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Category — e-books

Looking back

I have been in my new post, eLibrary Manager for nearly a year now and thought it would be good to take brief look back.

I am really enjoying having this opportunity to focus on electronic services within the library and a few key areas of interest are;

Opening up data – there is definate recognition in terms of how much more we can do in exploiting the data we collect. The MOSAIC project has clearly shown the value to be gained from the data libraries hold. LMS suppliers are also showing an interest in exploiting library data,  recomender services such as ExLibris’s BX uses data from its customers alonside other information. I think the value added to this information is key.

Mashing dataMiddlemash was a definate highlight to the year as a great opportunity to meet lots of talented people as well as  inspiration for new services & developments. I could see mash ups allowing us to provide some quick low cost effective solutions. I am hoping to build on middlemash and perhaps organise a local mashette.

Discoverability – with the volume of  information available a key challenge is improving the search experience. Me and my team have been investigating a number of resource discovery products currently on the market and have blogged our progress to date.  There has been  rapid development in these products with provision of some great features. The limitations however are also becoming apparent and a concern of mine is content coverage

Ebooks and ebook readers – the findings of the  JISC national e-books observaroty project came out last year and for many it seems ebooks are the way forward, including BCU. There has also been wide spread coverage of the readers and their ease of use. The announcement of the iPad provided more opportunity to showcase differences in an online reading experience with the potential of added multi media, e.g this demo of Penguin’s upcoming books for the iPad. 

I’m still however not sure how we tie the ebook reader with ebooks in HE, what pricing models and subscription services will vendors provide?

Digital collections – I felt, from the conferences I attended last year, focus was on  discoverability of digital collections and gaining an understanding how they are being used. Preservation of digital collection is also important, while projects such as Galaxy Zoo and the Great War Archive highlighted the value of crowd sourcing.  BCU have a large digital collection so it has been interesting to find out more about developments in this area.

Web 2.0 – The opportunity to build networks and join communities has been of great value, espeically in my new role in gaining more of an understanding of some of the issues and priorities facing libraries. Embedding them into my work practice and encouraging their use within the library are areas I really want to develop.

These are only a few of the areas that have been interesting me and I am looking forward to what the next year brings, I suspect plenty more challenges.

March 5, 2010   No Comments

Are ebooks the new CD-ROM?

I was interested to read about the realease of Dan Brown’s new title as an ebook where the publisher reported ‘the possibilities, including books with scored soundtracks and video inserts, are just becoming clear.’

This started me thinking about the added value ebooks provide, can they offer enhanced features, will they become just the new CD-ROM?

Can ebooks allow the experience of reading to be more immersive and media rich, for example with the additon of audio and video? Examples of companies investigating this already, Enhanced Editions and vook. Perhaps the location of where the books is being read will influence the content provided.

Can e-books create a more collaborative experience of reading for example could you meet other readers and share impressions of the book during reading? A feature of the  VitalSource software is the opportunity to share notes and highlighters on ebooks. Perhaps this will lead to multiple editions of ebooks edited by readers.

August 28, 2009   3 Comments