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Empowering the Reader in a Digital World


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Presented at Computers in Libraries 2011 Conference by Chad Mairn, Librarian @ St. Petersburg College and Al Carlson, System Administrator @ the Tampa Bay Library Consortium.

New examples of digital reading material—ebooks, emagazines, enewpapers—are appearing every day. So are devices and software to read them. But is epublishing a growing trend or a passing fad? Is it a valuable tool or a solution in search of a problem? Speakers explore the jungle of acronyms for formats and DRMs, the many types of readers, and more. They don't have all the answers, but they will provide sensible planning guidelines and opportunities to make a difference for your patrons.

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Empowering the Reader in a Digital World

  1. 2. Program Goals <ul><li>Make sense of ePublication and eReaders </li></ul><ul><li>Distinguish between dedicated and non-dedicated eReaders </li></ul><ul><li>Answer the “eBooks: Fad or Trend?” question </li></ul><ul><li>Untangle the web of acronyms for ePub formats and DRM schemes </li></ul>
  2. 3. Program Goals <ul><li>Highlight ePub’s strengths and weakness for libraries and for end users </li></ul><ul><li>Explore how eTextbooks fit in to this emerging landscape </li></ul><ul><li>Propose new models for library service in a digital environment </li></ul>
  3. 4. Program Goals <ul><li>Provide you with some practical patron assisting tools </li></ul><ul><li>Give you some homework and an opportunity to change the world </li></ul>
  4. 5. What is a Book?
  5. 6. What is a Book?
  6. 7. <ul><li>The form of the book has changed over time. </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘book’ is the content, not the package! </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>So, what happens when the package undergoes a drastic change? </li></ul>
  8. 9. Formerly music’s King of the Hill
  9. 10. Took over that whole eco-niche
  10. 11. Once “the” format for home movies
  11. 13. So, will these be replaced by…
  12. 15. Back to the Future
  13. 19. ePub and Human Nature <ul><li>Humphrey Davies and Nitrous Oxide </li></ul><ul><ul><li>44 years </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Calvin and Hobbes and the microwave </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Six minutes </li></ul></ul>
  14. 21. Recap <ul><li>A “book” is the content; an eBook is just the next new package. </li></ul><ul><li>History suggests that eBooks will rapidly invade the codex space. </li></ul><ul><li>The new package will last until it is replaced by a better package. </li></ul><ul><li>We won’t revert to the previous package. </li></ul>
  15. 22. <ul><li>History also suggests that—as libraries—we won’t be ready. </li></ul><ul><li>Chad & I want you to be ready this time!! </li></ul>Recap
  16. 24. eReaders, Formats, and DRM
  17. 25. What is a Dedicated eReader? <ul><li>n models </li></ul><ul><li>A device optimized for reading eBooks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony Reader </li></ul></ul>
  18. 26. What’s so special about them? <ul><li>Reflect light the way paper does (Outdoor reading). </li></ul><ul><li>E-Ink has no backlighting so it is easier on the eyes and can be printed on any surface. </li></ul><ul><li>Long battery life, especially if other features are turned off. </li></ul><ul><li>Small format with huge capacity. </li></ul>
  19. 27. Just as digital music turned this…
  20. 28. … into this
  21. 29. ePub turns this…
  22. 30. … into this
  23. 31. A few “dedicated” eReaders
  24. 32. Kindle 2 and Kindle DX The Kindle DX can hold 3,500 books. If each title weighed 2.5 pounds then it could hold 4 tons of books ( Information today , May 2010)
  25. 33. Barnes and Noble Nook The Nook was the first eReader with digital lending between the Nook, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, PC, Mac OS, and Android Smartphones.
  26. 34. Sony eReader
  27. 35. Copia eReaders are considered the “first social eReading experience designed so you can discover, connect and share what's meaningful.”
  28. 36. Skiff eReader
  29. 37. HP’s Flexible Display This mylar-infused sheet will hold an image without power.
  30. 38. What’s a non-dedicated eReader <ul><li>A device designed for some other, larger purpose that can also read ePublications. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PC, Mac, iPad, netbook, iPhone, Android phones/tablets, Internet-enabled DVD players/TVs, gaming consoles etc. </li></ul></ul>
  31. 39. Steve and his iPad
  32. 41.
