Tag Archives: ebooks

Weekly Wrap Up- Thing 22: eResource Vendor Apps

28 Oct

As we come to the last stretch of our adventures together, I’d like to thank those who have come before me for sharing their time and insights on all things mobile. If not for this community, I wouldn’t have a better understanding of how to effectively use my smart phone. I’ve downloaded, tried and now owned many more new apps for which I wouldn’t have otherwise known about.

As for this week, understandably I feel many people may have focused their time and energy on conferences. With the Library 2.013 online conference and New Zealand’s own LIANZA conference, activities have been rather sparse.

However, I think Kate Davis‘ comprehensive introductory write up has provided much thought for this week’s wrap up. If you haven’t read it, please go and read it now.

Cath Sheard ‏@KiwiLibrarian pointed out how difficult it is for her to borrow library ebooks and this is making her cross and sad about the situation.

While Freya Lucas ‏@liber_amoris agrees with Cath after investigating her e-library and finding the situation to be the same.

However I find that in my experience with OverDrive Media Console, it has been relatively easy. Auckland City Libraries provides an OverDrive service which I find simple to use. The potential hurdle is with creating an Adobe ID. Another problem I have is with the limited range of titles available with this service, though in saying that, the number of items in the collection is reasonable. It’s just that a few times I’ve come across missing titles in a series I’ve been reading.

I also noticed that some New Zealand libraries are using the Boopsie service. The University of Auckland Library and Wellington City Libraries are just a couple of examples. Again in testing the app, I found it simple to use.

Thinking point

As smart phone and tablet adoption continues to rise, many libraries are looking to increase their services for users with mobile devices.

As pointed out by Kate, what libraries need to keep in mind is the potential of offering too many silo-ed products. There needs to be an integrated access to various differing products with a single discovery tool. This will help provide a seamless user experience in turn increase adoption rate and user satisfaction.

I feel users don’t want to go to different products or use different apps to access information resources. They want a simple search functionality that allows them to access information or resources directly. Much like how Google is doing for the web, we need to ensure users get access to their information or resources as quickly as possible. This is especially true for mobile users as they often use their devices on the go.

My view is that vendors should become more flexible in giving access and open their formatting of their e-Resources. In this way, it allows easier integration and access to these e-Resources.

I think the main challenge boils down to is with copyright. Publishers want to maintain control on who has access and who pays to access their e-Resources. However as history has shown with the music industry, trying to protect copyrights in this age of quick and instant access will only limit the number of people accessing these e-Resources. Also they can potentially drive others to find alternative e-Resources that is easily accessible.

Before signing off, I’d like to leave a note of thanks for everyone for reading my posts and hope we’ll have more future engagements similar to this.

Signing off

Mark Huynh @E_venturer


Archive of Hangout #3 – ebooks & more!

19 Sep

Hey everyone,

We had a great time hanging out with Mylee and Kathryn tonight as we discussed ebooks, productivity tools, some things to look forward to with the last five ‘things’, and Mylee’s and Kathryn’s plans for the future post 23 Mobile Things. There’s plenty here for you to sink your teeth into, and leave us some comments or questions below 🙂

Both Mylee and I (Abigail) will be presenting at LIANZA Conference 2013 on October 20-23.

Mylee’s presentation is: Catylsts, Innovation and Online Engagmeent @SLNSW

Mine is on ANZ 23 Mobile Things – specifically the partnership between NZ & Australian librarians and what we’ve learned from running the programme.

We’re really looking forward to seeing many of you there!

It’s Hangout time!

17 Sep

It has been too long since our last hangout in June(!) so we are bringing you another one, this Thursday 19th September, at 8:00PM (NZ time), 6:00PM (AEST).

Join Abigail, Mylee, Kathryn, Jan (hopefully) and me as we discuss:

  • What’s been happening
  • All things ebooks
  • Dropbox, evernote and productivity apps
  • What is around the corner.

So tune into our video-channel at 8:00PM (NZ), 6:00PM (AEST), and 4:00PM(AWST) to join in. You can tweet us your questions using the #anz23mthings or ask them as comments on this post and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Click here to watch the live stream of the Google+ Hangout


Weekly Wrap-Up, Thing 16: ebooks and ebook apps.

8 Sep

Week 16 was kicked off by Heidi Dowding who is the National Digital Stewardship Resident at Library of Congress and Dumbarton Oaks.  She summarised the current ebooks-in-libraries situation and urged us to explore a number of resources, free-to-download ebooks and eReading apps.  My personal favourite of Heidi’s links was the article about dummy bookmarks – a simple and effective tool for making the invisible ebook visible.  It was then a very quiet week in 23 Mobile Things world – an article shared and another source of free ebooks provided.

