Larry Bonura's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘libraries

Digital Public Library of America

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Digital Public Library of America Logo

One of our most cherished public entities is the library.  The current economic situation has taken the toll on our public libraries: reducing collection building, cutting hours of operation, and providing materials electronically.  Our libraries are places anyone can visit and use.  They offer learning for all.  They provide for personal and national growth.  They enable a diverse and better functioning society.  They are all for one, and one for all.

The Digital Public Library of America is not a place to visit in person; it lives on the web.  And it’s purpose is to maximize public access to our shared history, culture, and knowledge.

I recently became a Community Representative for the DPLA.  My duties include publicizing and reaching out to my local community to expound on the collection and help them build this national digital library.

The DPLA connects people to the riches held within America’s libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions. All of the materials found through DPLA—photographs, books, maps, news footage, oral histories, personal letters, museum objects, artwork, government documents, and so much more—are free and immediately available in digital format.

The cultural institutions participating in DPLA represent the richness and diversity of America itself, from the smallest local history museum to our nation’s largest cultural institutions. Our core work includes bringing new collections and partners into DPLA, building our technology, and managing projects that further our mission through curation, education, and community building.

The Digital Public Library of America is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Boston. It is a registered library in the state of Massachusetts. DPLA launched in April 2013 as the result of a multiyear grassroots planning initiative involving thousands of volunteers dedicated to the vision of building a national digital library for all.

Check it out today and join us on our journey!


Written by Larry S. Bonura

24 May 2017 at 21:57

eBook Readers and Standards…Where to Now?

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On 18 Nov, I joined more than 600 other publishing peers for an Aptara webinar on “eBook Readers and Standards…Where to Now?” The presentation looked at the rapidly unfolding eBook market, and how publishers are struggling to adapt as competitive and consumer pressures demand that their titles be compatible with the multitude of new eBook applications and eReaders coming to market. For those working on the development of a successful eBook production strategy, this presentation gave a clear position on where the market is today and will be tomorrow.

The presenters were Sarah Rotman Epps, Forrester Research’s eBook Market Analyst, and Michael Smith, Director of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), which manages the EPUB standard. Here are some highlights:

From Sarah Rotman Epps on a Forrester Research survey completed in the third quarter 2009:

  • Q2 2008, 37% had never heard of an electronic book device; in Q3 2009, that number dropped to 17%
  • US eReader outlook:
    • Sell-through of 3 million units in 2009
      • Amazon 60%
      • Sony 35%
      • Others less than 5%
    • 40% of 2009 sales (1.2M) in Q4, with 900,000 in November/December holiday season
    • A conservative estimate for 2010 would be for sales to increase from 6M (2009) to 10M units
  • What’s coming in 2010:
    • First eReaders not using E Ink screens
    • New screen sizes, color, and non-E Ink video
    • New category-bending devices: dual screens, web tablets, smartphones better optimized for reading
    • More competition: B&N, others
    • Global growth
    • 2007 is to eReaders what 2001 was to MP3 players
  • US consumers:
    • 3% now use their desktop computer to reader eBooks
    • 2% use their laptop computer
    • 1% use an eReader device, such as a Kindle or Sony Reader
    • 1% use a netbook
    • 1% use a mobile phone or PDA
  • Of consumers who say they are interested in eBooks, the value they saw included:
    • Take up less space: 54%
    • Can access multiple books on the go: 47%
    • Can adjust text size: 37%
    • Better for the environment than print books: 37%
    • Can read in dark/low light: 37%
    • Cheaper than print books: 35%
    • Easy to search: 26%
    • Easy to look up a word in a dictionary: 22%
  • When asked how interested they would be in reading different forms of media on an eBook reader, consumers who were very interested replied:
    • Books: 29%
    • Magazines: 15%
    • Newspapers: 14%
    • Textbooks: 11%
    • Wikipedia: 9%
    • Comics: 7%
    • Blogs: 4%
  • What should book publishers take away from the survey:
    • Stay “device agnostic”
    • The features that matter when it comes to content:
      • Ability to reflow content and look good on any device
      • Ability to sync up content across multiple devices
      • Ability to share content with a friend
  • What will eBooks mean for a publisher’s bottom line?
    • Expect small revenues from any one channel, but expect growth over time across devices
    • Could be incremental, but much will be replacement
      • Plan for a smaller business
      • But potentially still a profitable one as you cut back print operations over time
    • New opportunities
      • Subscriptions
      • Incremental content sales
      • Advertising

From Michael Smith’s presentation:

