I’m thrilled to inform you that No Shelf Required: E-books in Libraries will be released in late August. This edited book, published by ALA Editions, discusses a variety of eBook topics for school, public, and academic libraries. Since I have a bit of clout with the publisher, I’m able to release the TOC and introduction for your review and consideration. It is below. Of course, it will be available in a variety of eBook formats, and print too. Continue reading
This post was reprinted in full from the Points of Reference blog at Booklistonline.com.
Each year at the ALA Annual Conference, Booklist’s Reference Books Bulletin sponsors a program to discuss various topics related to reference and reference publishing. This year RBB’s session focused on the process of creating a reference work, from idea to reality. The speakers included Casper Grathwohl from Oxford University Press, Rolf Janke from SAGE Reference, and Frank Menchaca from Gale/Cengage. The session was moderated by Sue Polanka, Chair of the RBB Editorial Board. Each panelist provided a 15 minute presentation on a particular aspect of the publishing process and a general Q/A followed. I’ll summarize the comments of each panelist below. Continue reading
RUSA (Reference & User Services Division of ALA) sponsored a panel discussion of the product development of electronic reference products. It was organized by RUSA, with Joseph Yue of the University of California at the lead and moderated by Kay Cassell from Rutgers SLIS. The panel included Frank Menchaca from Gale/Cengage, Rolf Janke from SAGE Reference, Kevin Ohe from ABC-CLIO, and Mike Hermann from Greenwood.
Panelists discussed a variety of topics including: how product topics are selected and the role of librarians in that selection, technology expenses, time needed for product development, how items are priced, and the use of online products. The comments of all 4 panelists are summarized below, by topic. Continue reading
If you’re going the ALA Annual Conference later this month, mark your calendar for the for the Booklist/Reference Books Bulletin program “Reference Work from Idea to Reality.”
How does an idea turn into a reference book–or a reference database? Some heavy-hitters from reference publishing will discuss the process from initial concept to publication and beyond.
Panelists: Caspar Grathwohl, Oxford University Press; Rolfe Janke, SAGE Reference; Frank Menchaca, Gale/Cengage Learning. Moderator: Sue Polanka, Wright State University Libraries
Monday, June 28, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m
Washington Convention Center 146C
From a Credo Press Release:
A significant majority of SAGE Reference titles to be available through Credo
Boston and Oxford, (November 3, 2009) – Credo Reference, the award-winning online reference library, has signed an agreement to launch a SAGE Reference Publisher Collection. Nearly 70 SAGE Reference titles will now be available through the acclaimed Credo Reference platform. Continue reading
Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, and Washington DC (June 29, 2009)—SAGE announced today that the new SAGE Reference Online Handbook Collection, a set of 80 of its highest rated handbooks, digitized and hosted on the award-winning SAGE Reference Online platform, is now available for libraries worldwide. The first demos of the Handbook Collection will be given to attendees of the American Libraries Association meeting in Chicago, July 11-13. Continue reading
On the Friday of the ALAMW Conference, the Independent Reference Publishers Group met for a panel presentation/discussion on using one single platform to host all reference content. It was an interesting discussion. I’ve summarized the panel in my notes below.
Independent Reference Publishers Group Meeting
Friday, January 23, 2009
Representatives from the following organizations were in attendance: Choice, CQ Press, Omnigraphics, Sharpe, ifactory, Sage, Salem, Neal Schumann, ABC-CLIO, Rosen, Credo Reference, Serials Solutions, NISO, Booklist, CHOICE, Wright State University.
The theme of this meeting and panel discussion was instituting a single platform for electronic reference content. Sue Polanka from WSU started things off with her wish list and each publisher had a chance to respond.
Sue Polanka – Wright State University
One day I’d like to purchase/license all of my reference content, regardless of publisher, and load it on the platform of my choice for the best cross searching available. This platform could be an existing one, like GVRL, Credo, ebrary, EBL, NetLibrary, etc. or some shareware, something developed by libraries. Benefits to patrons and librarians include: Greater access, more content, single search interface for ease of use and discoverabilty, easy to implement in library instruction and on web sites. These systems need to have unlimited simultaneous use, 24/7 access, with no DRM or other restrictions on downloading or printing, the most multimedia available during today’s expensive economic times and an actual ebook price, up front, would be appreciated.
