Pull quote: “Library e-book circulation data is a source of potentially priceless, actionable business intelligence for the publishers, if they can stop focusing on gouging libraries on price and focus on cooperating with them instead. Libraries could provide publishers with daily circulation figures, broken down by city, for every book, along with correlations between books (‘‘this book was checked out with that book’’). Provided the data is sufficiently aggregated, it would not pose a risk to individual patron privacy. This has to be managed carefully, of course, but if there’s one group that can be relied upon to treat this issue with the care it is due, it’s librarians.”

Pull quote: “OUP – which has been selling dictionaries and thesauri since the 19th century – will not sell you a digital OED or HTOED. Not for any price. Instead, these books are rented by the month, accessed via the internet by logged-in users. If you stop paying, your access to these books is terminated. I mentioned this to some librarians at the American Library Association conference in Chicago this spring and they all said, effectively: ‘Welcome to the club. This is what we have to put up with all the time.’”

Pull quote: “Although we date the ‘age of print’ from 1454, more than two hundred years passed before the ‘novel’ emerged as a recognizable form. Newspapers and magazines took even longer to arrive on the scene. Just as Gutenberg and his fellow printers started by reproducing illustrated manuscripts, contemporary publishers have been moving their printed texts to electronic screens. This shift will bring valuable benefits (searchable text, personal portable libraries, access via internet download, etc.), but this phase in the history of publishing will be transitional. Over time new media technologies will give rise to new forms of expression yet to be invented that will come to dominate the media landscape in decades and centuries to come.”

Pull quote: “For me, the big take-away from the details below is that large majorities of faculty across all disciplines rate Print Books, Electronic Books, and Ejournals as Important or Very Important. The fact that both print and electronic books are important to all faculty is more evidence to me that the easy stereotypes that scientists don’t need print and humanists resist digital are just wrong.”

Pull quote: “Now that the HathiTrust verdict has held that digitizing works for the purpose of providing access to the blind and print-disabled is not only a fair but a transformative use, schools can feel safer hanging onto those scans until the next student who needs them comes along, and can spend their efforts on improving them or scanning more books, instead of doing the same bare minimum of texts over and over.”

Pull quote: ” Libraries have many processes and workflows surrounding resource acquisition, circulation, and evaluation that overlook the opportunity to serve users with free resources. While academic libraries have been thinking about ways to support open-access academic journals for years now, books are different. Book acquisition is often funded through approval plans and selection committees that don’t consider the availability of free resources, no matter their quality. And if a library measures its performance using circulation numbers which don’t include connections to free resources, then how often will then resources be supported?”

Pull quote: “I hear a lot of suffering because the terms offered are frequently so bad, because libraries feel like they’re over a barrel. But I rarely hear acknowledgement that there’s always at least one more choice, which is not to sign. It’s not a choice without consequences — when are they ever? when did we have the right not to have consequences? — but it’s a choice.”

Pull quote: “Right now we are all searching for the Mr. Right of ebooks. Part of the difficulty is that Mr. Right for me might be Mr. Wrong for somebody else. But our potential boyfriends (the publishers) need to step it up considerably if they want to be Mr. Right for any library because it seems many of us are unhappy and currently settling for Mr. Right Now.”

Pull quote: “More importantly, why do you want to give the publishing industry another distraction and reinforce that false sense of security when we’re finally seeing movement towards a DRM-free world?”

Pull quote: “The biggest challenge to library ebook lending may be simply letting patrons know they have any at all. Of the general population, the Pew study found 62 percent don’t even know whether they’re local library loans ebooks (75 percent of them do), and the picture doesn’t get much better for library card holders: 58 percent still don’t know whether their library lends ebooks or not.”

Pull quote: “Getting back to center here, my new view of the library eBook landscape is that time is still on our side. Thoughtfulness of our community needs and tough analysis of financial and ownership (or lack thereof) implications should not be surrendered to the quick fix of current vendor/publisher models and offerings. We are not suffering from a lack of interest or action in looking to make this format addition to our collections, but there is a worn trail of knee jerk reactions under imaginary time pressures for the inflated need of a proven minority. Yes, eBooks are ascending but libraries are not going out in the format shuffle. The hourglass is still mostly full, not nearly empty, when it comes integrating eBooks into our libraries. Let’s take a moment for a deep breath, gather ourselves once more, and reconsider this issue with an eye towards what it brings to our community in a sustainable manner.”

Pull quote: “Because when I think about what other thing of value that libraries have that could potentially be traded to publishers in order to get an equivalent set of value back from them in the way of ebook rights, I keep coming back to one thing:

Information. Information about our patrons, information about our circulations of individual books, and demographic information about our users and what books they read.”

Pull quote: “If you want to reward creators who made the books that you love instead of feeding a voracious supply chain that manages to spit a few pennies of royalties to an author for every $14.99 out of your pocket, then now is the time to send a message to that publishing establishment.”

Pull quote: “At present, many story-telling apps are essentially eye- and finger-candy, but these are very early stage efforts. We may never collect apps – or be able to collect and preserve apps – in the same way that we build libraries of physical books. The diversity in hardware, tools, and authoring may be too great, at least for a while, for that to happen. Frankly, even though I have great concerns about this, at the end of the day, I think we’ll figure out new ways of sharing stories. True digital standardization has yet to come, and we don’t even know where to watch for the vector of its arrival. But these are most exciting days in publishing that I’ve ever seen.”