Our notion of a book has changed over time.We could call the first cave paintings “books”; they stored information in a commonly understood format over time.The clay tablets used by the Babylonians were more portable and were definitely “hard copy”Imagine taking those to school in your backpack.Books got lighter when papyrus came out and got ‘longer’ with the development of the scroll.Which, actually, was a lot like reading a PDF document on your PC screen.
For reading, this…
Cumbersome became convenient.I used to carry “a” book with me where ever I went. Now I carry a few thousand books with me wherever I go.
This used to be THE way to watch movies at home
I was wondering whether this type of book was about to be totally replaced…
…by this type of book.The best way to find out would be to travel into the future and just look.That turned out to be impractical.So, I thought it might be useful to find a transition from the past that was similar to this possible transition, and look for clues that indicated a major shift.Clues we could see at the beginning of the process, not after it was too late.I chose to look at the transition from VHS to DVD’sI got some help from Ask A Librarian, and I came up with this.
Write down this title and Google it when you get back to work.It will give you ammunition when you talk to your boss and coworkers.It was written to help the DVD industry understand why their sales of players flattened after only six years.They thought the plateau meant they were doing something wrong, so they commissioned Judson Coplan to do a study.It turned out that they had done everything right.So right, in fact, that they had achieved ‘full’ market penetration about five years ahead of their original schedule.And faster than any ‘device’ had done before.Before they even thought of saying, “Are we there yet?”, they were there.
Look at this, but pretend the red line is hard copy and the blue line is ePub.If this were 2001, what would you tell your library to buy more of? Less of?
The Skiff hasn’t really caught on, but we love the idea of a flexible display
So, we’re looking forward—eagerly—to an eReader that incorporates a truly flexible display and can be carried in a pocket protector.
Easy to see why cassette won’t fit CD player
Harder to see why Amazon e-book won’t ‘fit’ into Nook. Or, more likely, vice versa.Even if you saw the two side by side as files on a PC, most of our users won’t say, “Whoa! That’s an AZW file extension! No wonder it won’t work on a device configured for an EPUB file!”
Calibre is a package of e-reading tools.It is a free download.It lets you convert “any” format to “any” format.But format is not the only issue
Both of these read EPUB format, but Sony uses the Adobe DRM and the iPad uses the Fair Play DRM
So, ePub offers some serious threats to public libraries as we know them, as well as some benefits.As librarians, we need to figure out how to exploit ePub’s power without being destroyed by it.Use the Force, but don’t go over to the dark side.Now, what about ePub and academic libraries?Chad?
It is issues like this that keep us relevant and employed. You may say “I didn’t go to Library School for that!”Well, most of what I went to Library School for doesn’t even exist any more. Some of my class mates were blacksmiths.And I’m glad.Because this is a lot more powerful AND a lot more fun.In effect we are seeing evolution in action. The one that wins may not be the prettiest or the strongest or the smartest. It will be the one best suited to the environment it’s in. And any victory it has will be temporary, because something new will come along real soon.So: formats. Formats can be converted. (e.g. Word to PDF or HTML) You can buy a turntable, and it convert your vinyl to MP3 files as you play them. You can use calibre and convert EPUB to MOBI or MOBI to EPUB or either to djvu. [calibre-ebook.com] We may choose to do this in a hands on way. Nothing’s stopping us but tradition. There is no law that says “Libraries may not convert AZW to EPUB”.Or we may treat it as a reference question, and give ourselves a tic mark for sending a patron to calibre-ebook.com.Eventually every device that stays on the market will play every format that stays on the market. Just like the DVD player on your PC also plays CD’s.
Note the sources of free eBooks
Empowering the Reader in a Digital World Chad Mairn, Novare Library Services
Program Goals Distinguish between dedicated and non-dedicated e-readers. Answer the “e-books: Fad or Trend?” question. Untangle the web of acronyms for e-publication (e-pub) formats and DRM schemes.
Program Goals Highlight e-pub’s strengths and weakness for libraries and for end users. Explore how e-textbooks fit in to this emerging landscape. Propose new models for library service in a digital environment.
Program Goals Provide you with some practical patron assisting tools. Give you some homework and an opportunity to change the world.
Recap A “book” is the content; an e-book is just the next new package. The new package will last until it is replaced by a better package. We won’t revert to the previous package. History suggests that—as libraries—we won’t be ready. Let’s be ready!
What is a Dedicatede-reader? n models A device optimized for reading eBooks Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony Reader
What’s so special about them? Reflect light the way paper does (Outdoor reading). E-Ink has no backlighting so it is easier on the eyes and can be printed on any surface. Long battery life, especially if other features are turned off. Small format with huge capacity.
HP’s Flexible Display This mylar-infused sheet will hold an image without power.
What’s a non-dedicated e-reader A device designed for some other, larger purpose that can also read e-publications. PC, Mac, iPad, netbook, iPhone, Android phones/tablets, Internet-enabled DVD players/TVs, gaming consoles etc.
