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  • Jo’s manual Questionnaire Request for volunteers
  • Availability of content still an issue, although we have found that Overdrive’s switching to MobiPocket improves range of content; PC-based services like e-brary tend to be rather esoteric for public library users; very interested in specialist collections like Safari We went into the project pretty much believing the research insofar as the technology/collections not being suitable to leisure reading; responses from users, especially mobile, housebound, visually-impaired have proved us wrong. The major drawback not necessarily the technology, although something bigger than a PDA might be preferred, but lack of suitable content Our users offered us many reasons why the collections might be suitable for various people
  • Major concern over the ability/priority applied by Corporate IT partners in implementing services requiring complex functionality software (e-books, chat reference). Process of procurement, purchasing, and implementation at the very least bureaucratic, adding quite a bit of time on to the whole process; at the most obstructive Size of PDA a problem, especially the screen (why we would like to experiment with Notepads etc at risk of cutting down on portability); stylus and buttons too small; battery life a big drawback. Still, there are workarounds for the stylus (American Arthritic Foundation), the battery life; and the lightweight and portability of the PDA was considered a plus, especially if reading a long/big book This arose with the day care centre people: because there would be a tendency to borrow self-help type books, the PDAs ensured privacy of reader, especially in a public environment

Transcript

  • 1. If Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Do Public Librarians Dream of Electronic Books: E-books in Essex Martin Palmer, Strategic Manager: Transformation & Resources, Essex County Council Linda Berube Co-East, Regional Manager
  • 2. E-Books and Essex: presentation overview
    • Regional context
    • Project summary
    • Procurement and implementation
    • Sample searches
    • Preliminary findings and recommendations
    • Inspiration for the future…
  • 3. The East of England Context: The Co-east Partnership
    • Consortium including all library authorities in the East of England: Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Peterborough; Hertfordshire, Thurrock, Bedfordshire, Luton, Southend-on-Sea
    • Resource discovery and sharing using Z39.50 and ISO/ILL protocols
    • Joint e-procurement
    • New partners, from other library sectors, through Co-East Plus
    • Managing of national and regional services - Ask A Librarian, Familia, transport
    • Fostering partnerships through regional and national working groups: MLAC; EEMLAC; JISC; CONARLS; Combined Regions; CILIP etc
    • Supplier partnerships: FDI; Dynix; DS/CrossNet; BiblioMondo; GEAC; ebrary; Overdrive
    • Projects: Co-East Plus (completed); Learn East (an EQUAL project); Essex e-books; EEMLAC’s Source-East; Ask Cymru; Virtual Reference Toolkit trial
  • 4. E-books in Essex: who and how…
    • Recipient of first round of LASER grants April 2003
    • Project partners: Essex Libraries (Martin Palmer); Loughborough University (James Dearnley); Co-East (Linda Berube)
    • Essex Project team: Saffron Walden; Loughton
    • Supplier partners: Overdrive; ebrary; HP
    • User Advisory Group: PLR; JISC; CBC; UKOLN; Richmond; Blackburn
    • Project website: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/dis/disresearch/e-booksinpublib/index.html
    • Progress reports: http://www.bl.uk/concord/laser-reports.html
  • 5. E-books in Essex
    • Feasibility/proof-of-concept/live service delivery
    • E-books accessible via PC or mobile technology…
    • E-book formats: Palm, Adobe 6, MobiPocket…
    • Distributed to special user groups: mobile library users; housebound; day care centres; etc
  • 6. E-valuation…
    • Evaluation Methodology:
    • Evaluating collection usage during the nine month period
    • Evaluating user perceptions of the ebook collections(PC-based) and mobile technology
    • Evaluating professional perceptions of the e-book collections.
  • 7. Some tasks we set ourselves
    • Orientation for staff
    • Regular meetings with library staff
    • Recruiting volunteers
    • Training guides
    • Paper and online questionnaires
    • User and staff evaluation
    • Publicity programme
    • Progress reports http://www.bl.uk/concord/laser-reports.html
  • 8. Some questions we had at the start of the project…
    • What demand was there?
      • None that we were aware of…
    • What content was there?
      • Fiction? Non-fiction?
      • Anything for the general reader?
      • Anything for children?
  • 9. Some more questions…
    • What was the best format?
      • Don’t know, but there were lots to choose from…
    • What kind of hardware?
      • Dedicated e-book readers…
      • PCs
      • PDAs
  • 10. And even more questions…
    • What kind of supply model?
      • Traditional –
        • Select individual titles?
          • One copy lent to one person at a time
      • Newer -
        • Buy collection(s)?
          • Simultaneous multiple access: entire collection always available
  • 11. And…
    • Who were the suppliers?
      • Net Library
      • Ebrary
      • Safari
      • Gale
      • Overdrive…..
  • 12. Some answers…
    • Were provided by the project itself
      • Target audiences to include
        • Housebound people
        • Mobile library users
        • Visually impaired people
      • So:
      • Hardware had to include
        • Handheld device
  • 13. Handheld device…
    • Dedicated ebook reader?
      • No longer available…
      • No longer desirable!
    • So - PDAs – but what type?
