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Re: Ebooks in libraries

Yes, you missed the bulk of the books.

To begin with, academic libraries are only a small piece of the
library business.  And academic books are only a tiny (very tiny)
part of the book business.

More importantly, the form factor for the consumption of academic
books and publications for academic libraries remains the PC
(that is, when it is not print, including the printing out of
PDFs).  The form factor for most ebooks is a mobile device:
Kindle, Nook, iPad, Kobo, etc.

Third is the "one book to rule them all" phenomenon.  If books
are to be sold to libraries in digital form WITHOUT DRM (and if
there is anyone who likes DRM, I would like to know who it is),
then the question is how to sell a second copy, as the first will
effectively take care of the entire planet.

Finally, the infrastructure for networked computing, which
includes ebooks, is being built for the consumer market for the
simple but impossible-to-get-around fact that that's where the
numbers are. Academic books will have to piggyback on consumer

When my local public library can make Steig Larson's latest
available to me as an ebook in a form that is not annoying to
use, then the knot will have been cut.

I don't know how to do this.  Do you?

Joe Esposito

On Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 2:45 PM,  <Toby.GREEN@oecd.org> wrote:
> Joe,
> I'm really puzzled by your final comments - "publishers are still
> grappling with how to make e-books available to libraries. Who
> will be the first to cut the knot?".
> We, along with many other publishers ranging from Elsevier and
> Springer to OUP, the World Bank and even World Tourism
> Organisation, have successfully grappled, cut the knot and have
> ebooks available for libraries, including all front list titles
> and many backlist too (in our case, we've got everything back to
> 1998 in e-book form, around 5,000 titles in all).
> Have I missed something?
> Toby Green
> Head of Publishing
> Public Affairs & Communications Directorate
> 75775 Paris Cedex 16
> toby.green@oecd.org
> www.oecdilibrary.org
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
> On Behalf Of Joseph Esposito
> Sent: 28 October, 2010 1:14 AM
> To: Liblicense-L@Lists. Yale. Edu
> Subject: Ebooks in libraries
> There is an excellent PowerPoint presentation by Jim Michalko of
> OCLC on ebooks in libraries. This requires a download:
> http://bit.ly/bk56if
> The theme is the switch from print to digital books. Unaddressed
> is "the great disconnect": though all the publishers cited here
> claim that they will shortly have ALL their books in digital
> form, publishers are still grappling with how to make ebooks
> available to libraries. Who will be the first to cut the knot?
> Joe Esposito