How are academic librarians making their patrons aware of ebook options? An afternoon panel at yesterday’s LJ’s and School Library Journal’s virtual summit, “Ebooks: The New Normal,” tackled just that.
The panel on ebooks strategy in public libraries took a turn to the practical, with the focus on platforms (OverDrive, B&T’s Axis 360 and Blio, and 3M’s Cloud Library ebook), collaboration through consortia, selection, purchasing, and marketing of ebooks.
Two things were crystal clear, however: ebooks use has exploded in public libraries. And OverDrive isn’t the only kid on the block. In answer to questions from attendees on how to select a vendor, those who have added other ebook platforms along with OverDrive all said they were looking at providers’ maintenance fees and at their own financial resources.
Sharon Moreland, Technology Consultant for the Northeast Kansas Library System, attended and took some impressive notes during today’s virtual summit, Ebooks: The New Normal, including these highlights from Library Journals’ VP, Group Publisher Ian Singer’s presentation of data from our hot-off-the presses 2011 Ebook Penetration & Use Reports.
The way forward remains unclear for public libraries regarding new-release fiction in ebook form. School libraries, on the other hand, are lucky to have an amazing group of independent publishers working to resolve the issues. In the case of nonfiction, many of our publishers are offering unlimited, simultaneous access to ebooks. They recognize that ebook usage is governed by math and statistical probability.
“Libraries will serve in the same role they always have: As curators of information for their communities. Librarians are ‘information specialists’ and they will continue to connect readers with all forms of reading. Patrons will come to libraries for recommendations of what to read next and to find and discover relevant information.”