Solving Common Issues With Innovative Collaboration

Collaboration & Conversation: Working with Publishers in Canada (eBound)
Michael Ciccone, Director, Collections, Hamilton Public Library
Christina de Castell, Director, Resources & Technology, Vancouver Public Library
Tricia McCraney, Consultant & Project Manager, Tricia McCraney Consulting

Lots of conversations from 2011 -2013 between libraries and publishers around eContent.

Publishers from the larger Canadian independent publishers, eBound, and the libraries. They began presenting at each others conferences — Association of Canadian publishers, ex. Saw they all had common ground. Canadian Urban Libraries rep on Booknet. Regular collaboration with publishers now on a regular basis.

Hot topics: Readers’ Advisory, MARC vs. ONIX, pricing, buying, and promoting Canadian books and authors. Conversations around licensing, access, what had been working in previous years of library digital content purchases.

Publishers weren’t aware of how much libraries were providing readers’ advisory and book promotion services. Distributors became in-between w libraries & publishers — no longer as close of a relationship.

eBook usage and increase of content has increased greatly from 2011-2013.

eBook revenue very little for the most part.

Reasonable terms: MOU

  • one copy per user
  • 40 circ cap
  • bundles of content
  • transferable
  • negotiate archival separately

eBook lending pilot


  • Canadian publishers were concerned with discoverability — that was their number one concern
  • Also, build more direct relationship with libraries (diminishing role of vendor in terms of selection and marketing of titles).
  • Make titles discoverable — and visible.
  • Greater control over pricing and terms; for publishers, ebook vendors are controlling the pricing and terms. A few key players were dominating things. Canadian publishers wanted to work more directly with libraries.
  • Seamless patron experience.
  • New technology solution — RFP to launch this — new platform


  • Cost
  • competitive market
  • lots of established vendors
  • need to integrate w existing vendors
  • high rate of innovation and flux in the market

Project Timeline

  • RFI in June 2012
  • RFP in March 2013
  • VEndor selection in June 2013
  • Negotiations through November 2013

Negotiations were very difficult. End with the successful and now unsucessful vendor. Rather than going to the next vendor from the RFP, they ended the RFP process and explored other alternatives, instead. They wanted to focus on Canadian content…

There was a lot of disappointment, but decided to change course. That meant the need to partner with existing vendor to offer a limited time sale, collections of Canadian eBooks, May-June 2014, identify what libraries have and what they need.

What they learned, they were working in a competitive environment, and waited too long. RFI set back significantly. Negotiate with 2 vendors at once.

Publishers + Libraries — enjoyed working together

  • Learned a lot talking to each other
  • Learned they had a lot in common
  • Growing respect and admiration

Lessons learned

  • Simplify the process
  • Trust your gut(s) –> including following the red flags
  • it’s okay to admit that it’s just not working
  • Future collaboration opportunities (including with existing vendors)
  • ReadersFirst Project

Local Music Project from Iowa City Public Library


Iowa City Public Library’s Local Music Project

Jason Paulios, Senior Librarian, Adult Services, and Brent Palmer, Coordinator, Information Technology, Iowa City Public Library


Iowa City works with local musicians to license their music and distribute the music to Iowa City PL card holders for 2 years. Packaged deals (missed the pricing). 140 albums from over 100 artists.

UNESCO City of Literature. College town. Local music scene.

Director saw lots of local musicians, wondered why lots of music was being bought outside the area, but local musicians weren’t getting known. Started asking local musicians if they wanted the libraries

Partnerships that support community and build community. Local bar scene and local artists and local musicians partnerships.

Innovative PatronAPI connector

Complicated upload, MARC, metadata, audio files, admin app, etc.

Admin app

  • built in-house
  • FLAC files are ripped and stored on a local server; album is cataloged
  • App pulls MARC fields and populates admin web form (creates bib record)

Web form, tracks, titles, web-editing form. Cover image pulled in as well.

