E-Ink readers are still the most affordable and most prevalent of e-reader devices. Many workshop members had an e-ink reader with the vast majority owning Kindles. Fewer had Nooks and only two had Kobos.
This product category really took off with the introduction of the Kindle Fire. Many people also had Nook Tablets and Nook Color devices. The newest entry into this category is the Google Nexus 7. I make this a category separate from tablets because they’re made and sold by content companies and are designed to allow you to easily purchase content from within the Amazon, Barnes & Noble and/or Google ecosystems. There are some differences between them as to how open they are to other apps and content with the Nexus 7 being the most open. Prices for these devices usually start around $199.
Tablets are computers that will generally run a wide variety of apps and have access to a wide variety of content. The dominant player in the market at them moment is still Apple’s iPad. And most of the workshop participants who owned a tablet owned an iPad. Only one owned an Android tablet. Microsoft’s entry into the tablet device realm is expected to come this fall with the Surface. Prices for 10 inch tablets generally start around $500.
These are some of the companies providing e-content to public libraries. OverDrive is no doubt the biggest player. 3M and Baker & Taylor are just getting into this market. Recorded Books has been providing audio for some time. Zinio provides magazine content that looks just like the print versions – good for browsing but not necessarily for searching. Open Library is a project of the Internet Archive and is largely public domain as is Project Gutenberg. Smashwords is a self-publishing ebook provider that would like to make arrangements with libraries whereby we could buy the content our patrons show an interest in.
Consumers can buy e-books from Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo, Apple iBooks, and the Google play store. Most of the prices are comparable. The main difference being that Kindle owners can only buy books from Amazon. Owners of other devices can buy books from Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Google or independent booksellers like Powell’s Books who sell Google books. Most of these use copy protected EPUB format but you can transfer to other devices using Adobe Digital Editions. Project Gutenberg provides formats that will work on all devices. Muze is an e-book subscription service that has yet to get started. I suspect they’re having issues with publishers as Amazon did when it started it’s Amazon Prime lending service.
There are a number of e-book apps in the iTunes app store that really take the e-book to new levels with multimedia and interactive content. Here are a few examples: iPoe – The Interactive and Illustrated Edgar Allen Poe Collection, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, Al Gore – Our Choice, National Geographic Magazine [for iPad], and NYTimes for iPad.In the case of the two magazines, and others available through Newsstand, the apps are free but you pay for the subscription content.All of these provide compelling content that makes good use of the iPad’s capabilities. The problem is, how are libraries going to provide such content to their patrons? Or is this just the next stage in the digital divide?
STALKING THE WILD E-BOOK:HELPING ACADEMIC AND PUBLIC PATRONS BAG E- CONTENTSuzanne Reymer & Jan ZauhaMontana State LibraryMontana State UniversityLibrary
Are we ready for multimediaand interactive e-content?
And what does all this mean for your library? • Public Libraries • Collection management – how much should we be spending on e-content vs. other print, video, audio, etc.? • Digital divide – how do we meet the needs of the device have nots? Buying and circulating e-reader devices? • Licensing/DRM issues – who owns the content? • Staff vs. patron knowledge and comfort level
And what does all this mean for your library? • Academic Libraries • Collection expectations • Tech issues • Knowledge gaps • Interpretive community/ classroom impact • Text/content and information literacy • Campus use • Partner libraries
Commonalities• Budget• Knowledge• Time• Demand• Training
What are YOU doing?1. How do you find out what devices your patrons/students are using?2. How are you meeting their collection needs?3. Are you collaborating to make e-books more affordable and accessible? With whom and how?4. How much technical help are you prepared to give your patrons/students?5. What training does your staff need and how are you helping them?6. Successes?7. Continuing challenges?
What can we do for each other?• Things to try?• Things to think about?• Ways to collaborate?• Best practices?