This was a presentation/panel discussion I attended at ALA Midwinter 2013 (#alamw13). Interesting stuff! Here are some notes (not comprehensive):
- Jamie LaRue, Douglas County Libraries
- Alan Inouye, ALA OITP
- Matt Tempelis, 3M
- Robert Wolven
- George Coe, Baker & Taylor
- Sari Feldman
First, there was a short presentation on the status of ALA’s initiatives around ebooks:
ALA has been reaching out directly to publishers by holding a couple of meetings with publishers, distributors, and author reps.
ALA has created a couple of ebook-related documents, including:
- Business models for ebooks - Mainly working on business models for public libraries
- Business model scorecard
- Mechanism for evaluating publisher models
- Describes aspects like price, accessibility, available content, limited circulation
- Scale for ranking each aspect
- Different weighting of aspects by libraries
- They’re also looking at models for school libraries and accessibility needs
Business models: what’s next?
- Testing the scorecard – weighting features
- Reports on school libraries, accessibility
- Critique of pry-per-use models
- Beyond the big 6: mid size, independents, self publishing
- Impact of new consumer models
- Other formats – video, music, news
- New forms of publications – serial, integrative, dynamic
Thinking about future directions
- Outside the library community
- looking at better licensing terms for the big publishers and distributors
- also improved technical specs and operational systems
- Smaller and mid sized publishers – pursue aggressively how to get widespread library ebook access
- self publishing – how to engage libraries
- cutting edge tech more generally – how could/should libraries engage in the context of ebooks (ie, maker spaces, etc)
Within the library community
- Systems to enable libraries to manage ebooks directly
- Libraries as publishers or distributors
- Re-invisioning the role of book lending in the digital era
Who will do all this?
- who are the players
- Strengths and weaknesses of the players
- Who should do what and by when
- Who will pay for it
- Where is ala best situated
And now the panel: Jamie LaRue, Matt Tempelis, George Coe
George Coe – thinks a one book, simultaneous access model simply won’t work. I’d disagree with that
thinks we’ll see rental models
Jamie – go directly to authors, instead of through the distributor or the publisher
Matt at 3M says they don’t have a good working model yet that they feel comfortable with.
They want 3-4 models …
Jamie disagrees. Because the fundamental distribution model is wrong.
Self published and emerging stories – dont show up in libraries, even though they are best sellers
Moving from a consumer community to a content creator community. How do you discover this, sample this, collect and share it, etc. how do we get to the heart of that and participate
What should libraries be doing more of
Jamie – less talking more action
Where does local news come form if there’s no newspaper? It could be the library…
Find new ways to add value
Jamie – how do you display digital content? Because displaying books moves books
Jamie. – yes, we need ownership.
Leasing model -ok with high-traffic items. So you don’t have too keep 100 copies forever, because we can’t sell these ebooks on secondary markets after the fact
Matt – says if we had a ton of money, someone needs to prove that libraries help well books. Um, I think pew and others have already proved that. He didn’t think they proved it enough…
Jamie – recommends creating your own infrastructure. Maybe we can put that million dollars to work at an organization who can do this for us. Rather than having individual libraries creating their own system.
Need some sort of acquisition system. Another infrastructure thing needs to be built for this.
Q & A time:
Jamie’s catalog has a button that says “do you want to be a writer” with resources, and an ask for the book at the end. It’s a way to help authors and get local content