Monday, February 13, 2012

Episode 3: Launching eMedia

Since HCPL started offering eMedia in 2006, the collection has grown to over 25,000 items and circulation is averaging around 30,000 per month.  Easy success, right?  Taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, there are many other issues to consider when you think about libraries and eMedia, and the popularity of eBooks, in general.

Can't see the video.  Check it out on YouTube.

Why don't we have Harry Potter titles in the Digital Media Catalog?  The truth is that not all books are available as ebooks and not all ebooks are available to be sold to libraries.  Many publishers don't like the idea that libraries can buy a book that won't wear out and check it out for free to anyone who has a library card.  So, most of the big publishers won't sell to libraries and some, like Penguin, are now changing their minds and placing an embargo on new titles.  Others are simply charging more, which is ultimately good for libraries, but hard on the budget. [editor's note:  HP titles are now available, but concept remains the same.]

What if your vendor goes out of business? Another issue is purchasing and ownership.  When you don't have a physical book in your hand, how can you be sure that you will always have access to it?  What if you decide to switch?  Many think ebooks should be accessed as a subscription service, rather than purchased title by title, so that the purchasing is more like leasing.

Why do I have to jump through digital hoops to get a book on my device?  The rise of portable devices led to the huge popularity of eMedia.  However, compatibility issues with differing formats and devices make sure that you need some sort of chart to keep up with what item can be used with what device.  The digital rights management that helps publishers and authors feel more secure provides frustration for the users.

Amazon: friend or foe?  Library people were very excited to have Amazon Kindle compatibility with library materials, but some worried about privacy and sale issues.  Publishers are not happy with Amazon for other reasons, and libraries are caught in the middle.  What about authors who self-publish?  They have popularity in the eBook market, but how will libraries offer books not represented by a publisher?  The tangle of rights issues, compatibility issues and availability issues makes the eMedia topic interesting to watch right now.

How do we pay for it all?  Add all of this together with the fact that library budgets are not growing, to put it mildly, and adding new formats while keeping up with demand costs a great deal of money and you get some understanding of what this means for all public libraries.  Right now, we can do best by purchasing strategically, keeping up with technology, and marketing this collection and expertise to our customers.

...3,2,1 On to the Quest!

Submit your answers to the questions below using the form on Harriet. A good practice is to first type your answers into a Word document. When you are finished, Copy/Paste your answers into the form. This may save you from losing your work. Be sure to submit after you have entered all your answers into the form.

In the previous eMedia module, we had a brief introduction to different eMedia formats.  Now, let's put our hands on each of the devices and see how they work with eBooks.  Your branch should have an iPad, a Nook and a Kindle for you to use to practice.  Note that these are not the only devices people will use with library eBooks, they are just the most popular. Please check with your branch manager to use the devices at your location.  If you work at the Administrative Offices, please check with Linda Stevens or Grace Lillevig to get access to the devices.  If you need help with the exercises, the Digital Media Support Page is a great resource.

The iPad
The iPad is not yet as ubiquitous as the iPhone, but it is still the giant in the tablet market, with iPads making up around 75% of all tablets sold to consumers.  The advantage of a tablet is that you can do many, many other things besides reading or listening to books.  Some iPad disadvantages include not being able to view Flash based products or PDF documents.
  1. What iPad app do you use to read eBooks purchased from iTunes?
  2. What steps must you take before loading eBooks onto your iPad with OverDrive Media Console?
  3. What app do you use to read eBooks from Amazon on the iPad?
The Barnes & Noble Nook now comes in three flavors:  the NOOK Tablet, which attempts to expand the Nook to beyond-reading activities; the NOOK Color, which is a very attractive eBook and video device; and the NOOK Simple Touch, which is the e-ink device available at your library locations for practice.  Prices are a bit higher than the Amazon equivalents, but NOOK devices have a devoted following and you can read EPUB or PDF eBooks on them.
  1. What software has to be installed before you can begin reading library eBooks on a NOOK device?
  2. How do you return an eBook early on a NOOK?
The Kindle
Amazon is the eBook dominator, and now also has three Kindle devices to offer:  the Kindle, the Kindle Touch, and the Kindle Fire.  The Kindle and Kindle Touch can be purchased with 3G options for constant connectivity.  The Kindle Touch is the reader available in your branches for practice. The Amazon devices are the cheapest and probably the simplest to use for reading purposes.
  1. What steps must be taken if a customer receives the message "Your Kindle does not support WI-FI?"
  2. What two action options are offered by Amazon when deleting a returned library ebook?
If you have submitted all the correct answers to accomplish this mission, you will receive the eMedia Space Vehicle to add to your command. This will let you dig through our cramped but coveted Cargo Hold for a chance to win a great prize. Complete The Fleet by earning all ten vehicles, and you will also receive ten Intergalactic Training Credits.

No comments:

Post a Comment