I read ebooks.  The library I work at is a Wheeler’s library and we have over 1100 titles available to borrow – shared between Horowhenua Library Trust and 3 other libraries.  I have a Sony Reader ebook reader that I use to read my DRM-protected library ebooks.  Also on that ebook reader are dozens of ebooks that I have purchased over the last couple of years, mostly computer manuals from Sitepoint (they come in epub, .pdf and .mobi and I download all 3 versions because I can).  I also own many of these titles in print and the print versions are consulted more frequently.

My manager reads more novels in a week than I read in a month and raves about her Kindle.  I love shiny things and, as my role as teacher of ebooks to customers, decided I’d better invest in a Kindle to find out what the fuss was all about.  I bought a refurbished Kindle with 3G from a daily deal website and copied my Sitepoint .mobi books onto it.  I then discovered a fantastic website called Kindle Buffet (free books, all you can eat) and have spent many evenings reading the latest blog post that tells me which books from the Kindle Store are currently free to download.  I was soon to understand why my manager (who also owns a Sony eReader) loves her Kindle.  It really is a great ereader and so easy to use.  I adore mine and if I purchase an ebook I’m far more likely to buy the Kindle version than an ePub.

I have an Android tablet and smartphone and will soon be purchasing my first iPad but I’ve never read ebooks on a phone or tablet.  The phone is large (Samsung Galaxy S3) but too small for reading a novel on and the tablet is too heavy and the battery life isn’t great.  Plus, if I want to read an ebook, I’ll read it on an ereader – my tablet/phone is for communicating, for games and for running the various apps I’ve installed on them, not for reading anything longer than a news article.

In my job I help customers with their ereaders on a regular basis.  I’m always happiest when they have a Sony – it’s the device I find easiest to use.  My most recent ebook customer arrived to see me with a Surface RT tablet – a beautiful device but a nightmare when it came to reading ebooks.  Generally I recommend Bluefire Reader for reading ebooks but that app is only available for Android and iOs.  My customer had installed the Overdrive app but was unable to get it working.  We’re not an Overdrive customer so I thought I’d look in the Windows Store for another epub ereader.  Easier said than done.  I couldn’t get the Kobo app to open ebooks so ended up going back to Overdrive.  Once it was authorised with the customer’s Adobe ID we hit the jackpot and our borrowed ebooks popped up on the screen.  Three weeks later her books had expired but the covers were still sitting in her library.  It took quite a bit of pressing and swiping to discover that there is actually a way to delete them…but it doesn’t check them in so you have to wait until the due date.  If anyone has had a better experience with ebooks on a Windows 8 tablet, I’d love to hear what app you used.

I was at a workshop last week with some of the cleverest NZ librarians working with technology.  We discussed ebooks a couple of times throughout the day and the verdict was – ebook borrowing is TOO hard.  I can understand the need for DRM to protect the rights of those who have written/published a book but when you compare the ebook borrowing and downloading procedure with Amazon’s 1-Click® you can’t help but wonder if there could be a more Kindle-like application for ebook lending.

Happy ereading everyone,

JD (Joanne Dillon) at Te Takere

Thing 16: Ebooks and Ebook Apps

2 Sep

Once upon a time, you had to physically go to the library to check out a book. The library was able to purchase one copy of the book at the going rate, and lend it out based on established procedures.

Enter ebooks.


Flickr Creative Commons, fishbraintexas.

With the ability to lend and share as many copies as desired at one time, digital books have challenged a lot of the old practices. One major obstacle involves money, as many publishers have not yet found a sustainable and affordable model for selling ebooks to libraries. Another issue involves intellectual property rights, as digital media is easily copied and shared widely, where physical documents were much more limited.

While ebooks are pushing libraries, publishers, and legislators into new directions, some of them are pushing back. One way is through DRM, or Digital Rights Management. DRM technologies basically control how a certain media or piece of hardware can be used, in an attempt to prevent piracy and misuse. Companies like Apple and Amazon are using DRM to control how many times an ebook can be downloaded, and legislators are reinforcing the flaws in DRM by creating anti-circumvention laws that make it illegal for users to create workarounds.

Though there are many challenges for libraries in terms of adopting ebooks, they also offer a solution to the issues of access and preservation. In my own experience as a digital librarian in Kazakhstan, I created ebooks in order to provide better access to important and rare books in the Kazakh language. Similar projects are being carried out at the British Library as well as through large-scale efforts like the Hathitrust Digital Library.

