French ebook acquisitions at the University of Ottawa, Canada Tony Horava Associate University Librarian (Collections) ALA Annual June 26, 2010
University of Ottawa – quick facts• North America’s largest bilingual university• Located in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city• One of Canada’s top 10 research universities – this year we were admitted as the 125th member of ARL• Students and faculty from 150 countries• In Fall 2009 : 37,922 students enrolled – 32,630 undergraduates – 5,292 graduates• 9 Faculties: Arts, Social Sciences, Science, Engineering, Law, Management, Education, Health Sciences and Medecine• Four libraries ( Arts & Sciences, Health Sciences, Law, Management)
Key library statistics• Acquisition budget: 14.6M (2010/11)• Staff: 162 FTE (42 Librarians and 120 Support staff)• Print journal subscriptions - 6,842• Print books (volume equivalent)– 2,140,245• Ejournal subscriptions - 20,877• Ebooks – 366,999• Research databases – 528• Books acquired 2009-10: 44,457• About 20% of the library collection is in French; we prioritize French books.
French European ebooks at aglance*• About 60,000 ebooks in French language available• By way of contrast: there are about 66,500 print books published each year in France (half of which are new titles), and about 620,000 books available in print.• Ebooks represent 0.5% of revenue in the book industry• In 2007, the Bibliotheque Nationale de la France, the Centre Nationale du Livre and the Syndicat Nationale du Livre implemented a digitization program – 2.6M euros in funding• About 23,000 books digitized; only a small number currently available. Why?• Rights negotiations with authors are slow; consumer expect lower prices; small catalogue compared to print titles; DRM issues; no unified commercial platform; no tax exemption (compared to print books)*from Documentaliste – Sciences de l’Information v. 47 (2) 2010
Challenges re French Europeanebooks• Cultural practices and business models are different from North America• The print book is still king; long cultural tradition and prestige.• Ebooks are sold by publishers to individuals for personal use (eg. Via Gallica – eleven publishers to date; approximately 25K titles available)• Ebooks licensing to institutions are far behind the practices in the journal industry, eg Cairn collection• North American licensing models for ebooks haven’t had any traction in France. Why?
Challenges re French Europeanebooks (2)• Lack of standardization re ebook formats and distribution channels• Publishers are afraid of losing control of their intellectual property and would rather not use intermediaries (such as booksellers or agents)• Conflict due to differences in copyright and intellectual property regimes - French copyright law is different from US or Canadian legislation• The successful lawsuit against Google by French publishers is a case in point – cultural & political concerns• Local hosting – this is problematic since publishers are afraid of losing control of their works.• University presses see ebooks as a way to boost print revenues, rather than as a product in itself (Google Books)• French publishers very unlikely to accept an ebook license based on North American models.• MARC records are a challenge, ie French subject headings required.
French-Canadian ebooks• In Quebec, publishers are prohibited from selling books directly to institutions; bookstores play a prominent cultural and political role as book distributor in society.• Publisher acceptance of key standards regarding ebooks and institutional licensing.• We have acquired 1,540 French-Canadian titles via the ‘Canadian Publishers Collection’ (a subscription product from Gibson Library Connections) which provides approximately 11,000 scholarly monographs in e-format• 53 titles from 2010; other titles date from 1959-2009• This includes various university presses: Les Presses de l’Université du Montréal; Les Presses de l’Université du Québec; Les Presses de l’Université de Laval; Les Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa, Les Editions XYZ.
French-Canadian ebooks• Available on ebrary platform ; MARC records provided (including French subject headings)• Individual titles in the Canadian Publishers Collection can be purchased (perpetual access) depending on publisher• Our interest is in local hosting, via Scholars Portal ebook platform (provincial consortium infrastructure)• This platform offers federated searching across all ebooks (over 240,000 from many publishers such as Springer, Oxford, Cambridge, Open Content Alliance, etc)
The Future?• There is a great divergence between the French- Canadian and French-European book industry.• Greater acquisition of French monographs in e-format will depend on various cultural, business, and technological developments in France.• Risk & opportunity assessment by French publishers• How the French address these issues will shape their role in the digital economy (in relation to books)• We are quite keen to acquire ebooks from France, once they are available and can meet our basic requirements for licensing, access, and integration into our systems.
Thanks!Tony HoravaUniversity of Ottawathorava@uottawa.ca(613) – 562-5800 ext3645.
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