As part of our preparation for the Ebook Summit,The Digital Shift is featuring a series of interviews with leaders from major ebook vendors in the library space.
1. How long do you think it will take for libraries’ ebook collections to outpace print book collections? (If ever…)
Library eBook acquisition continues to grow substantially in relation to print book acquisition. However, the point at which it exceeds print acquisition is still a relatively long way off. With all of the key elements – content availability, technology, business models, collection development options – continuing to evolve at the current pace, it is conceivable that we could see it happen in seven to ten years.
2. What role do you foresee for libraries in the digital book world?
Whether it take seven years or seventeen years, one point is inevitable. eBooks will become an increasingly important part of what libraries are able to offer their users. What library users have been doing with print books for years, they now expect to be able to do with ebooks in a much simpler way: quickly and seamlessly discovering and accessing desired eBooks that are fully integrated with other electronic content; easily accessing these ebooks remotely on a computer, dedicated eBook reader, or mobile device. And it is the role of the library to meet these expectations.
3. What do you predict will be the next big disruption/innovation to impact the ebook landscape? (Give it your best shot…)
The next big innovation to impact the ebook landscape should be broad availability of text books in electronic format once a business model is reached that publishers can be comfortable with. In the meantime, consolidation of eBook companies and increasing competition is driving innovations for better eBook products and services for libraries.
4. How does your company’s digital strategy reflect this?
EBSCO Publishing acquired the NetLibrary business in 2010, not to simply add eBooks to our product portfolio, but to fully integrate eBooks into EBSCOhost and to achieve our goal of providing the industry’s best user experience, the best collections of content, and the most flexible collection development and acquisition options. With our recent launch of eBooks on EBSCOhost and new purchase models, with our forthcoming launch of a new collection development system and additional business model options, and with our aggressive new content acquisition, we feel we are well positioned to meet our goal and to continue to rapidly evolve with the market.
Ebooks: The New Normal is a one-day virtual conference on ebooks and their role in the future of libraries, presented by Library Journal and School Library Journal. For more information: ebook-summit.com