Ebooks in Libraries – #BEA2013

Before I give you my two cents on this particular session, here are links to two articles that describe the session pretty well:

Panelists included:

  • Ginger Clark, Moderator – Literary Agent, Curtis Brown LTD
  • Jack Perry, Owner, 38enso Inc.
  • Maureen Sullivan, President, American Library Association (ALA)
  • Paul Aiken, Executive Director, Authors Guild
  • Steve Potash, President and CEO, Overdrive
  • Carolyn Reidy, president and CEO of Simon & Schuster

I have to admit – I didn’t really take notes for this session (but probably should have). Mostly, I just sat, listening in amazement as someone on the publisher side of things would say something silly, and then Mareen and Steve would correct that person. Then during Q&A time, the moderator would blow off questions by answering them herself, then quickly moving on to another question. It was that kind of session.

The thing that got to me the most was this: Carolyn Reidy, CEO of a huge publishing house, sounded like someone who was attempting to talk knowledgeably about ebooks in libraries … but hadn’t ever actually used a library card to download an ebook (which was kinda funny, since she was sitting right next to Steve Potash of Overdrive).

At one point, Carolyn basically said the danger of ebooks in libraries is that a customer can sit at home and download every book they ever wanted … huh? She and Paul Aiken seemed to think that’s how the library ebook check-out process works.

That’s simply wrong, of course. Steve and Maureen corrected them. As did a few people in the audience.

Carolyn also said that her publishing house was doing the ebook pilot project because … no research has ever been done about ebooks in libraries. Again, huh? Someone please introduce Carolyn to Pew Internet and their major research project on … um … ebooks in libraries. And of course, Steve mentioned that he has 10 years of data (Overdrive’s been in the ebook business for at least that long).

I heard a similar thing at last year’s Book Expo conference, too. Executives at more than one major publishing house think libraries give ebooks away to anyone who wants them, willy-nilly, and we let them keep the ebooks forever.

And … these people aren’t stupid – they are running large, successful publishing houses.

So – here’s my question. Where is the disconnect, and how can we fix this?

Argh.

ebook photo by shiftstigma

My CIL 2013 Presentations

Here are the presentations I gave while at Computers in Libraries (not counting my presentation on 15 Web Design Trends for 2013):

 

15 Web Design Trends for 2013

Here’s one of my presentations for Computers in Libraries 2013 – great conference! I’m posting this one separately, since there’s some good stuff here. I poked around in Google, and condensed a lot of “web design predictions” posts into this handy list of 15 web design trends for 2013. Which ones are you thinking about?

  1. Content first
  2. Design simplicity
  3. UX Centered Design
  4. App style interfaces
  5. Responsive design
  6. No skeuomorphism
  7. coding languages (as in HTML/CSS/Javascript)
  8. Fixed header bars
  9. Large photo backgrounds
  10. CSS Transparency
  11. Social media badges
  12. Infinite scrolling
  13. Homepage feature tours
  14. Sliding panels
  15. Parallax design

Enjoy! I’ll post links to my other CIL 2013 presentations in another post.

Cool tools I’ve Discovered at SXSW (so far)

So I’m at SXSW 2013 this week, and I’m learning about some really cool, potentially useful apps, tools, etc. Here’s a partial list of some of them:

CratePlayer – I met the CEO of this startup, and he described CratePlayer like this: think Pinterest, but for media of all types, like video and music. Their website says this: “CratePlayer lets you discover, collect, play and share your favorite online media all in one place.” Nice. They call the Pinterest board-like thing a “crate.” So for a library, gather local media, news media, subject-specific or educational media into a crate, and share away!

Takes – a new iPhone camera app that turns your pictures into videos. Might be useful for video creation!

WeVideo – cool new online video editor. This one is freemium, as in the free version is fine, but to get HD videos and more than 15 minutes of exports, you have to pay a monthly fee. They told me that organizational pricing is available. So … instead of buying lots of copies of video editing software, think about using this online tool.

JumperCut – really interesting video tool. JumperCut lets you collaborate with others to make video. Think crowdsourced videos, multiple takes of the same scene, etc. And … then think about your smartphone-wielding teens. Could be a fun project!

modit – lots of basic online games that you can edit, or “mod,” using their browser-based editor. Then you can save it, share it, and play. This sounds like an easy way to make some localized games pretty easily! The guy I talked to mentioned making customized crossword puzzles, for example.

izik – a new search engine app built for smartphones and tablets. It has a more “Pinterest-like” search results display, and is built on top of Blekko (though the search results for the same searches come out different using the two tools … not sure what’s up with that).

meltwater – an online social media monitoring, management, and engagement service. Looked pretty extensive (but they didn’t tell me how much the service costs).

Nestivity – this looks interesting to Twitter users. It turns your Twitter handle into a “nest,” which helps you better organize, track, and save Twitter conversations. Analytics are provided, and the archive of the conversation is saved.

simplemachine – this looked cool. It’s a peer-to-peer cinema marketplace that allows anyone to book films for exhibition in a theatrical setting (think public viewing of videos). That generally costs money – with simplemachine, they’ve already done the hard work of tracking down the rights holder, and act like a go-between broker (so you don’t have to).

Xi3 – one cool newish hardware tool – check out Xi3. They make really tiny, inexpensive (relatively), power-saving computers. Definitely an alternative to the larger companies like Dell or HP! The picture included in this blog post is one of the computers. Here’s another image of the same computer side-by-side with a smartphone, just to see how big it really is (and a very low-light, grainy image, too – sorry about that!). They had some of these bolted onto the backs of computer monitors – pretty tidy setup!

Treeswing – not really a library app at all. It’s a cool new financial investing tool, and looked sorta promising. Why am I mentioning it? Because it’s sponsored by DST in Kansas City … and I worked for DST during the summers while in college! That was in the 1980’s, and my big job was taking huge dot matrix printouts upstairs to the programmers, so they could actually look at the coding work they just did. Weird job in a weird time. My how times have changed!

Talking at the #ideadrop house @ SXSWi

I’m headed out to SXSWi tomorrow (woo hoo!), and wanted to let y’all know about something I’m participating in on Friday. I’m heading up a discussion about being human online on Friday at the #ideadrop House.

What’s the #ideadrop House? It’s a fun event hosted by Electronic Resources & Libraries (ER&L) and ProQuest. The goal is to “serve as a seriously fun place to drop ideas and a seriously great opportunity to dialogue about topics affecting libraries during SXSW when the creative juices are flowing and where the big ideas are percolating.”

For most talks at the #ideadrop House during SXSW, there’s a small space for people to actually attend (I think). And, the talk will also be livestreamed at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ideadrop – so you can still watch and participate, even if you’re not in Austin!

My talk is scheduled for 4pm Friday March 8 – I’ll be talking about how organizations can make real connections to customers using online tools.

Please come by, tune in, and discuss! Should be a blast! You can also follow along via Twitter using #ideadrop or @ERandL.