Some Android e-reader Apps Laputa Google eBooks Kobo Kindle
Which one is better? Dedicated Non-dedicated Excellent for quick, casual reading. Can read while multitasking. Excellent for extended reading and/or pleasure reading. You can “fall into” the book, and the mechanism does not interfere.
ePublication Formats We have an alphabet soup of formats: AZW, PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DJVU, LIT, etc. For a thorough explanation/comparison, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_e-book_formats The big ones for us are EPUB, PDF and AZW (Kindle). “Everyone” else uses EPUB and PDF Microsoft uses LIT, but hardly anyone cares Official ePub logo, International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF)
Libraries and format OverDrive uses the EPUB and PDF formats Anyone not familiar with OverDrive? NetLibrary uses PDF, HTML, and DJVU formats for various documents. (EBSCO is changing this!) Anyone not familiar with “NetLibrary?”
Dueling Formats The cassette/CD format difference is easy for our patrons to see and understand. But .EPUB vs .AZW… ? Not so easy.
Like speed limits and banking regulations, DRM schemes can be a good thing and can protect an author’s livelihood. Like speed traps and unreasonable lending practices, DRM schemes can infuriate and frustrate our readers.
DRM schemes are a possibly necessary evil. Current treebookcheck out is primitive DRM. DRM schemes can be beaten, and it’s not illegal to know how. We can be the e-book source with the least annoying DRM and often none at all.
Recap There are dedicated and non-dedicated e-readers; both are wonderful. Any devices we see now will be quaint in a few years. E-publications come in a variety of (often) incompatible formats. They are protected by various forms of DRM.
How will e-pub affect Public Libraries? Overdues—Nope. Book self-returns when due Storage—Your entire collection fits on a one or two terabyte hard drive.
About $50 per terabyte at CompUSA
Service area—Why have a ‘local’ library?
How will e-pub affect Public Libraries? What happens to Ownership? Storage on “OverDrive’s” servers Check out via “OverDrive’s” software Access via “NetLibrary” web site (Are we sure that “we” own this book?)
How will (or does) e-pub affect Public Libraries? Publishers’ reluctance to sell to libraries Term limited e-books Limited range of vendors
OverDrive WIN Eliminate the need to deal with various file formats. Reduce staff time for collection development and help-desk support. Offer support for Kindle Library Lending. Add in-copyright eBook samples for immediate access. Enable patron driven acquisition. New 'always available' eBook collections for simultaneous access. Launch 'Open eBook' titles, free of DRM
Homework Devise or negotiate a purchasing plan that creates a “win” for publishers, vendors, librarians and patrons Hint: 90% of it already exists
Recap E-pub offers huge benefits to public libraries, but also some threats to libraries as we now envision them. We need to figure out how to exploit e-pub’s power without being destroyed by it.
Consider this e-textbook pricing breakdown … 32.3% — Publisher’s paper, printing, and editorial costs 15.4% — Publisher’s Marketing Costs 11.6% — Author Income 10.9% — College Store Personnel 10% — Publisher’s General and Administrative Expenses 7% — Publisher’s Income (after tax) 6.8% — College Store Operations 4.9% — College Store Income (pre-tax) 1.1% — Freight ExpensesSource: http://laurafreberg.com/blog/?p=13 32.3% (paper, printing) + 22.6% (college store) = 54.9% of the cost of textbooks. So, why aren’t we using eTextbooks?
E-textbooks 95 % of McGraw-Hill’s offerings are electronic, but their focus is on print. Why? 75% of college students surveyed prefer print textbooks, citing print’s look and feel + its permanence and ability to be resold. (Book Industry Study Group's Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education survey, 2011) Torrent sites are starting to get more popular for e-textbooks (Isohunt, TheEbooksBay, TextbookTorrents, Piratebay, and on and on and on …)
E-textbooks Electronic books will be widely adopted in college settings within one to two years. (2011 Horizon Report) According to the National Association of College Stores only 3% of textbook sales are digital, but they expect it to grow to 10-15% by 2012. (Campus Technology, 3/2011) Florida looks at taking school textbooks completely digital by 2015 (St. Petersburg Times, 2/17/11) Profs: Kindle no threat to college textbooks: Students find e-reader cheaper but hard to use (Arizona Republic, 7/6/10)
Looking ahead Browser-based books = truly device agnostic! With HTML 5 eBooks will become more interactive; content can be stored offline and then synced via the “cloud.” Books in Browsers 2010: The Future of Reading on the Web conference was held October 21, 2010 at the Internet Archive.
Would a streaming Netflix-esque subscription model work for libraries or would it bypass them?
Recap E-books are powerful and complicated. They can fundamentally change libraries as we know them. Nobody fully grasps the full range of opportunities and threats they offer. Lots of people are bewildered and confused. So… How should we—as Librarians—respond?
Appropriate Library Response to these Problems
Issues like this that keep us relevant and employed. This is powerful and FUN! We are seeing evolution in action. Show me the rules that says “Libraries may not convert EPUB to AZW for patrons!” Or “Never, ever mention calibre or FeedBooks!”
How do we stay in the game? OverDrive model We exist but with a changed role Amazon and Apple models We don’t exist EBSCO NetLibrary model We may exist. We don’t know yet. Other models Maybe we should create our own Create a model right now…
Summary Good e-pub news Thousands of free e-books A MARC record makes it “yours” Potential for dramatic cost decreases Huge increase in ability to serve patrons Opportunity for entirely new service models Local authorship opportunities
Tell your vendors you want more lendable, downloadable e-books.
Train your staff so that they are able to say, “We can help you with that!”
More Homework Find ways to cooperate with other libraries; location is now irrelevant. Invent and share ways to exploit e-pub’s digital nature in library environments. Start reading e-books and playing with Calibre(and related tools)