Managing e-books in libraries


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This presentation provides a brief history of the rise of the e-book, focusing on the challenges facing school libraries in their management of e-books. The Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS) as a key service provider and partner with Australian and New Zealand school libraries is committed to helping schools deal with collection management issues. One of the questions we all face at the moment is how the principles and standards that have served well for physical resources can be applied to digital resources. The presentation also looks briefly at how SCIS is cataloguing e-books.

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  • This presentation will give a brief history of the rise and rise of the e-book, and the challenges to libraries. In particular it will focus on the challenges facing school libraries in their management of e-books –some of which are shared with other types of libraries, and some of which are quite specific to our sector. The Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS) as a key service provider and partner with Australian and New Zealand school libraries is committed to helping you deal with collection management issues. One of the questions we all face at the moment is: Can the principles and standards that have served well for physical resources also be applied to digital resources? The presentation will also look briefly at how SCIS is cataloguing e-books.
  • It is hard to believe that the Kindle only came out in 2007 and the iPad was launched in 2010. In 2012, according to Cisco (2013), the number of mobile-connected tablets increased 2.5-fold in one year to 36 million.Largely through Twitter I have followed the progress and development of e-reading for some years. It is obvious that there has been a massive cultural shift in the last five years which has had an enormous impact on reading and writing.I discovered the practical sides of owning a dedicated reader including why they were good for the eye and the practicalities of storing a range of books on one device. I was a reader who loved books and was hearing from twitter contacts I respected about the pros of the e-reading experience and I realised that I needed to use a reading device for my own professional learning to understand for myself how they worked and what the benefits were. My belief is that before we can support the implementation of e-books in our schools and libraries we must immerse ourselves into the feel of reading on a device.Cisco 2013, ‘Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2012–2017’ Cisco Visual Networking Index, Cisco. Available:
  • A look at the history of publishing shows innovation followed by highlights (interestingly enough we can also see a pattern of censorship following innovation which allowed the spread of ideas).The invention of the printing press enabled the Bible to be printed in English, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, magazines, paperbacks. Web 2.0 enabled us to all become publishers and contributors through blogs and wikis.Apps enable us to read media through our tablets and mobiles.Now with social media apps we can design our own bespoke magazines through apps such as Zite and create our own aggregate newspapers through,! and rebelmouse.
  • In 1971 Project Gutenberg was formed – recognised as a pioneer of e-books and still going strong as an independent, crowdsourced, free, open source of out of copyright book content.1986 The Academic American Encyclopaedia was made available on CD-ROM. It was the first reference work published in this medium.Nov 2007: Amazon’s Kindle launched Oct 2008 Google Books (previously known as Google Book Search and Google Print) is a service from Google that searches the full text of books.April 2010 iPad released An iPad can shoot video, take photos, play music, and perform online functions such as web-browsing and emailing. Other functions - games, reference, GPS navigation, social networking, etc - can be enabled by downloading and installing apps; as of January 2013, the App Store offered more than 775,000 apps by Apple and third parties.Pew Internet research released in 2012 showed that that the rate of e-book reading rose 23% the previous year.Overall, one-third of Americans now own an e-reading device, with tablets becoming more popular than dedicated e-reader.Rainie, Lee and Duggan, Maeve 2012 ‘E-book Reading Jumps; Print Book Reading Declines’, Pew Research Center, (27 December 2012)
  • First it would be a good idea to define what we meant by e-books.The Macquarie Dictionary definition of an e-book as "a book in an electronic format designed to be read in an e-reader’ is no longer strictly accurate. Today there is a plethora of formats and devices available. Wikipedia quotes the Oxford Companion to the Book (2010)An electronic book (variously, e-book, ebook, digital book, or even e-edition) is a book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, and produced on, published through, and readable on computers or other electronic devices.[1] Sometimes the equivalent of a conventional printed book, e-books can also be born digital
  • There is a huge danger when talking about e-books of assuming that everyone knows what we mean, or worse that everyone uses e-books the same way we do. There is in fact great diversity and several factors need to be clarified before talking to anyone about e-books, and especially before offering any advice – or committing any money!PurposeWhat do you want to use e-books for? What purpose do you have in mind, or problems are you looking to solve?FormatWhat type of e-book(s) are you considering? There are significant differences in terms of selection, purchase and management if we are talking about e-textbooks where multiple copies are required for a long period of timefiction or narrative e-books where you want to read in a linear fashionnonfiction where search and navigation options are importantchildren’s books, recipe books, reference books – all have specific issuesFunctionHow are you planning to implement e-books? Who is going to own the content? Parents or the school? Type of library: public, school, academic and special libraries have different needsE-book requirements, platforms: availability and use vary between libraries. Need to be careful that you are looking at titles and platforms relevant to schools – not just in terms of content but also management and ownership models. Consider what your students have available through their public library, and whether you need to duplicate that in the school.Scholarly and trade publishers Again it will depend on what the purpose of your e-book program is, but are you looking for popular, new release fiction or primary school nonfiction texts, or supporting a senior secondary Australian literature course? Don’t expect one publisher or supplier to offer everything you need.Devices and compatibility with library systemsWhile our major concern today is e-book content, it is a reality that the software and hardware for reading e-books is far from standardised, and those considering e-books must deal in a very complex environment. Use a regularly updated site like the NZERT wiki ( to come up to speed with these issues, and find out which devices are compatible with which e-book platforms, and which e-book platform is compatible with which library system.
