The company said ALPSP members are invited “to contribute titles to an ALPSP-branded range of subject-based eBook collections which will be offered to libraries and other institutions” through its MyiLibrary content distribution partners including Swets. ALPSP members have access to all of Ingram Digital’s digital content solutions, like CoreSource for digital asset management, and member publishers can use Lightning Source Inc. to produce print-on-demand titles as well as enable digital content distribution to all markets and channels.
The NISO recommendations for best practices aim to promote procedures that do the following:
- Allow an RFID tag to be installed at the earliest point and used throughout the lifecycle of the book, from publisher/printer to distributor, jobber, library (shelving, circulating, sorting, reshelving, inventory, and theft deterrence), and interlibrary loan, and continuing on to secondary markets such as secondhand books, returned books, and discarded/recycled books.
- Allow for true interoperability among libraries, where a tag in one library can be used seamlessly by another, even if the libraries have different suppliers for tags, hardware, and software.
- Protect the personal privacy of individuals while supporting the functions that allow users to reap the benefits of this technology.
- Permit the extension of these standards and procedures for global interoperability.
- Remain relevant and functional with evolving technologies.
Cully's primary responsibilities include managing all merchandising and purchasing functions, managing BTMS, and managing Baker & Taylor's new Specialty Markets Group.
The Identification of Digital Book Content is intended to stimulate debate in the book industry about how digital book content should be identified and to encourage further work on the development and implementation of identification standards and best practices for such content.I've read the paper - it's really good and should indeed spark a lot of discussion. We'll be covering it in Identifier Committee meetings at BISAC - those who are interested should go to the BISG website and sign up for that committee. We'll be sending around a new meeting time soon (having it after the BISAC General meetings hasn't been too inspiring, frankly).
Books are great, but digital storage is the wave of the future. Yet we cannot see the wave in its entirety. We don’t know where most of that avalanche of knolwedge is and how to easily find it. Most information on the Web is locked up in databases and cannot be “spidered,” a term used to describe the software indexing of Internet material. For example, web pages generated from databases only “exist” when a query is run, like online telephone directories which do not have a separate page for every person in the directory and only create a page in response to a request. Database generated pages have a transient existence and cannot easily be indexed. Password protected websites like locked apartments or private telephone numbers defy our attempts to see within them. Much information lives on the Deep Web. It is there but we cannot see it without taking special steps.
Something librarians have been saying for years. Perhaps THEY are the ideal consultants.
- A dialogue on digital publishing and libraries, including reps from Microsoft, Google, and UCal.
- iPods don't work for blind people because you have to navigate them to find what you need to listen to. Fred's Head Companion details improvements and accessories to the iPod, so the unsighted can listen to audiobooks with ease.
- Marc Kramer, a business writer for The Street, lists four ways you can get your book published.
- Researchers at Carnegie Mellon are using CATCHPAS (those bits of nonsense text you type when you validate that you're not a bot, on Craigslist and Blogger) to digitize books.
- Silicon Alley Insider offers perspective on why ebooks continue to fail. It may have something to do with prices.
MyiLibrary continues to collect publishers like Grandma collects Hummel figurines.
Life just gets more meta. In the words of LibraryThing, they've just launched a search program that runs through Google Book Search - they call it a "bookmarklet":
Last week Google introduced an interesting "My Library" feature, allowing people with Google accounts to list some of their books. A few tech bloggers saw an attack on LibraryThing.
LibraryThing members were quick to dismiss it. It wasn't so much the lack of any social features, or of cataloging features as basic as sorting your books. It wasn't even the privacy issues, although these gave many pause. It was the coverage.
Google just doesn't have the sort of books that regular people have. Most of their books come from a handful of academic libraries, and academic libraries don't have the same editions regular people have. Then there are the books publishers have explicitly removed from Google Book Search. Success rates of below 50% were common. Of these a high percentage are only "limited preview" or "no preview."
The Google-kills-LibraryThing meme has another dimension. We WANT people to use Google Book Search. It's a great tool. Being able to search your own books is useful, and LibraryThing members should be able to do it. Call us naive, but we aren't going to be able to "pretend Google isn't there." And we aren't convinced that Google is going to create the sort of robust cataloging and social networking features that LibraryThing has.
Our bookmarklet works by transcending ISBNs, using what LibraryThing knows about titles, authors and dates to fetch other editions of a work. In limited tests I've found it picks up around 90% of LibraryThing titles.
I ran across an interesting article this morning which discusses the uneasy relationship between publishers and libraries due to the "first sale doctrine" - and discovered it was written by Andrew Grabois, formerly of Bowker and now an independent consultant.