        • Palm
        • Pocket PC/Compaq Ipaq
        • Sony Zire
            • etc etc
      • Chose Ipaq 1910 –
          • Screen size/price…
  • 14. Content for PDAs
    • Formats – Palm Reader, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Reader… etc
    • Supplier –
      • Overdrive, in Cleveland Ohio
      • Wide range of titles in Palm and Adobe
  • 15. Ebooks and PDAs
    • Bought 250 titles, accessible via website
    • Also accessible via library catalogue record…
    • Mainly Fiction in Palm, Non-fiction in Adobe- initially…
    • Traditional model – 21day loan
      • (but no fines…)
  • 16. E-Books and PCs
    • Ebrary –
      • Accessible via People’s Network PCs, and remotely from home…
  • 17. E-books and PCs
    • Buy whole collection(s)
        • Public Library “General Interest”
        • 2500 + titles – mainly nonfictio
  • 18.  
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  • 26. There have been 52 separate book titles downloaded in the period 010104 – 210404. The desriptor above of 4 titles represents the ‘titles’ of the categories above I.e the month headings.
  • 27.  
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  • 29. The users speak (the good)
    • " The ebook site is wonderful: It's what the Internet was invented for..."   recommending it to all my friends, and a neighbour -  who is blind - has just started to use ebooks as a result
    • I enjoyed the experience, and I feel with time I could get more used to the experience
    • Useful to take on holiday or even private study when a paper book is less easy to cope with.
    • I think they might be useful for people who travel a lot or have problems holding a book
    • Ease of transport. I seem to spend a lot of time waiting in hospitals or travelling
    • Can be used anywhere; takes up a small space in bags etc if travelling
  • 30. The users speak (the bad)
    • A fairly long learning curve to concentrate on small page size. However, after this period I found it easy
    • Printed paper books are visually better (palm being closest software to book), but iPAQ is good enough in the light of added portability
    • It seems to be for quick, casual reading only. It is difficult to "lose yourself in a book" I was very aware of my surroundings, and the people near me.
    • It is a completely difference concept. Would appeal more to young people, though might help elderly who cannot hold a large book (probably too small though).
  • 31. The users speak (the ugly)
    • I read quickly and was irritated by the flicker of moving the small pages on. Not easy to check back when I want to. I found it very irritating
    • The iPAQ is a much less enjoyable reading experience. The 'page-size' is too small. The iPAQ imposes it's pressure on the experience in a way that the paper book does not
    • Feel-look-texture-look of a library. Books more personal - just more technology, not as interesting as a book can be - older appreciate a book. Think it puts you off reading. Long term eyesight effects? Would turn us off reading. Not clear how we buy. How we get books - costs?
    • Cost and browser use. End of libraries such as Loughton and Debden
  • 32. And the very polite…
    • It was very good to try it out but I feel it is just not for me. I lost the story and could not get it back, and it needed charging halfway through. But thank you I will stick to paperbacks
  • 33. What we now know
    • Demand clearly exists
    • Content increasing daily – now over 1 million copyrighted e-books
    • Technology growing and improving
  • 34. What we liked
    • Portability, via PDAs (or tablets…)
    • Change font size, so every title can be large print
    • Access, 24/7 remotely
    • “ Read Aloud” in some formats
    • Search whole text
    • “ Added extras”, like DVDs…
  • 35. Our concerns
    • Collections:
    • Availability of Content
    • Fiction vs Non-fiction
    • Fewer (one?) formats
    • “ Not every print book makes a good e-book…eg cookery…”
    • Wider range of pricing/supply models?
  • 36. More concerns…
    • Technology (implementation and use of mobile technology):
    • Corporate/Local authority IT partners
    • Collections software functionality
    • PDA functionality
    • Privacy
    • Managing users fears/expectations
  • 37. If you want to try this at home…
    • Guidelines from Final Report:
    • Product Selection
    • Product Negotiation
    • Technical Implementation
    • Collection Development
    • Staff Training/Champions
    • Promotion
    • Evaluation
  • 38. And still we rise: Co-East Information Commons
    • Equity of Access
    • Region-wide, potential for cross-regional collaboration
    • Virtual e-procurement
    • E-interlending
    • Adding suppliers : Safari, netLibrary etc
    • Selection of mobile technology: PDAs, notebooks, laptops, smart phones
  • 39. E-books in Essex
    • Service now being offered countywide
    • New titles being added regularly
    • Being integrated into new LMS as part of standard service
  • 40.  
  • 41.  
  • 42.  
  • 43. Assumptions challenged…
    • “Everything we thought we knew about who’d use e-books was wrong…”
    • Patricia Lowry, Cleveland (Ohio) Public Library
  • 44. The future…
    • “ The e-book market is set to explode…
    • … What better institutions to evangelize new reading than libraries…”
    • Steve Potash (President of the Open Ebook Forum– and CEO of Overdrive…)
  • 45. Questions and Information contacts
    • Martin Palmer [email_address]
    • The Essex Team: Elaine Adams, Janice Waugh, Jill Palmer, Lee Shelsher
    • Linda Berube linda . berube @cambridgeshire.gov.uk
    • Joanne John [email_address]
    • James Dearnley [email_address]
    • Anne Morris [email_address]
    • Cliff McNight [email_address]
    • Suppliers:
    • Overdrive http://www.overdrive.com/
    • Ebrary http://www.ebrary.com/index.jsp (UK representative: Coutts)
    • Hewlett Packard: http://welcome.hp.com/country/uk/en/welcome.html