  • In the same way that there are diverse e-book options, libraries themselves operate under a myriad of conditions, and a one size fits all approach to selecting, purchasing, licensing and managing e-books is not appropriate. There are a number of factors that will influence how a particular school approaches this change.CommunityConsider who you are serving, and what your students and teachers are asking for or need. Have you surveyed them about their interest in e-books, what experience they have, and what devices they are using?BudgetsLibrary budgets vary widely between schools – and this will affect the scale to which a school can develop an e-book program. Most e-book platforms require funds each year – basically a subscription model – so reliable, sustainable funding is necessary, not just a one-off startup or innovation special grant.InfrastructureFor many schools there are still hardware issues, outdated library management systems and frustratingly slow access to the internet. Solving these issues and changing the way we operate in schools will take time.PoliciesA policy change or special project budget can change things very quickly.This week the NSW Department of Education announced a new library system and e-book platform for all its 2,243 schools starting in June 2013.If a policy change like this occurred in your school or state next month, would you be ready? Have you started using e-readers for your own personal reading across a range of genres – not just fiction, so that you know the issues and benefits that e-books present?CrozierRy 2013 ‘NSW pushes eBooks, BYOD for public schools’ ITNews,,nsw-pushes-ebooks-byod-for-public-schools.aspx (2 April 2013)
  • Discussion: Discuss with the people around you where you are up to in your e-book journey what learning goals your school can address with e-books what barriers need to be addressed for successful program
  • In March 2013 I attended the ALIA e-books and e-Lending Think Tank in Melbourne, which was designed to help shape the sector’s response and thoughts to the policy and commercial challenges. Leaders from a number of library sectors with experience of the e-book situation in public, school, academic and special libraries attended. The context was as follows“The market for e-books is growing fast. People are choosing to read books on their computers, e- readers, smart phones, and tablets, as well as in hard copy. Libraries have always been about equity of access to information and stories, whatever the format –print, audio, digital. It is essential that libraries establish their role and position in this new digital environment, so that library users can continue to enjoy access to a wide range of content.” (p. 1).There are 5 main areas which libraries need to address when considering e-books. 1.DRM2. content3. procurement4. operations5. lending and accessThe following summary of the ALIA paper aims to bring us all up to speed on these issues and provide a shared framework for the rest of the day.ALIA (2013). ‘E-books and e-Lending issues paper’ (7 January 2013).
  • Any discussion about e-books very quickly touches upon the issue of Digital Rights Management (DRM). The International Federation of Library Associations 2012 paper on e-lending (upon which the ALIA paper was in turn based) provides a strong recommendation about DRM. Publishers concerns that the Digital Rights Management (DRM) software which they depend on to enforce the terms of their licensing agreements with libraries and consumers can be circumvented with a minimum amount of effort and technical knowledge present an opportunity for libraries and publishers to work together to present an easily accessible, dependable and trusted platform which helps to socialise consumers into developing and maintaining a sustainable culture of legal consumptive behaviour.Civic agenda for IFLA ‘Libraries (2012), e-Lending and the Future of Public Access to Digital Content’ , p. 25
  • Refusal to supply/exclusive dealingSome publishers are refusing to supply e-books to libraries, at any price. Other publishers are holding back on providing new releases so that not all publically available e-book titles are available for borrowing from libraries. This has an impact on the ability of libraries to deliver a comprehensive service. It goes to the heart of the core function of libraries to provide free access to a broad range of resources. The digital divide also becomes more pronounced as access to e-books is denied to those who cannot afford to buy them directly from e-book suppliersThere is also a concern that content can be deleted by the supplier, and continuing access to items lost. ALIA ‘E-books and e-Lending issues paper’,
  • Education Services Australia (ESA) is a national, not-for-profit company owned by all Australian education ministers. The company was established to support delivery of national priorities and initiatives. ESA is in a unique position as we are a publisher and provider of content as well as of metadata records for e-books. The next few slides use our own services as examples of e-book issues.