Some particularly resonant notes from Andrew's article:
- 'In a recent press release announcing the publication of ALA’s 2007 State of America’s Libraries report, the headline read “Predicted demise due to Internet fails to materialize.”'
- "According to the Book Industry Study Group’s annual Book Industry Trends report, libraries bought more than $1.8 billion dollars worth of books in 2006, a 3.2% increase over 2005. BISG predicts a 2.6% increase for 2007 and increases of 2-3% from 2008 to 2011. Sales to libraries will exceed $2 billion by 2010."
- "Even though libraries are now buying almost 100 million books a year, and spending more per book, on average, than anybody else, they still have an uneasy, high-maintenance relationship with publishers. Unlike other English-speaking countries where there is a Public Lending Right that compensates authors for potential loss of sales from library lending, the U.S. recognizes a limitation on copyright called the first-sale doctrine, which allows copyrighted works to be sold or given away once they have been legally obtained. This means that after buying the first copy, libraries have the right to lend it to multiple borrowers without compensating the copyright holders."
Overdrive announced the launch of its new Standing Order plan, which allows libraries to automatically download all frontlist titles from Overdrive's Digital Content Reserve. Says The Book Standard:
Download Standing Order Plan, which was made available earlier this week, allows libraries to automatically add frontlist audiobooks on or before their release dates, without spending time researching new titles.
Ingram has opened the gates of MyiLibrary to its public library clients, according to a release I just received this morning. MyiLibrary has over 70,000 ebook titles, with about 1000 added every month. A "tethered" system which allows patrons to access ebooks online (rather than downloading them for checkout), MyiLibrary also features a multi-user option, which lets 3 patrons access the same title simultaneously.
More information is here.
THE DOWNLOAD: - by industry consultant Laura Dawson
INTERVIEW: - Steve Potash – CEO of Overdrive-Digital Library Reserve
TIA - THIS ISSUE'S ACRONYM - EAN
INTEL: COMPANIES - Overdrive teams up with Navy General Library
INTEL: PRODUCTS - Google Custom Search Business Edition launched
INTEL: PEOPLE - Former Muzers join MyStrands
THE JOB EXCHANGE - Visit the new LJNDawson.com on-site job board!
From The Download:
"I recently did a consulting gig for an e-commerce website whose database was about 10 years old. Essentially, we scrapped the old database and built a new one – which involved some very careful, step-by-step cleansing of their metadata before plugging it into the new structure. Titles, author names, subject classifications – all had to be gone over with a fine-tooth comb in an Excel spreadsheet.
Not the sexiest gig in the world, and I believe the lead developer (and he’ll confirm this for me, I’m sure) was bored out of his mind with that process. But immediately upon pumping the cleaned data to the website, customers wrote in to say they could find products more easily. (I was shocked, frankly, that customers would take the time to do this – you’re supposed to be able to find things; that customers don’t take this for granted while shopping online just tells me how bad search is these days.)
Finding products more easily, of course, leads to better sales results. If you can find it, you can buy it..."
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Is listening to the audiobook cheating?
Despite my consultancy with Audible, which lasted 10 weeks and put me nose-to-nose with the audiobook industry, I have never managed to become a diehard audiobook fan. To me, reading is a physical thing, and active and pleasurable thing, while listening is a passive thing that I just don't find as fun. But not everybody shares my love of curling up with a book - my youngest daughter is a devotee of audiobooks and my feeling is...however you can get the story, get it.
The Times has an article today about audiobook-philes, and the snobbery surrounding audiobooks. (Frankly, I think it says more about the general snobbery of book clubs than anything else.) What I found most interesting were the statistics, of course:
People are pressed for time, and so growth in the audio book industry has been brisk, with overall sales (downloads, CDs and cassettes) at $871 million in 2006, up 5 percent over the previous year.
Over the next 13 years:
an iPod or a device its size will be able to hold:
- a year’s worth of video (8,760 hours) by 2012 (5 years from now)
- all the commercial music ever created by 2015 (8 years), and
- all the content ever created (in all media) by 2020 (13 years).
At some stage in the near future, I assume, we will be shipping large amounts of content around to people on small devices. We could give people their own library, which synchs up from time to time with various services?
