Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Charleston Conference, November 2012

(by Sue Vazakas)


·         Link subject guides in 856 fields
·         Add “ask a lib” link or widget to web site 404 page
·         Change catalog location of e-books to say E-BOOK

Pre-conference about E-books

  •  Most users don’t read the whole book, like reference linking, and hate DRM     

  •  Most publishers are still designing print and then converting to electronic

  •  TRLN Consortium (Triangle Research Libraries Network) worked a deal with OUP – all 4 schools get a given e-book and one shared print copy. (Nancy Gibbs, Head of Acquisitions at Duke)
  • Duke had many questions about e-book choices, processing workflow, etc., so they formed an E-book Advocacy group
  • Before they started buying, they interviewed patrons, and then wrote a statement about how Duke can be advocates for patrons regarding e-books [PDF on the right]
  • Duke also held an “E-book Boot Camp” for technical and reference staff, including overview, hands-on exercise, and how to find usage stats
  • Texas A&M canceled their e-books packages and went back to choosing individual titles in GOBI to save money, and also went to PDA. Before doing any of that, they had a meeting of all the stakeholders to discuss.
  • All speakers agreed that: (1) hiring new people and training of all personnel are crucial, (2) getting e-book records into the discovery layer as fast as possible, preferably daily, is crucial, (3) workflows will need to be disrupted, but lay it all out ahead of time and make sure that person/people in charge of e-book workflow(s) has project management experience
Conference Opening Speakers   

·         CEO of MacMillan (which publishes Nature) – She talked about tools that help you organize your lab, help you with compliance, and share your results. Someone commented that nothing she talked about was publishing, but rather all software. She replied that she’s looking for a word to replace “publisher/publishing.”
New publishing modelsSmashwords (self-publishing), Unglue.It (crowdsourcing the funding to publish out-of-print books  

Quality products – Libraries should participate in this! The way to honor readers with self-published books worth reading is to offer instruction about good writing and editing.
“Positively Perplexing E-books”

University of Florida Life Sci and Eng Library surveyed 321 undergrads and 64 grad students

  • Over half of the students didn’t know what e-thing they were looking at
  • They were shown a sample of 18 online resources, such as journal articles, e-books (like Springer), open web sites, the catalog, a gov doc
  • Springer e-book: 47% said it was a web site; only 28% knew it was an e-book
  • Google Books e-book: most recognized what that was, not only because of familiarity but because of the simple uncluttered screen
  • ScienceDirect article – 37% said it was a journal article
  • The kids are becoming “format agnostic”; they don’t know or care what kind of thing they’re looking at and just want the info
“You Call That Perpetual?”

Libraries do a poor job of tracking perp access once something is canceled or goes to another publisher. Keep link resolvers aiming at things we have if it’s perpetual!

License language can be vague and incomplete; get firm statements from vendors (for example, don’t accept “TBD”) 

E-BOOKS: (1) Which edition is perpetual, new editions or only what we bought? [the old one could vanish from their site but if we didn’t buy the new one, we no longer have access to any edition] (2) Wiley/IEEE gives the author the choice of what happens to new editions. (3) We should set up alerts on e-book platforms so we hear about new things.
PANEL - What Provosts Think Librarians Should Know

Funding is going down, and competition is going up (e.g., MOOCs, community colleges). They don't sleep well at night.

Help the provost know your story so that they’re prepared when board members returning from trips are loaded with buzz words; your provost needs to be able to answer them, and tell them WHY what we’re doing is important for the university

“Big Data” is crucial – Whoever has them and understands them is powerful. If we can tell the provost “I’ve got data; let me tell you about our library/our departments/how they’re working,” provost will love that

Don't come to the provost asking for money. Come to him/her to give information about their university

  • In 2012 so far, e-textbooks have been $4 billion, which is only 6% of the total e-book market, so there’s much room for growth
  • Students still prefer print textbooks; profs reluctant to use because the edition they want isn’t available online or they’re just not interested, but this will change
  • E-texts are about 50% cheaper than print
  • E-texts are better than print because you can get usage stats, they have links to data/videos, they have self-assessment tools (if you do poorly they create a remedial lesson!), and profs can see what the students read. But these must be accessible across devices, and allow highlighting/notes/copying.

SCOAP3 Update – 2013 will be lots of calculations about what libraries pay now and signing of contracts; GO LIVE is January 1, 2014!
“Well, of Course the Students Will Love Them!”

This Connecticut consortium of Wesleyan, Trinity College, and CT College did a small (28 undergrads) but in-depth usability study of various things including e-books.

  • The librarians took video of what the students did on screen, and audio of them explaining why they did it
  • There was a script; e.g., “What’s an e-book? Have you ever used one? Find one, and use one [on various platforms].”
  • Depressing results – They didn’t understand most of the language or icons that *we* understand, they love scroll bars (none on eBrary), and most screens were much too busy (e.g., MyiLibrary). Things weren’t intuitive, things were buried, it’s a steep learning curve to use our tools, confused about limits on printing/downloading, confused about browser vs. platform functions
  • They can *define* e-books but can’t find them or use them
  • About half the kids started looking *outside* the library
  • They wanted to print or download the whole book to read later or mark up
  • Their wish list for the future: using touch to flip a page and take notes, more e-textbooks, share notes with friends and prof, more intuitive, have audio
  • WE need to pressure vendors to include students in their usability testing!
  • AFTER these interviews, the students’ opinions of e-books were higher (education is good!)
  • Q/A – You’re buying e-books and set approval plan to “e- preferred,” but the kids are lukewarm, so why? Because usage stats are up so they’re voting with their feet despite what they say (or maybe they don’t know they’re using them)
EBL Talk – Some interesting upgrades to the back-end, and they’re building in a reader for EPUB5/HTML5 for more interactive notes etc. (but don’t know when).
Finally, here is a funny (yet a little scary) spoof from ACLU about how our privacy is pretty much nonexistent anymore. http://www.aclu.org/ordering-pizza

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