I never thought I’d see the day! Great news Amazon and OverDrive. News release from Kindle here.
From a Publishers Weekly article: Amazon announced this morning that Kindle owners will soon be able to borrow books from public libraries. Working with vendor OverDrive, which manages e-book lending for the vast majority of public libraries, the deal will make thousands of titles available via more than 11,000 of OverDrive’s public library partners. To date, Kindle has been noticeably absent from library lending, as OverDrive’s service worked only with ePub-enabled devices, including the Sony Reader, the Nook, iPads, and smartphones. Amazon officials said that with Kindle Library Lending, library-ebooks managed by OverDrive will now be available for all generations of Kindle devices and for use with free Kindle reading apps on most other devices, including Android, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone.
The service will launch later this year.
Today I attended a discussion at Bowling Green State University on the future of academic reading. It was a day long session involving a panel discussion of students and faculty, along with Amy Pawlowski, the Web Applications Manager at the Cleveland Public Library and myself as respondents.
The panelists were mostly upper-class and graduate students, and several faculty/administrators using a variety of devices and tools to read books. Below is a summary of the comments from the panelists. Consider this a snapshot of individuals, each offering a slightly different perspective on eReading, but with many commonalities.
Some interesting quotes from panelists and audience members:
“I didn’t want my fundamental reading experience to change. I didn’t want my book to tell me I had email.”
“I covet my print books, I don’t like to break the spine on them.”
“Someone told me to get a nook because I could share my books, why would I want to share?”
“After the students [3rd graders] read books on the iPad, they wanted to keep reading.”
In addition to my summary below of the morning session, BGSU representatives blogged the discussions. Those can be found here:
Continue reading The Future of Academic Reading – BGSU Discussion
From an OverDrive press release: Libraries and schools worldwide were at the forefront of the eBook boom in 2010, as patrons and students downloaded millions of digital books for iPhone®, Android™, Sony® Reader, NOOK™, and personal computers. More than one million new users signed on to access free eBooks, audiobooks, and more from ‘Virtual Branch’ websites last year, resulting in a 200 percent increase in eBook checkouts and a 52 percent increase in audiobook checkouts over 2009. To find eBooks, audiobooks, music, and video titles from a library near you, visit http://search.overdrive.com.
Key statistics for library eBooks, audiobooks, and more from OverDrive-powered digital catalogs include: Continue reading 200% increase in eBook checkouts from OverDrive virtual libraries….and more stats
OverDrive (www.overdrive.com) has released apps for iPhone® and Android™ that enable users to download library eBooks and audiobooks directly to their devices for the first time. The free apps include a “Get Books” feature that guides users to their local library’s digital catalog of best-selling and new release titles, allowing them to easily browse, check out, and download with just their device. More than 13,000 public libraries, schools, colleges, and universities now offer eBook and audiobook downloads via OverDrive, including institutions in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and nine other countries. Continue reading OverDrive apps for iPhone and Android enable direct library downloads
Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak with Ken Petri, the Director of the Web Accessibility Center at The Ohio State University, about the accessibility of eBooks and eBook readers. Ken is incredibly knowledgeable on the topic and offered a great deal of information during the interview. It’s about 25 minutes in length, so I strongly encourage you to download the file before listening due to it’s size. Ken provided us with a great list of resources for various aspects of eBook accessibility, which are below. Thanks Ken!
NSR offers monthly interviews with librarians, publishers, and others involved in the eBook industry. Have a listen from the interviews page. Continue reading Accessibility and eBooks – Resources and an Interview
Received this email from Ingram today: Ingram’s VitalSource launches Bookshelf® application for iPad™, iPhone®, and iPod Touch®—now offers three ways to access content
LA VERGNE, TN – Vital Source Technologies, Inc., the leading e-textbook solution provider for publishers, academic institutions and students today announced the availability of the VitalSource Bookshelf application for Apple’s iPad™, iPhone®, and iPod Touch®.
Continue reading Ingram Launches VitalSource Bookshelf application for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch
Last years law suit against 4 Universities piloting the Kindle reader as a eTextbook solution has done a lot to guarantee the accessibility of textbooks to all students.
Ingram Content Group, working with the American Foundation for the Blind consulting group (AFB Consulting), announced a new disability release for their eTextbook platform – VitalSource. The release, which makes the application more usable for disabled students, contains extensive internal feature and function enhancements, as well as support for third-party screen-reader applications. These new features include the new DTD (Document Type Definition) v3.4 and VitalSource’s “MathSpeak” program which adds rich English-language articulation to MathML tags. With this release, VitalSource is the only eTextbook platform on the market to offer full accessibility in downloads, online, and mobile access points for content. Windows, Macintosh®, and online updates are expected in June, and iPhone®, iPod Touch®, and iPad™ releases in August. Continue reading Accessibility Release for Ingram’s VitalSource Bookshelf
Wow, great news for those of us with Apple devices. OverDrive announced today the availability of their free app – OverDrive Media Console for iPhone – in the iTunes store. Users can now download audiobooks (from their local library or a retail site) via wireless network directly to their Apple device. I am very excited about this since I was unsuccessful at downloading library audiobooks from OverDrive for my recent vacation, something to do with using a MAC instead of a PC. The For more information and to download the app, visit – http://bit.ly/OverDriveiPhone or see the press release. Android users, hold on to your hats, your app can’t be that far behind.
Just received a press release from EB and Paragon Software Group announcing the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia 2010 app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Congratulations!
While not the full Encyclopaedia Britannica, the app contains “a version of one of the world’s most trusted encyclopedias with accompanying images and maps, fast article search and look-up functions, minimal memory space, and much more – directly on the iPhone!”
Some of the features available for the app include:
- 25,024 unique articles covering all aspects of human life;
- 800 accompanying colorful images and maps;
- “History” feature shows the last 100 looked-up articles;
- Auto-complete function;
- “Wildcard” search feature allows the user to find names, even if their exact spelling is unknown;
- ‘On This Day’ feature allows you to learn what happened on any calendar day in history;
- Access links within articles for immediate information… and much more!
The app may be downloaded from iTunes for $24.95.
Congratulations to Lisa Carlucci Thomas, Digital Services Librarian at Southern Connecticut State University (formerly at Yale), for being honored as an LJ 2010 Mover and Shaker. Lisa was tagged “Digital Diva” in her award, following her study on “Mobile Access to eBooks at Yale.” Lisa’s study indicated that of the devices tested (SONY Reader PRS-500, Kindle 2.0, iPod Touch, and iRex iLiad 2nd edition), the iPod Touch could access 84% of the Yale eBook collection. Her results were presented at the LITA National Forum in Salt Lake City and can be seen here.