  • Industry predictions:
    • Continued growth of eBooks and eReaders as they become more mainstream
    • Younger generations (digital natives) begin to read electronically for pleasure
    • Hockey stick sales growth: 2010-2011
  • eBook wholesale numbers:
    • 2009: $109,900,000 (Q1-Q3)
    • 2008: $53,500,000
    • 2007: $31,800,000
    • 2006: $20,000,000
  • eBook formats: What’s right for your content?
    • Final form content vs. digital reflowable text
      • PDF vs. EPUB
    • How will content be consumed?
      • Web
      • Mobile
      • E Ink Display
  • Current standards landscape
    • EPUB is an open and non-proprietary standard
      • Key to healthy eBook ecosystem
      • PDF is an ISO Standard
      • DAISY, ONIX, ISBN, XML, XHTML, CSS all important
    • Others promoting non-EPUB formats
  • What’s pivotal to pervasive EPUB adoption?
    • Publisher adoption — Critical mass of content
    • Consumer adoption — EPUB prefect for small screen apps
    • Continuous evolution and improvements — EPUB Maintenance Working Group + EPUB 3.0
  • Future of EPUB — Not a matter of “if,” but how fast it will become the dominant format/preferred standard
    • Continued worldwide adoption of EPUB with strong push throughout Europe, China and Japan
    • Move from primarily trade titles into Science/Technology/Math and then Higher-Ed
    • Continued growth in Library markets
    • Adoption of EPUB format to be a factor in rise of accessible titles available for Print Disabled community

eBook growth in libraries: It’s been geometric!

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At the World Library and Information Congress: 75th IFLA General Conference and Council held in Milan, Italy, in August 2009, Barbara A. Genco presented a paper titled “It’s been Geometric! Documenting the Growth and Acceptance of eBooks in America’s Urban Public Libraries.” The report featured the results of an online survey revealing information on current and best practices of collection development librarians concerning eBooks.  The 41 responding libraries show a geometric increase in collection content, vendor services, titles, and eFormats offered.

Here’s a summary of her findings:

  • The first foray of many American public libraries into the eBook format began with the launch of netLibrary in 1998.
  • All but one of the 41 public libraries offered eBooks.
  • The libraries collected the following content formats: Adobe Reader (82.9%), MobiPocket (51.2%), and ePUB (22.0%).
  • When asked when they began collecting ebooks: 4.9% responded in 1997-1999, 31.7% started in 2000-2002, 14.6% in 2003-2005, with the majority (46.3%) starting in 2006-2008. Only 2.4% started in 2009.
  • In March-April 2009 (the survey date), 33 responding libraries had a total of 438,513 downloadable eFormat items, an average of 13,288.
  • Most libraries (58.5%) had non-circulating reference eBooks.
  • eFormats were available for adults (100%), young adults (92.7%), and children (82.9%).
  • Most libraries (46.3%) did not allow library patrons to download eBooks with on-site “download stations,” while 34.1% did, and 19.5% were considering it.
  • Since a library first added downloadable content, the library circulation had increased in 87.8% of the libraries. Only 2.4% reported a decline, while 9.8% saw no change.
  • What had been the actual growth?  One library reported a 1200% growth.  Ten libraries reported a growth of 100%-300%. Eight libraries saw a 31-99% growth. And seven libraries saw a 5-30% growth.
  • The growth in eBook circulation far outstripped the circulation of most library content.

Genco’s summary is that her research shows the “swift and wide acceptance of the eBook” by US public libraries.  There are but two industry leaders in providing eBooks to libraries: OverDrive and NetLibrary.  Public libraries have experienced:

  • growth in circulation
  • growth in demand
  • eBooks supplanting other formats
  • eBooks being popular with all ages
  • attracting from digital natives as well as digital immigrants
  • eBooks as a cost-effective choice

Written by Larry S. Bonura

11 November 2009 at 07:21

Most surveyed at Cambridge: they would “never” read ebook on mobile phone

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An excellent study (​M-Libraries_​report.pdf) published in May 2009 under funding by arcadia@cambridge, suggests that libraries need to investigate ways to “deliver their services to mobile phones and other small-screen devices so their customers can access them any time anywhere.”

In “M-Libraries: Information use on the move,” author Keren Mills, writes that “This can be as simple as sending text message alerts about reservations becoming available or overdue books, or as complex as the [reading room], which allows readers to access full ebooks and journal articles through their library’s subscriptions on any mobile device. These services are becoming known as ‘m-libraries’.”

The results of the survey respondents are not surprising. While most use their phones to make calls, send text messages, and take photographs, very few used them to listen to podcasts or audio books, and only a small number read ebooks or journal articles.

This study, done at the University Cambridge and its Open University, says that 55% of the respondents favored being able to access the library catalog from a mobile phone. At present, it states, “most users are put off by the constraints of the technology, such as poor screen quality.” However, iPhone users are already more inclined to read ebooks on their phones, according to the survey results.

The most surprising finding I saw concerned reading ebooks on mobile devices.  When asked if they use their phones for reading an ebook, 93.8% of Cambridge University respondents and 92.3% of the Open University respondents said they would “never” read an ebook.

Written by Larry S. Bonura

30 June 2009 at 03:04