On Tuesday, May 3rd I recorded a 15 minute segment for the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education on Think TV, the local public television station in Dayton, Ohio. My topic was the rise of digital textbooks and options available for students and faculty to access and produce textbooks and learning materials. Below is a snapshot of my general comments with links to various sources for more information.
Our current textbook system is broken. We have arrived at $200 textbooks and have students who cannot afford them. As a result, students try to borrow a textbook from the library or a friend (sometimes the older edition), purchase a used one, or go without. Neither of these options provides revenue to the publisher, thus resulting in higher price points in an effort to recover the costs or production. What can we do about this catch 22? Continue reading
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.
Public, school, and college libraries now provide direct EPUB eBook downloads on BlackBerry® mobile devices with the free OverDrive® Media Console™ app for BlackBerry. Users at more than 13,000 libraries worldwide can wirelessly download and enjoy EPUB eBooks, as well as MP3 audiobooks, on their BlackBerry devices. Libraries offer best-selling titles, such as “The Social Animal” by David Brooks and “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett, which can be borrowed and enjoyed using OverDrive’s app for BlackBerry. Popular business eBooks and audiobooks, as well as titles in virtually any subject, are also available from the library using the BlackBerry app.
The OverDrive app for BlackBerry is available from OverDrive’s website and the MobiHand Superstore. The app will also appear in BlackBerry App World™ in the coming weeks. To see if your library is a member of the OverDrive network, visit OverDrive Search. Continue reading
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:
From an OverDrive Press Release: Public, school, and college libraries now provide direct eBook downloads on the iPad® with the free OverDrive® Media Console™ app. The optimized app enables users at more than 13,000 libraries worldwide to wirelessly download and enjoy eBooks and digital audiobooks from a local library on the Apple® device. Popular and best-selling titles, including “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson, “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand, and “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, are a few of the Most Downloaded Books from the Library (www.overdrive.com/mostdownloaded). These digital books and more in popular genres like romance, mystery, thriller, and virtually every subject can now be borrowed from libraries and enjoyed in an optimized iPad app.
The OverDrive Media Console app for iPad is available in the App Store (http://bit.ly/OverDriveApp). To see if your library is a member of the OverDrive network, visit http://search.overdrive.com. Continue reading
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
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
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
Below is the press release from K-NFB announcing the official availability of the blio reader for Windows. There’s been a lot of chatter on twitter today about reviews, download issues, complaints from MAC users, etc. The CNET coverage of blio is worth a look. For a more colorful review, try The Digital Reader. KNFB responded the next day – first day jitters.
I had some download issues of my own, the attempted download froze up Firefox two times, so I had to revert to IE, which worked just fine. I also noticed in the small print on the blio site than an accessible version will be out in October. So, MAC users and those requiring the accessible version will have to wait for the blio experience. Continue reading
From an OverDrive press release:
OverDrive’s Digital Bookmobile (www.digitalbookmobile.com) will demonstrate digital book downloads available from America’s public libraries at the 2010 National Book Festival (www.loc.gov/bookfest) on Saturday, September 25, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the National Mall in Washington, DC. This high-tech 18-wheeler and mobile exhibit offers hands-on demonstrations of download services available 24/7 from more than 11,000 libraries worldwide.
Digital Bookmobile visitors will be able to browse a library’s download website; sample eBooks, digital audiobooks, music, and video on interactive PC and Mac® computer stations; learn how to download; and test compatible devices including the Sony® Reader, nook™, iPod®, Zune®, and Smartphones—all loaded with digital titles from the library. Continue reading