App stores this metadata in XML for web display and adds metadata to song preview clips and ZIPs and App generates song previews.

Ideas & Lessons — fast turnaround on the project

  • Lifetime distribution contract option vs 2-year contract option — musicians not really interested in contracts.
  • Mobile User Solutions — streaming player; mobile apps — iOS struggles with ZIP. Android a bit better, but still not intuitive for average user. Also, no renewal or checkout again. Circ doesn’t match up on usage. Streaming could help on this (but would require rewrite of contract again)
  • Promotion — staff resources not there yet. Bar coasters may be a simple way to promote the service
  • Collaborations: commissioning unique works; selection committee — recording studio partnerships.
  • Other Local Music Projects: sharing code & best practices

What will your project look like?

  • What can others do? Lots of libraries looking into this.

What’s on my iPad version 2.0

Last year, I wrote “What’s on my iPad?“, a list of all the apps on my iPad. It’s been almost a year, and I need to get a new list published. It appears below.

There are many additional online resources out there for iPads used in education and libraries:

The apps list:

* denotes a favorite app. If there’s a charge for the app, it’s listed next to the app. Otherwise the app, at the time of this post, should be free.

Dock (Apps across the bottom of the screen)

Screen One

No Folder

Books Folder

Cooking Folder

Multimedia Folder

News Folder

Office Tasks Folder

Productivity Folder

Social Media Folder

Websites Folder

Screen Two

No Folder

  • Newsstand (Default App)
  • (requires subscription to resources)

Education Folder



For Kids

Kids Books

Dr. Seuss

I’ve also previously written iPad ebooks and eBook apps for Kids and iPad Apps List (targeted for libraries).

eBooks and their Growing Value for Libraries Panel

Amy Pawlowski, Web App Manager at Cleveland Public Library

Sue Polanka, Head of Referene and Instruction at Wright State University Libraries, Author of No Shelf Required

Ellen Druda, Librarian, Internet Services, Half Hollow Hills Community Library

Rosemarie Jerome, Librarian, Half Hollow Hills Community Library

Bianca Crowley, Smithsonian

Amy Pawlowski & Sue Polanka

Public Library

  • 72% of Public Libraries are offering eBooks (LJ report)
  • 55K thousand titles in the Cleveland Public Library eBook collection
  • 5% of public libraries circulate preloaded ereading devices, while 24% are considering it. Kindle was the top device.
  • 1/5 of the US online population reads at least 2 books per month. How to capture that audience?

Academic Library

  • 94% of academic libraries already offer ebooks
  • 80% by 2020- academic econtent expenditures
  • 87% of students say online libraries/databases have impact on learning (Cengage study cited)
  • 50% found positive ebooks/textbooks impact
  • LJ Mobile survey: 65 % of academic libraries offer services via mobile

Value fo Libraries

  • 24/7 access anywhere
  • econtent meets users where they are
    • distance learning
    • virtual reference services
    • mobile websites
    • Course Management Systems
    • Online instruction
    • Self-service research
    • lots of free eBooks available — expand library’s collection that way [CLiC MARC record project]
    • Staying current/relevent by delivering a service to a growing demographic
    • eReaders and tablet market
    • Mobile market

Economic impact for Public Libraries

  • Collection Development Budget
  • Current Cost effectiveness stats

How to Position Your Library: Public Libraries

  • The waiting is over; don’t say you can’t afford it. Join consortiums, etc. [My comment: But still, What about rural libraries with tiny budgets?? Sigh; is there a digital divide in libraries?]
  • Know the platforms and products and how they work
  • Start planning for the future now
  • Consider circulating eReaders and Tablets (still disagree with this PoV)
  • Plan for collection development
  • Training and marketing

How to Position Your Library: Academic Libraries

  • the future is econtent
  • understand the current limitations
  • Advocate for a sustainable future
  • Access/discovery are key
  • Brand your content
  • Ownership has its privileges
  • Be open to new ideas and experimentation
  • Talk to vendors
  • Customize the interfaces

Ellen Druda and Rosemarie Jerome

  • Marketing: Staff received buttons (and script went with buttons for in case someone was asked about eBooks)
  • Skype an author (iDrakula discussion)

Bianca Crowley’s Slides

Empowering the Reader in a Digital World

My notes from the session are below the embedded slides.