So you’ve probably already read ebooks yourself, and know how they work. So for this Thing, I’ve tried to delve deeper into interesting projects and provide links to organizations working on ebook-related issues. That said, ebooks are hot, and things are always changing. If you know of a great project or organization that I’ve left out, link it in the comments. Otherwise, let’s…



Check out some of the great projects happening around the web to make ebooks freely accessible to the public. One of the most exciting projects is Unglue.it, which works to provide a substantial one-time compensation for the author through crowdfunding so that the work can then become freely available through a Creative Commons license. This offers a creative solution to the copyright problem faced by many digital libraries. Also visit the recently launched DP.LA, a partnership effort that’s been getting a lot of press recently.



Get educated on alternative publishing methods for ebooks, and support sustainable projects. Help unlock an ebook at Unglue.it! And while you’re there, download Lauren Pressley’s already-unglued ebook, So You Want to be a Librarian.

Learn more about open access, find open access ebooks, and discover how your library collection can be enhanced with freely accessible materials. University publishers are especially fruitful for OA book collections – a couple of personal favorites are Open Humanities Press and Digitalculturebooks, both imprints of the University of Michigan Press.

Learn more about DRM and get involved. Play around with formats using programs like Calibre, run OCR to add searchability to your document using Adobe Pro or a freely available software like Tesseract, and download to various devices. Check out different ebook apps, like the sleek Readmill or Stanza for iPad and iPhone, or Aldiko for Android.

Get active in your library. Share ereader and ebook app reviews with your patrons, be knowledgeable about formats and devices (check out this helpful infographic to simply the process), give ebooks physical presence in your collection by creating dummy bookmarks. Participate in projects like Distributed Proofreaders, which is the main source of public domain books available through Project Gutenberg.

Finally, stay up to date on digital library news.

Whew, so that brings us to…


Thinking Points

Economics – How can we work with publishers in order to make ebooks more effective in libraries?

Marketing – How can we make ebooks easily accessible? How can we standardize ebook access through different publishers and websites?

Bridging the Digital Divide – Will ebooks ever replace physical books for ALL patrons? How do we work with different groups of patrons to meet their needs?

Copyright – How can we work with legislators to fix copyright in order to support innovation and creation in digital content?


This post is by Heidi Dowding, find her online as the Global Librarian.

#anz23mthings Twitter Chat 4: Round up & Archive

31 Aug

Thank you, thank you to everyone who joined our chat on Wednesday! As always, it was cool to have so many ideas and voices. Our topic was Ebooks & Curation, and you can read the questions here. I love how these chats fly thick’n’fast; we meander around topics and bounce ideas, which sprout new thoughts.

MOOCs were mentioned early and there’s a lot of love for them. Likewise, Pinterest has many fans (surprise, surprise!). We discussed what makes a curator, a curator. Then we brainstormed our issues with vendors, ebooks, tablets and ereaders. We surmised what we already knew: information professionals are needed more than ever to guide customers. Yes the Internet rocks; but users need a dance teacher!


Click here to see a storify version of the archived chat – with pretty pictures!

We’d love to hear what you thought of the chat, so please leave us a comment 🙂

#anz23mthings Twitter Chat 4: Ebooks & Curation

28 Aug

Join us TONIGHT, Wednesday 28th August at 8:00pm (NZT) / 6:00pm (AEST) for our fourth twitter chat! We’re discussing ebooks and curation, and we bet you have loads to say!

As you know, it’s easy to join in and follow the chat by using the #anz23mthings hashtag. For optimum excellence (and a possible head spin), follow the hashtag via the twitter search tool.

So you’re ready when the tweets start flying, here’s the questions:

  • Q1. Let’s start with a round of introductions. Who are you and where do you work? #anz23mthings
  • Q2. Do you have one favourite tool for curation? Or do you use different tools for different things? Why? #anz23mthings
  • Q3. Do you think that curation has changed with the Internet? How? #anz23mthings
  • Q4. Do you borrow ebooks from the library where you work or your public library? How easy is it? #anz23mthings
  • Q5. Is there anything you could do that make it easier for patrons to borrow ebooks from your library? #anz23mthings
  • Q6. Do you offer people any advice on managing their passwords when they first start downloading eBooks? People often end up creating 2 or 3 new ones in the process. #anz23mthings

We’ll try to keep the chat to an hour-ish but feel free to keep on chatting without us.
Remember, if you can’t make it, you could always schedule some tweets.
And don’t worry if you can’t make it; we will archive and blog the chat.
Chat with you tonight – and remember the #anz23mthings hashtag!

Join in our #Anz23mthings Twitter chat tomorrow on Wednesday night!

27 Aug

Just a heads-up that we are having another Twitter chat tomorrow (Wednesday night) at 8PM (NZ time) and 6 PM (AEST).

Come and join us for a fun chat about ebooks and curation.

Keep an eye out on the blog for the discussion questions which will be posted before the chat.

Just follow the #anz23mthings hashtag on Twitter to join in.

See you there!

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