  33. 42. Some Android eReader Apps Laputa Google eBooks Kindle Kobo
  34. 43. Which one is better? <ul><li>Dedicated </li></ul><ul><li>Excellent for extended reading and/or pleasure reading. </li></ul><ul><li>You can “fall into” the book, and the mechanism does not interfere. </li></ul><ul><li>Non-dedicated </li></ul><ul><li>Excellent for quick, casual reading. </li></ul><ul><li>Can read while multitasking. </li></ul>
  35. 44. Is it OK to have both? <ul><li>Yes! </li></ul>
  36. 45. <ul><li>So, what will eReaders look like a few years from now? </li></ul>
  37. 46. We have no idea
  38. 47. ePublication Formats <ul><li>We have an alphabet soup of formats: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AZW, PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DJVU, LIT, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For a thorough explanation/comparison, see: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>The big ones for us are EPUB, PDF and AZW (Kindle). </li></ul><ul><li>“ Everyone” else uses EPUB and PDF </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Microsoft uses LIT, but hardly anyone cares </li></ul></ul>Official ePub logo, International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF)
  39. 48. Libraries and format <ul><li>OverDrive uses the EPUB and PDF formats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anyone not familiar with OverDrive? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NetLibrary uses PDF, HTML, and DJVU formats for various documents. (This is probably changing?) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anyone not familiar with NetLibrary? </li></ul></ul>
  40. 49. Dueling Formats The cassette/CD format difference is easy for our patrons to see and understand. But .EPUB vs .AZW… ? Not so easy.
  41. 50. Dueling formats AZW EPUB
  42. 51. If format were the only issue…
  43. 52. Same Format, Dueling DRMs EPUB w/ Adobe’s ADEPT DRM EPUB w/ Apple’s FairPlay DRM
  44. 53. Dueling Formats and DRMs AZW using Amazon’s DRM EPUB using Abode’s DRM
  45. 54. So, what’s this DRM thing? <ul><li>Digital Rights Management. </li></ul><ul><li>A software “lock” that controls access to a file (eBook, eMusic, eMovie). You must have the correct software “key” to unlock it. </li></ul>
  46. 55. <ul><li>Is DRM a good thing or is it an evil thing? </li></ul>
  47. 56. <ul><li>Yes! </li></ul>
  48. 57. <ul><li>Like speed limits and banking regulations, DRM schemes can be a good thing and can protect an author’s livelihood. </li></ul><ul><li>Like speed traps and unreasonable lending practices, DRM schemes can infuriate and frustrate our readers. </li></ul>
  49. 58. I am upset! This is so frustrating! I don’t care what it is called; I JUST WANT to read an eBook!
  50. 59. A reader who has figured it out
  51. 60.
  52. 61. Recap <ul><li>There are dedicated and non-dedicated eReaders; both are wonderful. </li></ul><ul><li>Any devices we see now will be quaint in a few years. </li></ul><ul><li>ePublications come in a variety of (often) incompatible formats. </li></ul><ul><li>They are protected by various forms of DRM. </li></ul>
  53. 62. ePub and Public Libraries
  54. 63. How will ePub affect Public Libraries? <ul><li>Access—Web site becomes “the” library </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Old days--My library has a web site! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Near future--My web site still has a library! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Delivery—Instant home delivery. No need to visit the library. Or wait. </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery—Your costly, polluting, labor intensive inter-branch delivery vanishes </li></ul>
  55. 64. How will ePub affect Public Libraries? <ul><li>Overdues—Nope. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Book self-returns when due </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Storage—Your entire collection fits on a one or two Terabyte hard drive. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>About $50 per Terabyte at CompUSA </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Service area—Why have a ‘local’ library? </li></ul>
  56. 65. How will ePub affect Public Libraries? <ul><li>What happens to Ownership? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Storage on “OverDrive’s” servers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CKO via “OverDrive’s” software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access via “NetLibrary” web site </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(Are we sure that “we” own this book?) </li></ul>
  57. 66. Homework/Quest One <ul><li>Create open source software that enables a library to store and check out eBooks without needing an “OverDrive”. </li></ul><ul><li>Think Apache and Mailman </li></ul>
  58. 67. How will ePub affect Public Libraries? <ul><li>Publishers’ reluctance to sell to libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Term limited eBooks </li></ul><ul><li>Limited range of vendors </li></ul>
  59. 68. Homework/Quest Two <ul><li>Devise a purchasing plan that creates a “win” for publishers, vendors, librarians and patrons </li></ul><ul><li>Hint: 90% of it already exists </li></ul>
  60. 69. Recap <ul><li>ePub offers huge benefits to public libraries, but also some threats to libraries as we now envision them. </li></ul><ul><li>We need to figure out how to exploit ePub’s power without being destroyed by it. </li></ul><ul><li>Use the Force, but don’t go over to the dark side, even if they offer you candy </li></ul>
  61. 70. eTextbooks Al & Chad Chad & Al
  62. 71. Consider this eTextbook pricing breakdown … 32.3% (paper, printing) + 22.6% (college store) = 54.9% of the cost of textbooks. So, why aren’t we using eTextbooks?
