e-Book Executive Briefing Notes23rd May 2013I conducted an interview with Nick Stopforth, Head of Libraries & Information for Doncaster Council regarding the development of an e-book collection within Doncaster Libraries. Unfortunately Nick is unable to be with us today but he has very kindly uploaded his presentation to Slideshare and has agreed to answer some questions for me as we move through his presentation.
Nick – do you want me to say anything for you for each of these areas as a brief overview?
I will probably read this verbatim so let me know if there are any changes to thisFrom the Digital Reader:The major publishers might not be all that interested in selling ebooks to libraries but the feeling is not mutual.The American Library Association released their annual state of the library report today, and in spite of the lack of publisher support the adoption of ebooks and ereaders is up. Over three-quarters of American libraries reported in the survey that they lend ebooks, up from 67% in the previous survey. The libraries are now using a wide variety of vendors, including ebrary, 3M Cloud library, Axis360, as well as others.A growing number of libraries are also lending ereaders to their patrons. The report showed that 39% of the 7,200 plus libraries surveyed lent ereaders, up from 28% in the previous survey. That is a remarkable increase, and I can also confirm this anecdotally. I have seen a number of news reports over the past few months of libraries announcing new ereader collections, including newly purchased Nook Touch ereaders.This report also shows that more Americans than ever are using their libraries, and libraries are working to meet that demand. Over 91% of US libraries now offer free Wifi and internet, with 62% indicating that they were the only source of free internet access in their communities. Some are even considering following in the footsteps of BiblioTech, the bookless public library located in Bexar County. That library is still on schedule to open in Fall 2013, and it will stock ereaders and tablets for patrons to use or check out as well as a sizable ebook collection.From DBW:Public Libraries, Corporate Publishers and eBooksCategories: Expert Publishing Blog | Tags: Amazon, Big Six Publishers, Ebooks, Libraries April 18, 2013 | Jack W Perry | 2 Simon & Schuster signed a deal with 3M and the NYPL to distribute eBooks into libraries. Now all of the “Big6″ corporate publishers have some type of agreement selling eBooks into public libraries.Libraries are indispensable. Publishers agree on this. Eventually the business models will all align and every publisher will make available their entire list of digital to libraries.This is good news for libraries. It is movement. Libraries would like every title available at a low cost. Publishers fear cannibalization. Both sides have compelling arguments and data to back up their claims. But for now, this is a step forward. It is more open that a few years ago. It will be much more open later this year.Sarah Weinman at Pub Lunch and Jeremy Greenfield at DBW both have excellent recaps of the policies of corporate publishers and libraries.A quick time-line of events re: libraries, corporate publishers and Amazon:2001 (NOV) – HarperCollins signs deal with Overdrive to distribute eBooks.2008 (MAR) – Random House signs with Overdrive. 6,500 titles.2010 (APR) – Hachette stops selling any new titles to libraries. Backlist remains.2011 (FEB) – HarperCollins institutes the 26-check out expiration.2011 (MAR) – Amazon establishes it’s own lending library.2012 (FEB) – Penguin cancels Overdrive contract.2012 (MAR) – Random House hikes price of books by 3x.2012 (JUN) – Penguin and 3M in test with NYPL and Brooklyn Public.2012 (SEP) – Hachette raises prices by 2x.2012 (OCT) – Penguin test successful, rolled out to others.2012 (OCT) – Amazon extends lending library to UK, Germany and France.2013 (MAR) – Macmillan makes 1,200 titles available.2013 (MAY) – S&S announces ALL titles available in test with 3M and Axis360.Over the past decade and especially in the last two years, corporate publishers have continued to move ahead and add books and then take away access or raise prices. But overall, it is progress.Currently, Random House, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster allow access to all of their titles (although S&S is in a test with three libraries). Hachette has most of their backlist available, as does Penguin. Macmillan allows a select list of titles. There are also some key publishers not yet in. Included in this group are Scholastic and Norton.Amazon created their own lending library although many publishers didn’t want to participate. Those that had Agency agreements (the Corporate 6) said “no” because that would have meant setting retail prices at zero. But publishers under Wholesale agreements (all other publishers including Scholastic and Norton), Amazon sets the price. So those books were set at “free” but Amazon paid publishers on the DLP. Calvin Reid at PW covered this at the onset in NOV 2011.With the DOJ throwing out Agency and allowing pricing to be with the retailers, will Amazon include more titles in their lending library?With S&S testing library lending, will they find the right system to sell eBooks to all libraries? Penguin was all in and then pulled back. But they returned with a test and it was successful so they rolled it out to all.I am not familiar with the Sieghart review of e-lending – can you tell me more about it?
I will do the same with this as well so please make any amendments:Smartphone and Tablets Carve Out Space in Multi-Platform Digital Media LandscapeSmartphones continued to drive the mobile landscape in 2012, finally reaching 50-percent market penetration in 2012. The Android platform also hit a 50-percent milestone as it captured the majority of the smartphone market for the first time. Meanwhile, tablets continued to gain traction, with 52.4 million U.S. tablet owners as of December 2012. The rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets, and consumers’ increasing use thereof, has resulted in a fragmented digital media landscape where the typical consumer now shares his time across multiple screens.Do you have any more comments to make about customer expectation versus Service ability to deliver?
Nick – can you give the delegates some idea of the ways in which you went about understanding your market?What did you do in terms of evaluation of your service offer?How did you engage with the customers?You mention peer support – what types of peer support did you use and value?Can you give me some examples of your sales pitch – what did you use to gain hearts and minds?What do other service providers need to be aware of in terms of ‘getting it right’ for their service?
Can you provide me with some pointers for each of these criteria that informed your decision making processes?What were the highs and lows in terms of ‘getting it right’
What purchasing options did you go for and why?How do you manage the ebook format issue and issues around compatibility?Stock selection – why and how do you choose what you choose?Thematic pitches – tell me more about theseCalendar hooks – can you give me a couple of examplesHow did you bring your Library staff on board with this – what training did they need and what do they need ongoing?
Nick – perhaps you can outline for us how you have reviewed and evaluated the e-book service offer in Doncaster?Can you highlight for us some of your plans for taking this activity further in terms of audience development and customer engagement and involvement.How do you plan to conduct your stock profiling?What do you think are the next e-book developments that we, as library service providers across all library and information sectors need to be aware of – where is the market taking us next?
I will remove your Any Questions and instead if there is time open it up to the floor to debate some of what you have presented, albeit virtually through me!
Developing an e book collection - nick stopforth - 23rd may 2013
Developing an e-book collectione-book Executive Briefing23rd May 2013Nick StopforthHead of Doncaster Libraries
Presentation Scope• Context• Scoping your options• Making your decision• Content Development• Effective Marketing• Next Steps
Context• Current landscape• Sieghart review of e-lending• Aggregators and Publishers• Amazon• Future landscape and the digital marketplace• Assisted digital role of libraries
Context continued…• Device technology• User trends• Customer expectation vs Service ability todeliver
Scoping your Options• Understanding the market – evaluation andengagement• Peer Support• Sales Pitch• Evaluation – what’s right for your service
Making your Decision•Limitations in the decision-makingprocess•Restrictions•Value for Money•Usage Reports•Customization•Customer Service and Off-Site Support•Added Value / Enhanced Functionality?
Content Development• Purchasing Options - how you buy content• E-book formats and format compatibility• Stock Options – what content can you buy• Thematic Pitches• Calendar Hooks• Ownership – Staff Training and Development