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January 2012

eBooks - The New Normal?

January 30, 2012 | Out of Print | Comments (0)


A few months back Library Journal hosted a full day webinar called eBooks: The New Normal which featured a number of sessions discussing the impact of eBooks on school, academic, and public libraries. The opening presentation was by Ian Singer, VP, Group Publisher, Library Journal, School Library Journal, and The Horn Book, and he shared the results of a large (2,446 responses) survey of U.S. public libraries. The results are interesting:

  • Average number of e-Books in public libraries: 4,350
  • Circulation is expected to double in next year
  • Percentage of libraries who loan pre-loaded e-readers: 15
  • Percentage of e-Book use on dedicated e-Book reader: 85
  • Most popular e-Book format: ePub
  • Percentage of libraries reporting dramatic increase in eBook requests: 66
  • Percentage of libraries that believe eBooks have brought in new customers: 76
  • Average percentage of materials budget spent on eBooks in 2011: 4
  • Predicted average percentage of materials budget spent on eBooks in 2016: 8
  • Biggest barriers for customers: lack of support for preferred device (Kindle), complexity of downloads, lack of awareness.

Conversations with TPL staff on these survey results has revealed mixed opinions. While almost every location has seen a big increase in questions and requests for support around eBooks, many feel that these are coming from regular customers, not necessarily new ones. The predicted doubling of spending on eBooks in five years to 8% seems low to some, with the publishing industry predicting a tripling in sales from $3.2 billion in 2011 to $9.7 billion in 2016. At that rate, a much larger portion of the materials budget will likely be spent on eBooks in five years - perhaps 25% or more.

The role of eBooks in public libraries has changed so much in the last two years. It will be very interesting to see the results of a survey of this size done annually.


Mobile Apps

January 7, 2012 | Brenda | Comments (0)

Reading Beverly’s post about downloading onto her itouch got me interested in trying Overdrive one more time.  Given that I don’t have a e-reader (I haven’t given in yet) my experience with Overdrive has been limited to trying to download audio books and then upload them onto an ipod – an exceedingly frustrating exercise that led me to give up in total exasperation!  I have, however, been noticing the advertisement for mobile apps on the TPL homepage, encouraged by Beverly’s enthusiasm,  I thought I’d give it another go. 

I grabbed my iphone (3G) clicked on the app store icon and quickly and successfully downloaded the free Overdrive app  – so far so good. I then search for the Toronto Public Library and pull up all 99 branches, but choosing any one gets you into the TPL website, a few more clicks and I’m onto Overdrive and searching for audio books.  Note the handy box that restricts your search to what is currently available for borrowing.  A few more clicks and I have successfully downloaded an audio book that plays on my phone. Unfortunately,as part of the process one must register for an Adobe account, a little frustrating but doable.
Total approximate time 10 minutes  - what a tremendous difference from my previous attempts to download audio books.

There is an an excellent short You Tube video by Orange County Library that very clearly explains the process.

Fueled by my success, I decide to try the Naxos Music Library mobile app. Downloading the NML app is also free and easy.  This time I’m directed to use my computer to register for a Student/Member playlist account.  Once I do this I am then able to use the NML app on my phone to search the Naxos Music Library and play (stream) my music selections.  In this case though, I am not downloading but accessing the Naxos Music Library directly which means my data plan will get charged if I’m not using a free Wifi connection. 

Similarily there is also a You Tube video that clearly explains the whole process, it is linked to the page on the TPL website that advertises the mobile apps  (good to point out to customers).


Don't Worry if you didn't receive an IPad, a Kobo or a Sony E-reader as a Gift.

January 4, 2012 | Bhowatson | Comments (0)

I like think I was ahead of the E-book Downloading Curve.   I remember the good old days when you could log into Download E-Books onthe Toronto Public Library website and easily check out a book without going through pages of items on hold.

I started by using a tiny trusty MP3 player and it was pretty easy to download and sync the e-audiobooks to this little data whiz.   Then, I got fancy and used an IPod Touch.  Apple doesn't make it easy to download free e-audiobooks to this small gem, but I got the hang of it after about 14 hours!  Trouble was, I'd download the titles and then couldn't find them on my computer!

I still take my IPod Touch on my travels and love to be able to listen to audiobooks and drift off to sleep on planes and noisy airports while waiting for flights.  I can check local weather with it, send e-mails and post updates on Facebook. I can even learn a language by downloading a Language-Learning Textbook.IMG_5261

Many cities and hotels offer free Wi-Fi and here's a photo of my IPod visiting Dubrovnik.

Just so you know,  the password for free Wi-Fi in Dubrovnik is....Dubrovnik.

Since you are able to pre-pay for Wi-Fi in Venice, I was also able to e-mail from a vaporetto while sailing down the Grand Canal.

You won't always put an IPad in your pocket or have enough energy to read a book on a Kobo, but an IPod Touch can certainly cover everything you might want to do.



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