  • Under the Curriculum Press imprint, Education Services Australia (ESA) publishes, licenses, markets and distributes educational and professional development resources, within Australia and internationally, to support schools, teachers and school communities to implement teaching and learning programs.Products are marketed directly to schools, online and through seminars and conferences.ESA recognises the issues for school use caused by DRM and licence conditions of online suppliers, and have opted for a no DRM for e-book sales to Australian and New Zealand schools. This is specifically so schools can manage e-books through their library management system.
  • The Ancient Egypt e-book is one example of a born digital e-book publication.It is a lively text with illustrations, maps and engaging activities that will make history come to life for Year 7 students exploring the ancient world.Currently the Curriculum Press site enables you to order directly through Google Books or iTunes.We are interested in what your experience is as a consume if you have ordered e-books via Google or iTunes.
  • E-book licences vary between publishers, platforms etc. Librarians need to read and understand licences as they are all quite different.For instance, Curriculum Press allows reproduction across five devices and also allows the text to be screened on a computer screen or whiteboard in a classroom.If in doubt, ask.
  • How many of you are using Scootle? Scootle helps teachers to find, organise and use digital resources from partners in national cultural and collection agencies, open-ended tools for teachers and students to create learning resources, interactive assessment resources, work samples, collections of curriculum resources and teacher ideas and units of work.The content is indexed using the subject headings of the Schools Online Thesaurus, an agreed Australian vocabulary of curriculum topics and terms. Search results can be viewed on timelines and Google maps, providing new ways for teachers to discover relevant resources, and also to construct challenging learning experiences for students.The Australian Curriculum in ScootleScootle has made finding and using digital resources aligned to the Australian Curriculum easy for teachers. Teachers can browse the Australian Curriculum at the content descriptions and elaborations level. The matching digital resources are quality assured and include activities for students, teacher support materials and interactive assessment resources.
  • The Schools Catalogue Information Service has been supplier of catalogue records for almost all Australian and New Zealand schools for the past 25 years. The concepts presented here about e-book cataloguing within a SCIS context are relevant to any supplier of catalogue records.Firstly – it is important that e-books are catalogued (ie described). This means they can be searched for and found by users.There are currently over 8000 e-book records in SCIS.This slide shows a search of the SCIS online catalogue for the subject term ‘E-books’. All catalogue records for e-books are assigned this subject heading, to make it easier for users to restrict searches by e-book format.(Note: There are slightly more records with the equivalent ScOT term, as the SCIS term was established later).
  • One of the first questions cataloguers ask is whether the item on their screen to be catalogued is in fact an e-book?For example Alice for the iPad, contains both the original full text and an abridged version of Alice in Wonderland, each with animated pictures.So for a cataloguer the question is: How much multimedia content can there be in the e-book version of Alice before it becomes an app, or before it becomes a videorecording – both of which will have different rules for cataloguing.And how much user interactivity before it is better described as an interactive resource? Is an e-book a learning object?
  • One of the issues for users trying to order catalogue records, is the complexity of ISBNs as identifiers of different editions and formats.One publication, 10 ISBNs so far thanks to move to 13 digit ISBNs and different formats cause concern for cataloguers and those looking for a specific format of a book.
  • One of the most important messages you can take away from this session is that while your students and teachers can use a search engine to find millions of onlineresources, this search will return everything online EXCEPT the very resources that your school or system has actually selected and paid for.If you are going to invest in e-books you need to think about how users will find these. I would strongly suggest the library catalogue is the logical place.
  • The school library catalogue is in most schools the only place where users can search for school-owned/licensed resources all in one place. The student or staff member seeking books, information and learning resources expects to do one search and for that search to return all relevant material available to them, regardless of its format or its location. This holy grail of single point of search assumes an integrated set of search results, which requires integrated metadata.
