On October 23rd, 2014, we updated our
By continuing to use LinkedIn’s SlideShare service, you agree to the revised terms, so please take a few minutes to review them.
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
Some questions we had at the start of the project…
What demand was there?
None that we were aware of…
What content was there?
Anything for the general reader?
Anything for children?
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…
And even more questions…
What kind of supply model?
Select individual titles?
One copy lent to one person at a time
Simultaneous multiple access: entire collection always available
Who were the suppliers?
Were provided by the project itself
Target audiences to include
Mobile library users
Visually impaired people
Hardware had to include
Dedicated ebook reader?
No longer available…
No longer desirable!
So - PDAs – but what type?
Pocket PC/Compaq Ipaq
Chose Ipaq 1910 –
Content for PDAs
Formats – Palm Reader, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Reader… etc
Overdrive, in Cleveland Ohio
Wide range of titles in Palm and Adobe
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…)
E-Books and PCs
Accessible via People’s Network PCs, and remotely from home…
E-books and PCs
Buy whole collection(s)
Public Library “General Interest”
2500 + titles – mainly nonfictio
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.
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
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).
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
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
What we now know
Demand clearly exists
Content increasing daily – now over 1 million copyrighted e-books
Technology growing and improving
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…
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?
Technology (implementation and use of mobile technology):
Corporate/Local authority IT partners
Collections software functionality
Managing users fears/expectations
If you want to try this at home…
Guidelines from Final Report:
And still we rise: Co-East Information Commons
Equity of Access
Region-wide, potential for cross-regional collaboration
Adding suppliers : Safari, netLibrary etc
Selection of mobile technology: PDAs, notebooks, laptops, smart phones
E-books in Essex
Service now being offered countywide
New titles being added regularly
Being integrated into new LMS as part of standard service
“Everything we thought we knew about who’d use e-books was wrong…”
Patricia Lowry, Cleveland (Ohio) Public Library
“ 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…)
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