four full time Gluejar staff, we have three design and development contractors working on its construction. It’s a great team, but we’re still figuring out how to make our virtual office work. Even when Irene knocks out our power. Our prototype is using the PayPal payment processing infrastructure, various bibliographic web services, and the Django web application framework. Right now, it looks like we’ll hit alpha in October. Continue reading
From Eric Hellman’s blog, Go To Hellman – The fourth section my book chapter on Open Access eBooks looks at theier relationship with libraries. I previously posted the Introduction, What does Open Access mean for eBooks and Business Models for Creation of Open Access E-Books. I’ll be posting one more section, a conclusion.
Thank you for all of your comments; the completed chapter (and OA eBook) will be better for them.
Libraries and Open Access E-Books
One of the missions of libraries is to provide access to all sorts of information, including e-books. If an e-book is already open access, what role is left for libraries play?
Here’s a thought-experiment for libraries: imagine that the library’s entire collection is digital. Should it include Shakespeare? Should it include Moby Dick? These are available as public domain works from Project Gutenberg; providing these editions in a library collection might seem to be superfluous. Many librarians have been trying to convince their patrons that “free stuff on the Internet” is often inferior to the quality information available through libraries. There are certainly e-book editions of these works available for purchase with better illustrations, better editing, annotations, etc. Should libraries try to steer patrons to these resources instead of using the free stuff? Continue reading
From Eric Hellman’s Go To Hellman blog. Please offer your comments to Eric at the Go To Hellman blog.
Here’s the third section of my draft of a book chapter for a book edited by No Shelf Required‘s Sue Polanka. I previously posted the introduction; and What does Open Access mean for eBooks subsequent posts will cover Open Access E-Books in Libraries. Note that while the blog always uses “ebook” as one word, the book will use the hyphenated form, “e-book”. The comments on the second section prompted me to make significant revisions, which I have posted.
Business Models for Creation of Open Access E-Books
Any model for e-book publishing must have a business model for recouping the expenses of production: reviewing, editing, formatting, design, etc. In this section, we’ll review methods that can be used to support Open Access e-book publishing. Continue reading
Reprinted from the Go To Hellman blog from Eric Hellman. Here’s the second section of my draft of a book chapter for a book edited by No Shelf Required‘s Sue Polanka. I previously posted the introduction; subsequent posts will include sections on Business Models for Open Access E-Books, and Open Access E-Books in Libraries. Note that while the blog always uses “ebook” as one word, the book will use the hyphenated form, “e-book”. The comments on the first section have been really good; please don’t stop! Comments can be directed to Eric via the Go To Hellman blog.
What does Open Access mean for e-books?
There are varying definitions for the term “open access”, even for journal articles. For the moment, I will use this as a lower-case term broadly to mean any arrangement that allows for people to read a book without paying someone for the privilege. At the end of the section, I’ll capitalize the term. Although many e-books are available for free in violation of copyright laws, I’m excluding them from this discussion.
The most important category of open access for books is work that has entered the public domain. In the US, all works published before 1923 have entered the public domain, along with works from later years whose registration was not renewed. Works published in the US from 1923-1963 entered the public domain 28 years after publication unless the copyright registration was renewed. Public domain status depends on national law, and a work may be in the public domain in some countries but not in others. The rules of what is in and out of copyright can be confusing and sometimes almost impossible to determine correctly. Continue reading
Check out Eric Hellman’s article, Simon and Schuster is looking at limited lending library eBook Models. Eric highlights a Publishing Point interview conducted by Michael Healy with Simon and Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy. Below is a clip from Eric’s article about library lending:
“Healy’s last question concerned Harper-Collins and the “eye of the hurricane” that they’ve found themselves in regarding their change in ebook lending policies. Reidy’s answer was succinct:
Simon and Schuster does not yet sell ebooks to libraries. We have not yet found a business model that makes us happy. That’s why we’re not in it Continue reading
Fabulous post, and summary of the Digital Book World Conference thus far, from Eric Hellman. He reports on a panel discussion from DBW today, moderated by Josh Hadro at Library Journal. LJ has a great summary article of the discussion as well. The topic – why libraries belong in the eBook ecosystem. Panelists included OverDrive CEO, Steve Potash, New York Public Library Deputy Director Christopher Platt, and big 6 vice president, Random House Director of Account Marketing Ruth Liebmann. I followed some of the tweets today, which were great. You can see the stream at #dbwlibrary and #dbw11.
Eric Hellman has a really nice article describing why ProQuest bought ebrary. It’s available on his blog, Go To Hellman, but here is an excerpt:
“Take a look at the New York Times homepage. Then take a look at CNN.com or MSNBC. How do you tell which website belongs to a newspaper and which ones belong to a television network? All of them have video. All of them have text. All of them have blogs and forums. As media moves onto the internet, the boundaries between old media genres begin to blur, and new forms emerge, optimized for the purposes they’re being used for.
Just as delivery of news is being transformed by the Internet, the needs of students, researchers, and scholars are driving a similar boundary-blurring transformation in libraries. It’s also driving a transformation in the companies that serve the library industry.
Marty Kahn, President of ProQuest, used the Times-CNN analogy to explain to me why his company had acquired ebrary, a leader in providing ebooks to academic, corporate, and other libraries. It no longer makes sense for a company to specialize in only journal articles, databases, or eBooks if it wants to be able to provide coherent and evolving solutions.”
Eric Hellman, moderator of the Go To Hellman blog, attended the Publishing Point Meetup Group in NYC and posted a summary of comments from Macmillan CEO, John Sargent. Sargent stated he is open to new business models with libraries going so far as to say, “If there is a model where the publisher gets a piece of the action every time the book is borrowed, that’s an interesting model.” Hellman recommends that, “Now is the time for publishers and libraries to sit down together and develop new models for working together in the ebook economy. Executives like John Sargent are not afraid of change, but they need to better understand the ways that they can benefit from working with libraries on ebook business models. Libraries need to recognize the need for change and work with publishers to build mutually beneficial business models that don’t pretend that ebooks are the same as print.”