Libraries to goEmpowering readers in a digital world Tara Wong November 14th OALT
About me Currently Coordinator of Digital Services for the Ottawa Public library First OPL project was the introduction of digital audio books (2006) – added eBooks in 2008. Participated eBook working group looking at issues pertaining to eBooks and Canadian libraries.
Tonight’s Topics What is the role of libraries in providing access to digital media? Ebooks are growing in popularity and libraries are being inundated with requests for assistance in selecting and using devices as well as providing access to content. How can libraries become better advocates for our users no matter how they chose to consume content?
But first……..A Little History eBooks and eReaders have been around a long time 1970s Project Guttenberg begins digitizing books 2000 Overdrive begins offering downloadable titles 2002 NetLibrary purchased by OCLC 1998 First eReaders appeared on the market 2007 the debut of the Kindle
What is an eBook? The digital media equivalent of a printed book. Accessed via computer or an eReader At least 15 different file formats Kindle, text, epub, html, pdf, mobi, prc, etc. Epub Open format – not proprietary Default standard but not everyone (Kindle) uses it
Benefits of e-books Searchable Defy time Defy Space Portable Can’t be lost, stolen, misshelved, or mutilated
The Downside Digital Rights Management (DRM) Title availability Sharing limitations Some users uncomfortable with technology
What is an eBook Reader? A reading device with an electronic paper display. Readers: Have access to books, magazines, newspapers, blogs Can take notes, highlight and bookmark text An audio player (mp3s, audio books) A web browser (some devices)
Or do we have an advocacy and educational role as well Knowledge is power
Libraries are great equalizers – whether in a physical or digital space. Must continue to play a central role in providing open and free access to information and ideas. Need to go beyond just providing. Libraries are trusted to provide quality materials …does that translate into other expectations about the access we provide?
Shooting ourselves in the foot Locking users into a specific platform is the equivalent of curbing access.
Association of American Publishers - e-book net sales reached nearly $70 million in January 2011, an increase of 115 percent from the previous year. Ottawa Public Library saw a 213% increase from 2009 to 2010 and is expecting another large increase for 2011. Boxing Day 2010 crashed our Overdrive site.
E-book sales can be expected to continue growing as readers show increased loyalty to and satisfaction with the digital format. Nearly 50% of print book consumers who have also acquired an e-book in the past 18 months would wait up to three months for the e-version of a book from a favorite author, rather than immediately read it in print. A year ago, only 38% said they would wait this long. - Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading survey (Nov 2011)
Consumer Attitudes Toward E-BookReading survey 75% of respondents reported they are satisfied with their e- reading device 70% primarily purchase from Amazon One to watch: libraries, which are on the upswing as a preferred source for e-book acquisition
Demand is growing Libraries are responding to the increased demand from their users but at what cost? Is the “they ask – we supply” model best long-term Do libraries have a say in the lending models? Should we?
How can libraries become better advocates for our users no matter how theychose to consume content?
Competition Libraries may not be competing for revenue however we do compete for awareness of what we offer as well as our skills in navigating the electronic world, advocating on privacy issues, preservation and digitization of content, and so much more.
Self-Advocacy Libraries need to get better at promoting our skills sets. If you ask someone what libraries are about – chances are they will miss many of our key functions. We continue to offer great resources but until we clearly show it’s value to the user, the results are likely not going to be what we want/need.
We need to play a larger role in how the digital landscape is being shaped DRM Content Ownership Distribution platforms
Digital Rights Management Technologies attempt to control what you can and cant do with the media and hardware youve purchased. Bought an ebook from Amazon but cant read it on your ebook reader of choice? Thats DRM. Bought a DVD or Blu-Ray but cant copy the video onto your portable media player? Thats DRM. Bought a video-game but cant play it today because the manufacturers "authentication servers" are off-line? Thats DRM. Bought a smart-phone but cant use the applications or the service provider you want on it? Thats DRM. -Electronic Frontier Foundation
Nothing I love better than explaining to a user why they can’t do expected things with library ebooks because of DRM. DRM is supposed to protect copyright holders but does it?
Making the legal illegal C-11 will change the digital landscape yet again DRM/TPM provisions are currently in many licenses but not yet in the Canadian Copyright act although they are in the proposed C-11. What will the passage of Bill C-11 mean for libraries and their users?
September 2011 – Overdrive announces that public libraries and schools in the U.S. can now lend eBooks for the Amazon® Kindle. Very controversial in US libraries Pushes you to Amazon Amazon with access to Library records for solicitation Currently in negotiations for Canada. Is this good or bad?
Kindle eBook lending service ONLY Available to US customer who own a Kindle Device AND Subscribe to the Amazon Prime Service None of the Six Largest U.S. Publishers are Participating Books CANNOT Be Read on Kindle Reading Apps (Android, iOS, PC, Mac, etc.) One Book Can be Borrowed at a Time, and There are No Due Dates You Can Borrow a New Book as Frequently as Once a Month Adds a new variable as libraries rethink their roles, collection building, eBook services for libraries, etc…
Amazon is not the devil Corporations will always do what is best for the bottom line. They will continue to push the boundaries Technology is changing how define a book – e.g. HarperCollins
Crying Wolf Similar things have been found in electronic databases and digital Audio books for years but have received little to no outcry. What is it about eBooks that makes them different? We purchases services only to turn around and complain how they work. If you don’t like it – don’t buy it…. Easier said then done
The Future Pew Research Center plans to study how the role of public libraries is changing in a digital age and how user needs and expectations are shifting. Contracts are changing – we need to read them very carefully to make we understand and agree with the terms….especially when re-signing. Standards – Standards - Standards Who is negotiating for us? Partnerships