Todd Carpenter – NISO
One platform has barriers to interoperability and they are bigger than technological, as in political and economic. [barriers shouldn’t prevent us from trying to do this. IRPG would be a good venue to discuss this. Seems like publishers would want to do this for reasons of – more exposure, and less cost of producing pricey interfaces – has anyone ever heard of epub or the IDPF? SP]
Peter McCracken – Serials Solutions
Federated products are often a starting point for research and therefore have an opportunity to have a reference role. The current design doesn’t work best for the patron since they get mostly articles. Somehow relevance needs to be a factor to assign tags to reference and get them to the top. We need to use field mapping more effectively. [I prefer a pre-indexed approach since federated products tend to be slow. Publishers/aggregators should take advantage of all metadata and tag reference items appropriately. If federated products are used, the reference content should be faceted as “overview material” or “background information.” SP]
Rolf Janke – Sage Reference
Publishers still have an infrastructure that supports print publishing. The infrastructure is a difficult component to downsize in favor of doing more digital publishing. Print is a one size fits all model yet e publishing is not so, publishers have a multitude of business models, interfaces, features, etc. The concept of a one size fits all platform for all publishers content is way ahead of its time, publishers currently could never agree on a standard business model. Pricing standards could help, but are not likely. [Gee, these must be the political and economic barriers that Todd was referring to? Looks like publishers could learn about collaboration from libraries. SP]
Ron Boehm – ABC-CLIO
Publishers need to invest in new things while maintaining our print production, which is expensive for publishers, particularly in these bad economic times. Right now we need to do both [e and p] or we would lose half of our business. The best strategy for ebooks is to have unlimited access. Ron supports the idea of publishers working with multiple aggregators or distributors to have reference content available in a multitude of platforms, but doesn’t recommend the libraries/consortia maintain their own platform. [Ditto on unlimited access and multiple aggregators. OhioLINK has been maintaining its own platforms for years. It’s a great system when you want to make enhancements and don’t have to wait on other companies or the majority of users to agree. SP]
For those of you unable to attend the ALA Panel – The Future of Reference Publishing: A View from the Top, there is a summary of the program available on Booklist Online.
We encourage comments, questions, and discussion on the blog.
Here’s a snapshot from the ALA Presentation – A View from the Top.
Left to right:
John Barnes, Gale/Cengage, Rolf Janke, Sage, Sue Polanka, WSU, Michael Ross, Britannica, Casper Grathwohl, Oxford
To start the session, each of the panelists was asked:
Will we have reference in 10-15 years? If so, what will it look like?
Their responses were:
John Barnes – Yes, but in a different form – digital and more interactive. The transformation is already happening. The first step is to get our collections online, which we are doing now. This might help to ease the “if it isn’t online it doesn’t exist” philosophy of researchers
Rolf Janke – Yes, but google and other web based vendors might share the stage with us. 5 years ago google was a threat, now they are partners.
Michael Ross – Yes, but the vocabulary will change. We won’t have collections or series, ‘search’ will become ‘find,’ and there will be more birthing of products online. Reference will need to become unbound – in a more transparent environment that address the needs of a variety of people.
Casper Grathwohl – We are not dying, we are knowledge factories. All of us, including Wikipedia, have a place in the environment. The information is there, we need to determine how to define it and add value to it, and there is no lack of ideas on which direction to go.
Headed to Anaheim? Mark your calendars for this not to miss event:
2008 ALA Annual, Anaheim
Monday, June 30, 2008 10:30 – 12:00
Anaheim Convention Center 204B
Reference Books Bulletin (Booklist) sponsored program:
The Future of Electronic Reference Publishing: A View from the Top.
Top managers from reference publishing share their views about planning for tomorrow in a digital age and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
John Barnes, Exec. V.P. Marketing and Strategic Planning, Gale/Cengage
Casper Grathwohl, V.P. and Publisher, Oxford University Press
Rolf Janke, VP/Publisher, SAGE Reference
Michael Ross, Sr. V.P. Corporate Development, Encyclopedia Britannica
Sue Polanka, Chair, Reference Books Bulletin Editorial Board