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  • 1. Whatever is to become of books? Paper books vs digital books Aquiles Alencar-Brayner Digital Curator, British Library @Aquilesbrayner Email: [email_address]
  • 2. eBooks: physicality as essence
    • Print vs Electronic
    • Popular opinion highlights the tangibility of the book as its main essence.
    • “ E-book is a term used to describe a text in digital format, similar to a book , to be read on a computer screen” (Feather & Sturges, International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science , 1997, p.130) [my italics]
  • 3. From manuscript to print: a revolution beyond format La Grant Dance Macabre , printed by Matthias Huss, Lyon, 1499 X Prosper Marchand Histoire de l ’origine et des premieres d’imprimerie, The Hague, 1740
  • 4. From text to hypertext
    • Technological advance:
    • New reading habits
    • Big gap: digital natives vs digital immigrants (Marc Prensky, 2001)
    • Challenge to libraries and publishers: understand, predict and create services that respond to the information needs of both user groups
  • 5. Digital content: new format, new revolution?
    • “ Integrated ”
    • Pierre Lévy - Les technologies de l'intelligence : l'avenir de la pensée à l' ère informatique the digital world offers us the potential to deconstruct hierarchies enriching our experience and understanding of the world - collective intelligence based on consensus.
    “ Apocalyptic ” Nicholas Carr – The Shallows : digital reading based on a schizophrenic model - unlike the printed book that requires concentration and reflection, reading digital content is superficial and random changing our intellectual habits and brain structure. X
  • 6. Market for eBooks in the UK:
    • eBooks sell has increased by 318% em 2010
    • Research shows that in the coming years many titles will be published only in digital format
    • eBook users spend more time reading. Poll with 1200 eBook readers shows that 40% of respondents are reading more now than before
  • 7. Market trends for eBooks in the UK for 2020
    • 20% of titles will be published only in paper format
    • 40% of titles will be published only in electronic format
    • 40% of publications in the UK will appear in both formats
    See also JISC national e-books observatory project:
  • 8. eBooks: problems encountered by libraries
    • Bullet 1
      • Bullet2
        • Bullet 3
  • 9. Publishers: major obstacles in providing eBooks to libraries
    • Restrictions imposed by HarperCollins on the loan of eBooks by libraries (26 loans) proves that:
    • Service for accessing eBooks is still tied to printed publishing model
    • Options to access digital content are still very tight and do not take in consideration different user groups
    • Little understanding of reading and access behavior to online information
    • Market must offer new access models and greater flexibility in DRM
  • 10. What is the British Library doing?
    • Colaboration with other institutions (academic, governmental and commmercial partners) for the creation of interactive platforms:
    • Codex Sinaiticus:
    • Gale World Scholar: http ://
    • Turning the Pages:
    • Apps for tablets and smart phones:
      • 19 th Century Books (Microsoft) - BiblioLabs
      • Treasures – Toura
      • Royal Treasures – Toura (work in progress)
  • 11. BL apps: 19 th Century Books
    • Digitisation project in partnership with Microsoft ( Live Book Search )
    • Free access to 1,000 titles
    • “ Content with Curation”
    • Monthly subscription for access to other 45,000 titles
    • BL invests the revenue generated by subscription into the digitisation of new titles to be added to the collections aiming to provide 60,000 titles by the end of 2011
  • 12. Future projects
    • Digitisation project with Google:
    • Digitization of 250,000 titles published between 1700 to 1870 (40 million pages) due to start in 2012
    • Thematic selection of material to be digitised (eg, French Revolution, Feminist publications, Slavery, etc.)
    • Material accessible through Google Books and the British Library online catalog
    Gouges, Olympe de, The Rights of Women. To the Queen, 1791