  • Why making e-books discoverable through school library catalogues is a priority.For a long time a priority for library staff has been to organise the physical library space in ways that are attractive, encourages users to visit, to explore and make it easy for them to find what they need, assist browsing for inspiration. We work to make location and lending of resources as seamless and self-service as possible.We now have additional responsibilities. As well as serving our users who are visitors, browsers and borrowers of physical items in a physical library space, we now also serve our library users accessing and downloading resources in virtual spaces.
  • In November 2010 the SCIS Information Services Standards Committee (ISSC) ratified a new edition of the SCIS Standards for Cataloguing and Data Entry with a new section 5.E added to deal with e-books as a specific format. This was published January 2011 at: .The standard was updated in October 2012 to create vendor-neutral records in response to the increasing number of e-book providers supplying the same content.This will change again with the introduction of RDA in 2013.
  • While it is relatively easy to describe the content and format of an e-book, it can be challenging to describe the e-book location in a way that is meaningful to the catalogue searcher at your particular location. SCIS can add a note that subscription is required to access a resource. In some cases where a series is widely used nationally such as The National Digital Learning Resources Network learning objects a special resolver service can help direct users from the catalogue to the item in Scootle.However, in the case of most subscription services, schools will need to add additional notes related to their own access path. This may be different depending on whether the user is in the library, elsewhere on the school network or accessing remotely.The 856 field URL link provides access to the resourceFor e-book lending platforms the URL link will be unique for each school, and SCIS cannot provide this specific link. While some older e-book records do have links to a particular platform, this practice has changed in preference of vendor neutral records with no 856 added in the SCIS record. Schools will need to consider the workflow for importing metadata from their e-book vendor into their library system, then importing SCIS (or other MARC) records to enhance this metadata without losing your school-specific URL.
  • SCIS Catalogue is a valuable starting point for school staff looking to identify books, digital resources and websites to support the curriculum. While providing catalogue records is core business, SCIS recognises the value of enhancing the catalogue record where possible with any information that may help school staff discover and review resources of interest. Subscribers are encouraged to use SCIS Catalogue as a selection aid to locate resources that are required for a particular purpose in a school.
  • E-books may also display enhanced data from Syndetics and/or LibraryThing for Libraries, to assist with selection of resources for the collection.For example
  • Wheelers Books provide SCIS records to all orders from SCIS subscriber schools. There is an option to tick when ordering titles from Wheelers to ensure SCIS records are available.
  • Schools using Overdrive can email SCIS: with details of titles that are not found on SCIS and records will be created to ensure consistency with their existing catalogue records.Schools will need to discuss workflow for matching and enhancing MARC records with Overdrive and their particular library system to ensure the school’s specific link is retained. The goal is for students and teachers who find an e-book in the library catalogue to get to the content with one click.
  • Thanks to Suzanne Cory High School for screenshot of their OPAC showing e-book records
  • Some E-book vendors provide alternative ways for schools to display, promote and manage e-book and media collections for their community. These can offer benefits of single sign on and additional content and presentation options. This is an excellent additional access point, and very easy for the user who knows they want an e-book. However it is not a replacement for including e-books in the school’s catalogue where it will be found by users who do not realise an e-book version is available.
  • Since e-books can be delivered online with no packing and shipping expenses, e-books are very easy to sell and distribute. This has greatly reduced the obstacles to getting work published and increased the number of writers bypassing traditional publishers and opting to self publish their work.While writers who self-publish must address ways of marketing their e-book, because it is very simple and easy to purchase and download an e-book it means their message can be read as easily by people living anywhere provided they have an internet connection.Love versus Goliath is a good example of a story that has been self-published as an e-book. Robyn Oyeniyi is the publisher and has control of her story Success of the online edition has enabled Robyn to now self-publish a print on demand physical book. This reverses the approach of creating a digital copy of a physical book.Love Versus Goliath: Two People in Love Against the Weight of Bureaucracy