Empowering the Reader in a Digital World

Al Carlson, Tampa Bay Library Consortium

Chad Mairn, St. Petersburg College

Program Goals:

lots of great topics coming in this session!

What’s a book?

cave paintings; babylonian tablets; scrolls; Gutenberg (Codex); tree sliced very thin covered in cardboard; Kindle (eBook)

The form of the book has changed; the book is the content, not the package.

What happens when the package undergoes a drastic change?

Cassette tape -> CD -> MP3

VHS -> DVD -> Streaming

Book -> eBook???

Diagnosing the DVD Disappointment: A Life Cycle View, Judson Coplan, The Leonard N. Stern School of Business [highly rec’d report]

Rate of adoption of new devices, has increased more and more throughout the 20th century.

DVDs took 6 years adoption fully penetrated. eReaders?? we’ll see.

History suggests that eBooks will rapidly invade the codex space. Will be replaced by better package.

As libraries — we won’t be ready. We’ve NEVER been ready!

Books aren’t dead (Newsweek cover story).

What is a dedicated ereader? nook, sony, kindle.

Long battery life; small format with huge capacity; eink; reflect light the way paper does.

Boombox –> iTouch

Book –> eReader

1 book –> 1000 in pocket

Kindle 2 and Kindle DX; 3500 books holding capacity (4 tons of books)

Nook; Sony Reader; Copia other devices.

Non-dedicated eReader: a device designed for some other larger purpose that can also read epublications. (tablet (iPad); mobile devices; Kindle for PC/Mac; Stanza app; Nook apps for multiple devices; Kindle apps)

Android eReading apps.

Which one is better? Dedicated vs non-dedicated

Dedicated: excellent for etended reading; fall into book.

Non-dedicated: quick reading;

Is it ok to have both? YES!

Who knows what they will look like 50 years from now…

ePub Formats

Check out the Wikipedia article

Overdrive: ePub and PDF formats

Netlibrary: PDF, HTML, DJVU format (changing?)

Dueling formats: the cassette/CD format format difference is easy for our patrons to see and understand; eBook formats not so much.

AZW vs. ePub.

They don’t care — just want to read!

If format were the only issue (

Same Format, dueling DRMs

Sony: ePub w Adobe Adept DRM

Apple: epub w Apple’s Fairplay DRM

Kindle: AZW using Amazon’s DRM

Nook using Adobe DRM

Is DRM a good thing or an evil thing? YES!

Patron perspective: users don’t care about drm or formats they just want to read

Any devices we see will be quaint in a few years

ePub and Public Libraries

  • Access – website becomes “the” library (my library has a website vs. my website still has a library)
  • Delivery: instant home delivery. no need to visit the library. or wait.
  • Delivery: your costly, polluting, labor intensive inter-branch delivery vanishes.

Effect on Public Libraries

  • Overdues: book self-returns when due
  • Storage: your entire collection fits on a one or two Terabyte harddrive (about $50 per terabyte at CompUSA
  • Service area: why have a ‘local’ library?
  • What happens to ownership? Storage on OD’s servers; CKO via OD’s software; Access via Netlibrary website
  • Do we own the book we “bought”?
  • Publishers’ reluctance to sell to libraries
  • Term limited eBooks
  • Limited range of vendors

Homework/Quest One

  • Create OSS that enables a library to store and check out eBooks without needing an “overdrive”
  • Think Apache
  • Mailman

Question Two

  • Devise a purchasing plan that benefits all.