  63. 72. eTextbooks <ul><li>95 % of McGraw-Hill’s offerings are electronic, but their focus is on print. Why? </li></ul><ul><li>75% of college students surveyed prefer print textbooks, citing print’s look and feel + its permanence and ability to be resold. (Book Industry Study Group's   Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education   survey, 2011) </li></ul><ul><li>Torrent sites are starting to get more popular for eTextbooks (Isohunt, TheEbooksBay, TextbookTorrents, Piratebay, and on and on and on …) </li></ul>
  64. 73. eTextbooks <ul><li>Electronic books will be widely adopted in college settings within one to two years. ( 2011 Horizon Report ) </li></ul><ul><li>According to the National Association of College Stores only 3% of textbook sales are digital, but they expect it to grow to 10-15% by 2012. ( Campus Technology , 3/2011) </li></ul><ul><li>Florida looks at taking school textbooks completely digital by 2015 (St. Petersburg Times, 2/17/11) </li></ul><ul><li>Profs: Kindle no threat to college textbooks: Students find e-reader cheaper but hard to use (Arizona Republic, 7/6/10) </li></ul>
  65. 74. Some eTextbook Options <ul><li>CourseSmart’s “ catalog includes over 90% of the core textbooks in use today in North American Higher Education as eTextbooks …” </li></ul><ul><li> has eTextbooks for Kindle, but they are limited (e.g., no color). </li></ul><ul><li>CourseLoad integrates with Learning Management Systems and does not depend on specific devices for students to read and interact with the content. </li></ul><ul><li>Flat World Knowledge is where “educators choose the book [and] students choose format and price.” Remixable eTextbooks. </li></ul><ul><li>Inkling is brining content to the “iPad with interactivity, social collaboration and simple ease-of-use” and is going beyond the constraints of the printed book! </li></ul>
  66. 75. The Kno, textbook tablet
  67. 76. The Application requires 46MB of hard disk space; books range from 50KB to 1GB per title. (Source:
  68. 77. <ul><li>Browser-based books = truly device agnostic! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>With HTML 5 eBooks will become more interactive; content can be stored offline and then synced via the “cloud.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Books in Browsers 2010: The Future of Reading on the Web conference was held October 21, 2010 at the Internet Archive.  </li></ul>eTextbooks – looking ahead
  69. 78. CourseSmart
  70. 79. Recap <ul><li>eBooks are powerful and complicated. </li></ul><ul><li>They can fundamentally change libraries as we know them. </li></ul><ul><li>Nobody fully grasps the full range of opportunities and threats they offer. </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of people are bewildered and confused. So… </li></ul>How should we—as Librarians—respond?