I ran across a weird little post today on the legal blog Slaw, a Canadian site devoted to "Canadian legal research and IT":
If you're working on a simple taxonomy of legal topics, you might take a look at the Book Industry Standards and Communications (BISAC) subject headings for law....I imagine, not being a copyright maven, that this sort of list is in a grey area, keeping company with compilations and tables of contents. I understand from some personal experience that it takes effort and creativity to elect a set of terms within a discipline and to order them. You'd be hard pressed, though, to prove that with a few twists here and there a list wasn't arrived at independently — and, more to the point, perhaps, these are such broad terms and so basic to legal work and promulgation no one should be able to stand in the way of their free use. Which is why I think the routine overreaching of copyright notices like this one are silly and maybe harmful: "No part of the attached documents may be… reproduced in any manner whatsoever…"
Well, if this guy had sat in on the meetings during which these subject lists are composed, along with all the publishers, booksellers, librarians, and others who fly to New York once a month and bust their butts on this, perhaps he wouldn't see the copyright notice as being particularly "overreaching".
I just had to share this amazing post from Peter Brantley's blog:
The future for libraries is not merely in their working together, but also, perhaps primarily, in working with others. The future resides in the creation of inter-institutional partnerships that marry libraries' wisdom in the organization, presentation, and accessibility of information to projects seeking to generate, deliver, and manipulate data in the service of science, learning, and education. Through these hybrid partnerships, libraries will enter a new territory of ideas, enriching their own experience while they bring insight to the work of others. Working beyond ourselves, libraries will chart a future into new lands.
This completely rocks.
Recorded Books and NetLibrary are embroiled in some pretty ugly litigation regarding NetLibrary's distribution of Recorded Books' material. According to Library Journal, Recorded Books entered into a distribution agreement with NetLibrary assuming that this agreement was exclusive - that NetLibrary wouldn't distribute any competitors' audiobooks. NetLibrary took a different view, and made agreements with other audiobook publishers as well.
Recorded Books then sent out a notice to customers saying that RB material would no longer be available via NetLibrary; NetLibrary fired back a notice saying indeed, they would continue to distribute RB audiobooks.
Recorded Books filed an injunction on June 22nd; a hearing is set for July 24th.
On Web sites where librarians frequently post, the abandonment of Dewey has not been welcome. One blogger titled her entry “Heresy!” Another called the Perry Branch’s approach “idiotic.”
The committee is chaired by Kent Freeman, of Ingram Digital Group, who's found himself in a Michael Corleone-esque position regarding BISAC: "Every time I try to get out, they keep pulling me back in!" Attendees ranged from Google/Microsoft to publishers (Random, Wiley), to service providers (Quality Solutions, FYI, Bowker, yrs truly) to distributors (Ingram). Peter Brantley of the Digital Library Federation also attended (by phone), as did Nick Bogaty of IDPF.
Essentially, Chris Hart of Random House discussed the issues he'd brought to AAP regarding digital distribution, and with his help the committee was able to divide issues into those around "discoverability" vs those around the actual content itself. Kent decided to keep us focused on discoverability and search at first, and gradually lead in to the sticky issues surrounding content delivery between trading partners.
Google presented its Book Crawl specification, which was really interesting but only in the beta-est of betas right now. All in all a terrific and informative meeting. You can join up here.
Also, if you've got positions, feel free to post them - we're charging $50/month for job listings, which is the lowest price you're going to find anywhere.
Essentially, it traces the hard times libraries have recently been through, the old business models publishers and libraries operated under, and documents what libraries have been learning "under the radar" in the world of journals and ebooks. Now that publishers are struggling with digital issues, it's useful to look at the library history with those same issues to get solutions and ideas about business development.
And in fact, the more digitized publishing gets, the more viable and interesting a market the library becomes.
Touted as the return of six-day-per-week service by Mayor Mike Bloomberg and City Council, the funding also will support new librarians, new collections, and new programs. And though FY 2008 doesn’t begin until October 1, the impact will be felt almost immediately. Queens will add Saturday hours at all 63 branches and Sunday at select libraries "as soon as we can gear up," said Galante. Beginning July 2, BPL, which already has six-day-per-week service, opens earlier in the morning at its 59 branch libraries; in September, several libraries will be open every day.Hooray!
The future resides in the creation of inter-institutional partnerships that marry libraries' wisdom in the organization, presentation, and accessibility of information to projects seeking to generate, deliver, and manipulate data in the service of science, learning, and education. Through these hybrid partnerships, libraries will enter a new territory of ideas, enriching their own experience while they bring insight to the work of others. Working beyond ourselves, libraries will chart a future into new lands.
At any rate, BISG has teamed with NISO to give a presentation at ALA on Friday. It's called "The Changing Standards Landscape: Creative Solutions to Your Information Problems", and essentially it will tackle how new developments in digital asset management and distribution are affecting the library world. In addition to Michael and Todd Carpenter of NISO, one of the speakers there will be Carolyn Pittis from Harper, who has given many presentations on how she's using new technologies (widgets, XML) to expose more Harper books to more people.