Question Three

  • Find out and share the true cost of publishing a book in hard copy vs publishing that same book as an eBook


  • Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education survey (75% still prefer print textbooks)
  • 2011 Horizon Report
  • Campus Technology 3/11
  • St. Petersburg Times 2/17/11
  • Arizona Republic, 7/6/10

[links coming later]

eTextbook Options

  • CourseSmart
  • CourseLoad (browser based eTextbook written in HTML5)
  • Flat World Knowledge
  • Inkling

[links coming later]

Kno, textbook tablet (dual or single screens). Interesting….


Browser-based ebooks = truly device agnostic.

Books in Browsers 2010: The Future of Reading on the Web conference [link later]

Appropriate Library Response

  • issues like this that keep us relevant and employed
  • powerful and FUN
  • evolution in action
  • show me the rules that say libraries may not convert ePUB to AZW for patrons or never ever mention Calibre or Feedbooks

Hands on empowerment

  • Calibre
  • have a DRM free eBook available
  • Have a Kindle with Cable
  • (Ask me about DRM afterwards) [is this legal or not legal — not gone to the Supreme Court; it’s not illegal to know how to do something; Agatha Christie murder mysteries, anyone! –speaker]


  • DRM schemes are a possibly necessary evil
  • Current treebook CKO is primitive DRM
  • DRM schemes can be beaten, and it’s not illegal to know how
  • We can be the eBook source with the least annoying DRM and often none at all.

How do we stay in the game?


One New Model (SHRED)

  • Search
  • Holds List (current alternatives cost money & time)
  • Rental (lease)
  • Electronically Purchase
  • Donate to your library

Possible Academic model?

  • find and borrow or buy an ebook
  • add notes in a photoshop like layer
  • return or sell back the book
  • retain the notes
  • sell the notes to next term’s students to be overlaid on the ebook (or used bookstore could do this)

Who do we buy from?

Empty shelf space; repurposing staff

  • community center (Yin to Starbucks’ Yang)
  • eGov and the stigma of food stamps
  • Library expertise on ePub (OCLC Perceptions study)

Note to self: Really need to get to work on that MARC records eBooks project for NExpress (thanks to Colorado’s records)…

Further resources

eBooks Vendor pitch & Community Tagging sessions

Dick Kaser, VP Info Today (moderator)

1. Ken Breen, Director, eBook Products, EBSCO Publishing


eBook in 1997. on CD-ROM. system requirements are a hoot (25Mz processor)!!

124 pg print book explained how to use the ebook.

In July, NetLibrary will be completely under EBSCO.

Purchase plans.

This tweet sums up the presentation. Vendor sales pitch.

2. Leslie Less, VP of Content Development, eBrary

another sales pitch. Walked out after it was over and switched to Community Tagging.

(Overdrive rep was on the panel later; tweets from the session on his time looked interesting)

Overdrive Tweet 1 Overdrive Tweet 2 Overdrive Tweet 3

Community Tagging session.

SOPAC at Darien Library

Tagging Solves an Access Need.

Student Assignment assisted through tagging. Beats searching and gets hundreds of results

Staff Participation. Guide the students (and teachers) to the tag.

“Meet us on main street” book talks on the street. Then staff tag what they talked about so it’s easily findable.

“User Generated Tags” Go from longform handwriting book lists (or initials in books?? — it happens!) to lists and tags in different ways.

Working with users to promote tagging

Kids and tagging:

  • tagging what they want to read and what they have read using this in conjunction with summer reading
  • kids feel empowered by using the tagging and contributing

Inappropriate tagging question: Gretchen hasn’t seen bad tagging ever (and systems that allow tagging, can be moderated).

Bad reviews allowed: Gives patron buy-in; many of the bad reviews are hilarious (especially from kids). [Comment: these do give you feedback on your collection.]

What about adults tagging at Darien? Some users in the community are engaging, especially comments and reviews.

[The tagging session gave me some food for thought to bring back to NEKLS for NExpress as we try to get more use out of the tagging features in our Koha system (OPAC here).]