Amazon e-books in US libraries

GoodEreader has reported that a technical bug which prevented Amazon Kindle ebooks being made available on OverDrive has been resolved. Overdrive is currently the only ebook provider which has an agreement with Amazon to provide ebooks in Kindle format.

In December a glitch hit the Overdrive system that prevented the delivery of ebooks in Kindle format. Small press and self-published titles were available, but hundreds of bestsellers from major publishers were not. GoodEreader liased with libraries and patrons and contacted OverDrive to alert them of the problem; who have since resolved the issue attributing it to a technical bug. However there has been some speculation that there may have been a contract dispute between the two corporations, while the terms of the agreement were being renegotiated.

Amazon, we want to talk to you about Kindle Unlimited

Helen Leesh, librarian and co-chair of Shelf Free, has published an advocacy letter ‘Amazon we want to talk to you about Kindle Unlimited’ on the Chartered Institute of Library Professionals Website.

The article raises some interesting points, especially regarding the possibility of Amazon and public libraries working in partnership. This would allow public libraries to provide access to more new release/bestseller ebook titles and provide Amazon with the opportunity to act as a community partner and to reach new customers.

Macmillian makes full ebook list available to libraries

Macmillian has made its full list of ebook titles available to public libraries for loan. The decision follows a pilot program which was introduced in March 2013, and currently includes all Macmillian books published twelve or more months ago.

Macmillian frontlist titles will be offered to libraries under the 2 year/52 lend model currently in place for backlist. Titles are available through multiple distributors and frontlist titles will be available from early August.

A full press release is available here, thanks to Digital Book World.

Simon & Schuster eBooks available on US Overdrive

The Simon & Schuster ebook catalogue will soon be available to U.S public libraries using Overdrive. Libraries that wish to offer Simon & Schuster ebook titles must have a ‘buy it now’ option on the page alongside borrow or place a hold.

According to the Overdrive blog post:

“With Library BIN, your library will earn a content credit equal to 50 percent of the retail markup for titles purchased from the OverDrive-hosted referral page. The content credit will be applied to your OverDrive Marketplace account for future orders”.

Simon & Schuster publish ebooks by many popular authors. This agreement will offer U.S library patrons a greater choice of titles for ebook loan.

ALIA Report: Comparison of Ebooks and Elending in Australian Public Libraries

ALIA has released a new report – Comparision of Ebooks and Elending in Australian Public Libraries 2013 v 2014. Approximately one third of the 1500 public libraries in Western Australia responded to the survey.

The reports key findings included:

1. Nearly all Australian public libraries now lend ebooks; up from 69% a year ago to 97% in 2014.
2. On average, ebooks make up 5–6% of a public library’s collection.
3. In 53% of public libraries, ebooks account for less than 1% of loans, and in almost all,
they account for less than 5% of loans.
4. 60% of libraries use two or more ebook providers, up from 33% in 2013. The three most
popular providers are Bolinda, Overdrive and Wheelers.
5. Between half and two thirds of libraries are less than satisfied or not satisfied with the choice
of bestsellers, books by Australians, popular authors and overall content.
6. 71% of libraries have ebooks in their catalogue but less than a quarter of libraries (23%)
are able to offer ebooks direct from their catalogue.
7. More libraries appear to be loaning ereading devices — 23% in 2014, up from 19% in 2013.
8. Skills in public libraries have remained at a similar level, with two in every five libraries saying
most or all of their staff were conversant with ebooks and ereaders.

The full report is worth reading, as it contains some interesting comments from public library staff.

ALIA E-lending Report 2014

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) has released the E-lending Landscape Report 2014. ALIA commissioned Brussels-based Civic Agenda to produce a worldwide elending landscape report, identifying public library-led initatives to secure ebooks for borrowers.

Australian public libraries have experienced great difficulty in obtaining ebooks for elending and finding a platform which will meet the desired criteria:

  • A secure, trusted repository that contains ebooks from the big publishers, as well as from authors direct, and from local publishers
  • Content procured at a fair price
  • Providing access to local history content
  • Library branded
  • Providing content that can be accessed from all sorts of devices
  • With a clever discovery layer
  • The options of loan or buy.

The report on elending platform developments internationally is intended to help identify practical solutions for Australian public libraries. It includes a list of conclusions and options available for Australian Public Libraries to consider when purchasing electronic material.

New York Library Director calls for libraries to buy ‘fair use’ books

Claire Kelly’s interview with Richard Naylor, Director of the William K. Sanford Town Library in Loundonville New York, is worth a read.

Naylor is encouraging libraries to only purchase ‘fair use’ ebooks, which are bought at retail price and without time limitations. He also expresses concern about overcoming the high cost of building collections of ebooks, where major titles cost 200-300% of retail price and expire after one or two years. His ‘Best of the Small Press’ list contains only well reviewed fair trade books. Like many others, Naylor is hoping the ‘Big 5’ publishers and libraries can eventually agree upon a system ‘that helps meet our mission of education and cultural enrichment without hurting publishers or book stores’.

Library Journal Material Survey

Library Journal has released its annual materials survey, with some interesting findings regarding ebook availablity and circulation.

Nine out of ten U.S libraries now loan ebooks. Since 2009, print book budgets have fallen in favor of ­ebook dollars, with ebooks escalating from 1% to 7% of the materials budget overall and averaging closer to 10% at the biggest libraries.

Ebook circulation has also increased 1% a year since 2011, when this survey began measuring it, but no patterns emerge by location or size. Instead, ebook success may be attributed to individual library and community dynamics.

CILIP: strict limits on library ebook lending must end

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (UK) has called for the end of stringent lending limitations on ebooks through public libraries.

Of the six major trade publishers in the UK, only three (HarperCollins, Random House and Hachette) offer ebooks to public libraries. Research conducted by Shelf Free in 2013 found that 85% of ebooks were not available to public libraries. Out of the top 50 most borrowed adult fiction books of 2012, only 7 were made available by publishers for libraries to lend electronically.

The full press release is available here.

Public Libraries in the Netherlands new e-book lending model

Public Libraries in the Netherlands have launched a large scale e-book lending service which allows more than one person to read the same e-book at the same time. In most countries, lending is based on the ‘one copy, one use’ model meaning a book is unavailable if it has already been ‘lent’.

Under the new lending model Public Libraries in the Netherlands pay a fee for each e-book lent. 5000 e-books will be available initally, which is approximately one quarter of the total number of e-books available in the Netherlands.

Titles have been placed in two categories: up to three years old, and older. Initially e-books in both categories will be freely available for library members to read. From April 2014, library members who wish to borrow more recent titles can opt in for an e-booksplus package, which allows them to read 18 e-books for €20.

The complete press release is available here.