  71. 80. Appropriate Library Response to these Problems
  72. 81. <ul><li>Issues like this that keep us relevant and employed. </li></ul><ul><li>This is powerful and FUN! </li></ul><ul><li>We are seeing evolution in action. </li></ul><ul><li>Show me the rules that says “Libraries may not convert EPUB to AZW for patrons!” </li></ul><ul><li>Or “Never, ever mention calibre or FeedBooks!” </li></ul>
  73. 82. Hands on empowerment <ul><li>This quick demo assumes that you </li></ul><ul><ul><li>have downloaded, installed and launched calibre </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a DRM free eBook available </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a Kindle (or Nook or…) with cable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(Ask me about DRM afterwards) </li></ul>
  74. 83. <ul><li>Well, what about DRM? </li></ul>
  75. 84. More Joy
  76. 85. <ul><li>DRM schemes are a possibly necessary evil. </li></ul><ul><li>Current treebook CKO is primitive DRM. </li></ul><ul><li>DRM schemes can be beaten, and it’s not illegal to know how. </li></ul><ul><li>We can be the eBook source with the least annoying DRM and often none at all. </li></ul>
  77. 86. How do we stay in the game? <ul><li>OverDrive model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We exist but with a changed role </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Amazon and Apple models </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We don’t exist </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ebsco NetLibrary model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We may exist. We don’t know yet. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other models </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maybe we should create our own </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a model right now… </li></ul></ul>
  78. 87. One New Model <ul><li>S earch </li></ul><ul><li>H olds List </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- (Current alternatives cost money & time) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>R ental </li></ul><ul><li>E lectronically Purchase </li></ul><ul><li>D onate to your library </li></ul>
  79. 88. A possible academic model <ul><li>Find and borrow or buy an eBook. </li></ul><ul><li>Add notes in a Photoshop-like layer. </li></ul><ul><li>Return or sell back the book. </li></ul><ul><li>Retain the notes. </li></ul><ul><li>Sell the notes to next term’s students to be overlaid on the eBook. (Or a used book store could do this…) </li></ul>
  80. 89. Who do we buy from? <ul><li>OverDrive </li></ul><ul><li>OverDrive </li></ul><ul><li>Ebsco (NetLibrary) </li></ul><ul><li>Smashbooks, Baen, and…? </li></ul><ul><li>That’s a pretty short and iffy list. We need to lobby our current suppliers. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By ‘we’ I also mean ‘ You !’ </li></ul></ul>
  81. 90. Homework/Quest Three <ul><li>Sit down with your vendor’s sales rep </li></ul><ul><li>Look him in the eye </li></ul><ul><li>Grab his tie and…. </li></ul>
  82. 91. What do we do with the empty shelf space? How do we ‘repurpose’ staff? <ul><li>Community ‘center’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Yin to Starbucks’ Yang? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of information plus some good coffee? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Put an actual Starbucks where the treebooks used to be </li></ul></ul><ul><li>eGov and the ‘stigma’ of food stamps </li></ul><ul><li>Library expertise on ePub </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Way more than just a latte! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The OCLC Perceptions study </li></ul></ul>
  83. 92. Final Recap <ul><li>Development of books </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries and formats and DRM </li></ul><ul><li>Really cool e-pub stuff </li></ul><ul><li>Really annoying/scary e-pub stuff </li></ul><ul><li>Innovative purchasing and loan models </li></ul>
  84. 93. Summary <ul><li>“ Bad” ePub news </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning curve </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss of status quo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Publishing FUD </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vendor scarcity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Possibility of library extinction </li></ul></ul>
  85. 94. Summary <ul><li>Good ePub news </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thousands of free books </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A MARC record makes it “yours” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential for dramatic cost decreases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Huge increase in ability to serve patrons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunity for entirely new service models </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local authorship opportunities </li></ul></ul>
  86. 95. Your homework or quests <ul><li>Tell your vendors you want lendable, downloadable e-books. </li></ul><ul><li>Train your staff so that they are able to say, “We can help you with that!” </li></ul>
  87. 96. Quests and homework <ul><li>Find ways to cooperate with other libraries; location is now irrelevant. </li></ul><ul><li>Invent and share ways to exploit ePub’s digital nature in library environments. </li></ul><ul><li>Start reading eBooks and playing with calibre (and related tools) </li></ul>
  88. 97. How can I learn more? <ul><li>Visit: </li></ul><ul><li>Visit: </li></ul><ul><li>Google “sources of free ebooks” </li></ul><ul><li>Pay attention! (Hint: HarperCollins) </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  89. 98. <ul><li>Relic of the Past </li></ul><ul><li>Not a relic </li></ul>