Thursday, April 19, 2007

Books, Our Brand! E-Books, Our Future?

Our brand transformed?
  • 69% of College Students associate "library" with physical books.
  • Google plans for over 30 million books in the next ten years.
  • What does this all mean?
Task force on the Integration of e-Books
  • Created in September 2006 - report to Members Council in May 2007
  • Had a short time frame for an OCLC task force - sense of urgency?
  • Current Landscape - lots of uncertainty
    • Business & Service Models
      • Different expectations b/w publishers (fear - loss of sales?) and libraries (as easy to use as e-journals, please)
      • Slow adoption - less than 5% of books are electronic
      • Different ways to manage "books"
    • Barriers to Use
      • No common standards
      • DRM & Incompatibility - can't download a NetLibrary book to my Sony e-Book Reader
      • Learning curve - not as easy as e-journals
      • Readability - take a computer to bed to read?
      • Electronic workspace - can we make it convenient to use multiple books at the same time?
    • Case Studies
      • Local environment - large impact on e-book decisions
      • Many see as a natural extension to e-journals
      • Cooperative purchasing is very popular.
      • Soft money - grant funds, endowment funds, gifts
      • Price sensitive - if prices go up, people stop buying them
      • OPAC - increase goes up when records are in online catalogs
      • Various future directions - stop until favorable pricing models, etc.
    • Pieces need to come together
      • E-resource management - make them easier for libraries to handle
      • Easier discovery
      • Easier access
      • More usable
      • Content must be improved - publishers must stop worrying about impact to print sales and make everything available electronically.
      • Vendor relations
Mass Digitization is here. How do we deal? ignore or integrate?
  • Why do the Google-13 want to participate?
    • Part of Mission - part of the Wisconsin Idea
    • Economics - no other way to get so much digitized
    • Enhance current, local digital efforts - these libraries are already leaders in digitization
  • What are they going to do with these digital copies?
    • Different places - some are in planning stages, some have sophisticated private practices (University of Michigan)
    • Cooperative efforts - preservation, access, and discovery
    • NYPL hires a Director of Digital Strategy and Scholarship
  • OCLC eContent Synchronization Program - synchronize WorldCat
    • Increase visibility and access at point of need
    • Make all "copies" available
    • Pilot project - August 2007 - what if we could search WorldCat for full-text only?
Your ideas about e-books
  • Transforming traditional library?
  • Key observations or recommendations for OCLC? (suggestions from audience)
    • Compatibility issues - get to them and read them w/o installing software, etc.
    • Google is scale and speed - what about the content that is getting left out? where are our archival digital products?
    • Let's not build systems that count on Google - we need to focus on access, usability from the perspective of libraries
    • Focus on content not the container - how is the nature of the book itself going to change as we fully utilize digital technology?
    • Publishers are in business to make money - is it smart to move from ownership to leasing? How much can we afford to pay?
    • Is it an online journal or an online delivery system? -almost everyone prints them out.
    • Resistance in students? "I can't sit here and read this all day." Do we really know how people are using our collections?
    • JISC- Joint Information Systems Committee - Starting national e-books observatory in UK?


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Anonymous said...

Here are some comments from the U of Hong Kong where we ahve 1.2 million ebooks:

1. Unless the software is in essence downloaded on the fly, I agree totally that the need for special software is an absolute no, no.
2. Google and what is not there. I do have a question: how many users does your library have on a daily basis for which the lack of a totally inclusive library is a problem? My guess is zero. Worrying about this sort of thing is unreal.
3. Forget building ebook collections that focus on usability from the point of view of the library, let's focus on usability from the point of view of the reader.
4. Focus on content -- agree
5. We are in the content business, not the ownership business. If we have to lease, lease.
6. Online journal or an online delivery system? Fast access to content is king/queen.
7. If people read ebooks alot, how important is how they read them?
8. Resistance in students: reading (digital or print)gets in the way of the real reasons students go to college: to have fun.