  • Amazon Executive, Russell Grandinetti in an interview with the New York Times November 2011 made the following“The only really necessary people in the publishing process now are the writer and reader. Everyone who stands between those two has both risk and opportunity.”We are having an existential crisis, as we move to virtual libraries and bookless spaces what is our future? As a teacher librarian I see our opportunity is to address the fundamental challenges of learning in the 21st century. It is about the communities that we build through our connections and networks. Ultimately learning, and our role in libraries, is to support and enable our learners to edit, publish, collaborate and create.Libraries to Become Community Publishing Portals
  • Managing e-books in libraries

    1. 1. Education Services AustraliaManaging e-books
    2. 2. Where are we at? Cuddling with multiple devices by Jeremy Keith 2011, CC-by
    3. 3. History of publishing Simple Practical Arithmetic printing block by Edinburgh city of print CC-by
    4. 4. Short history of e-books Time toast, Rainie, Lee and Duggan, Maeve 2012 E-book Reading Jumps; Print Book Reading Declines Pew Research Center
    5. 5. Defining e-book “a book in an electronic format designed to be read in an e-reader” (Macquarie Dictionary) An electronic book (variously, e-book, ebook, digital book, or even e-edition) is a book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, and produced on, published through, and readable on computers or other electronic devices. Sometimes the equivalent of a conventional printed book, e-books can also be born digital
    6. 6. Benefits of e-books • instant access • take up less space, free up shelves • portable • hyperlinked, interactive, searchable • democratic • greener
    7. 7. On the same page? • purpose • format • function • library: public, school, academic, special • publishers: scholarly or trade • devices: compatibility with systems New Zealand eReading Taskforce (NZERT) wiki
    8. 8. SAMR, a model designed to help educators integrate technology Summer Tech Institute ‘Beyond Substitution: The SAMR Model’
    9. 9. Change • community • budgets • infrastructure • policies
    10. 10. Why do we want to change? Kindle, eReaders, & iPad-0 by The Daring Librarian Gwyneth Jones CC-by-sa
    11. 11. ALIA think tank 2013 Charging of all the things by Zapp, Instagram Used with permission ALIA (2013). ‘E-books and e-Lending issues paper’
    12. 12. DRM Rather than attempting to criminalise consumers, publishers and libraries should seek to dis-incentivize illegal DRM PNG 900 2 listentomyvoice cc-by-sa behaviour by providing an immediately accessible and seamless alternative service. IFLA ‘Libraries (2012), e-Lending and the Future of Public Access to Digital Content’ p.25
    13. 13. Content • publisher behaviour • new releases • comprehensive service • digital divide • deleted content
    14. 14. Procurement • flexibility • competition and fair pricing • fair dealing and copyright • ownership • legal deposit
    15. 15. Operations • integration • format • reporting • lending rights schemes
    16. 16. Lending and Access • barriers to lending • digital rights management • pay per use model • interlibrary lending
    17. 17. BYOD BYOD by jennip98 Jenny Parker CC-by
    18. 18. Education Services Australia
    19. 19. Curriculum Press
    20. 20. Purchasing e-books
    21. 21. Read the licence
    22. 22. Scootle
    23. 23. SCIS catalogues e-books
    24. 24. e-book or app?
    25. 25. ISBN mayhem 9780385752145 (hard cover) 0385752148 (hard cover) 9780385752152 (library binding) 0385752156 (library binding) 9780375898433 (e-book) 0375898433 (e-book) 9780385619011 (hbk.) 0385619014 (hbk.) 9780385619028 (pbk.)
    26. 26. School library cataloguesprovide access to learning resources for the school community
    27. 27. Students and staff expect to search in only one place to find school resources
    28. 28. The principles and standards that have served well for physical resources can be applied to digital resources
    29. 29. SCIS standards for cataloguing e-books5. STANDARDS FOR SPECIFIC FORMATS5.A INTRODUCTION5.B ... WEBSITES5.C ... VIDEORECORDINGS5.D ... LEARNING OBJECTS5.E ... E-BOOKS (Nov. 2010)
    30. 30. Location and access Restrictions on access If the item is available only on subscription, include a note. Example A subscription is required to access this resource. URL (MARC tag 856) specific to your catalogue
    31. 31. SCIS is a selection source for e-books
    32. 32. Enhanced content in
    33. 33. Wheeler’s ePlatform
    34. 34. SCIS records for Overdrive
    35. 35. E-books in your school catalogue
    36. 36. School digital library
    37. 37. Discussion How do we provide users with seamless access from catalogue record to e-book? If you create or acquire an e-book what strategy do you have for cataloguing it? What is the demand for e-books in your school community? What is your school’s plan for integrated access to all learning resources?
    38. 38. Self publishing Oyeniyi, Robyn 2013 Love Versus Goliath: Two People in Love Against the Weight of Bureaucracy
    39. 39. What next? The only really necessary people in the publishing process now are the writer and reader. Everyone who stands between those two has both risk and opportunity. Grandinetti, Russell 2011 Amazon signs up authors, writing publishers out of the deal, New York Times, 16 Oct 2011
    40. 40. Keeping in touch SCIS professional learning program SCIS updates @schoolscatinfo