July 22, 2011

Ebrary, ebooks and libraries

James Bennett will shortly be representing ebrary in the Australasian marketplace.  As many of our libraries would know, ebrary has had a close working relationship with our parent company - Baker & Taylor - for years.  James Bennett has been working with ebrary on integration for the ANZ region for several months now and we're pleased to be adding another market-leading ebook platform to our stable.  Contact us today to discuss James Bennett selecting, profiling and purchasing ebrary titles on your library's behalf.  You can call your nominated Customer Co-ordinator or email our dedicated eResources team.

For those of you wanting to know what took us so long - well, it's been a challenge integrating ebrary into the James Bennett system.  This is not due to our close and long-standing relationship with our other ebook vendor, EBL, but due to the use of the ISBN as the primary identifier in the James Bennett database. Publishers generally use one e-ISBN across multiple ebook systems and platforms.  Our database links one ISBN to a vendor and our IT team has spent years working their way through all the e-ISBN issues including pricing, markets, special prices, loans/rentals, and more.  We won't go into details today but you can probably imagine our relief this project is nearly finished and we can represent many more digital products in future.

That said, we have represented ebrary's subscription product for public libraries for over 12 months.  That was easy to manage in the database and through our Standing Orders area. Contact your account representative for a demo or contact the eResources team to set up a trial for you.

So, want to know more about ebrary?  Here's just a snapshot!

Key features and benefits
  • Works on multiple devices
  • Contextual linking across multiple online resources with InfoTools™
  • Unique ability to upload and integrate a library’s own digital content with DASH! and Software as a Service (SaaS) Shareable bookshelves that automatically store links
  • Notes and highlights
  • Multiple options for searching and navigating
  • Automatic citations when text is printed or copied and pasted into Word or any text applications. Citations include an automatic URL hyperlink back to the source
  • Ability to transform text into a hyperlink to a URL of the end-user’s choice
  • Text-to-speech and other keyboard shortcuts to assist end-users with special accessibility needs

Platform Overview
  • Available in multiple languages including English, Arabic, Chinese (simplified), French, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Swedish, and Turkish, with additional languages in the works
  • Compatibility with a range of discoverability and technology services including the ProQuest platform, SerialsSolutions Summon™, Ex Libris SFX, Doody’s Core Titles, Eduserv OpenAthens, Shibboleth®, Blackboard, RefWorks, EndNote, Moodle, and moreFree on-demand MARC records
  • COUNTER-compliant usage statics
Request a soft copy of the ebrary Pocket Guide for Academic Libraries and the Pocket Guide for Public Libraries, contact Marketing today! 

And of course, order your library's ebrary titles through your trusted library supplier, James Bennett.  We aim to provide you with the best from the digital world with our renowned - and superior - local service.

A formal media release will follow in due course.

July 1, 2011

An Update on the Course eTextbook Trial

We've recently sent out an update on the Course eTextbook Trial we are conducting with our ebook partners, EBL.  For those not subscribing to the service or participating in the trial, we thought we'd share some news with you here.

Firstly, we are hopeful we can get the trial off the ground in time for 1st Semester 2012.  We know it's ambitious, but we like a challenge!  Subscribers have been told who is on the Steering Committee, which as you know, is being co-ordinated by our Publisher Relations & Marketing Communications Manager, Rachael McDiarmid together with colleagues at EBL.

We have representatives from 20 academic libraries on board for the trial and half a dozen publishers willing to explore eTextbooks in libraries.  Those publishers participating in the trial have asked to review core textbooks that are adopted at the participating institutions.  The Steering Committee has suggested focusing on business & economic titles, nursing, health sciences and law but will consider other subjects.  Local textbooks are the primary interest - afterall, we are working with Australian based publishers on this trial!  Their content is the most relevant to students and we hope there won't be too many hurdles ahead for them with regards to contracts and content management.

Each publisher will be looking at business model (access/loans) and other considerations like chapters, rentals, purchase (print/electronic version), supplementary materials, downloads.  There is much work to be done.  Much to think about but we will endeavour to keep you informed on the more important decisions and models as they develop.

We all need to consider what it is we are testing with this Course eTextbook Trial - what books, what criteria, and how we are going to measure the impact.  As a pilot, we also need to look at how the information regarding the eTextbook is actually conveyed to the student, how is it promoted to library patrons, how do we engage them in the electronic version so we can measure their behaviour?

Do you have any thoughts on these issues?  If so share them here!  Remember, this is an industry trial and something we all have an interest in.  What is it we are testing? How are we going to do that so the results are meaningful to all?

In the meantime, these are the keywords cropping up in our teleconferences.  No doubt they will ring true for everyone:
academics, access models, Adobe Digital Editions, awareness, booking time with the textbook, books on reserve, booksellers, bookshops, budgets, business case, campus booksellers, chapter level, chapter purchase, communication, compatible devices, course book, downloads, EBL, ebook purchase, ebooks, eTextbook, James Bennett, libraries, limit of concurrent users, limited loans, loan restrictions, loans per hour, measurement of turnaways, minimum number of concurrent users, no limits on overall use, patrons, print book purchase, print sales, project, promotion, rental, sales impact, shorter access, stakeholders, students, supplementary materials, testing, testing competing textbooks, testing supplementary materials, textbooks, unique loans, universities, unlimited access.