Gadgets in the Library Part 2

ALA TechSource workshop with Jason Griffey | Gadgets in the Library: eBooks  (part 2) | April 20, 2011 (listening to the archive)

Latest eReader news:

Links to Resources Mentioned:

“Why was so much time spent on Operating systems in the last webinar?” – If you understand Operating Systems, you don’t need to know about individual gadgets to manage those in your library.  If you understand iOS v. Android, then the device type is less important.

eReaders and More (after 20 minutes of wrap up from the last webinar…)

  • eReader based on an eInk display (typically) |  black and white, but color is in development (at Pixel Qi).  High contrast | Reflective technology (not back-lit LCD) – easier to read for some people | VERY power-friendly
  • eInk screens are getting less expensive to produce
  • Types of devices – CES 2009 > many dozens, but most never came to market
    • Kindle – most popular, attached to largest eBook store, easy-to-use ‘800 pound Gorilla’, best for linear reading (not jumping around within a text, like Reference) – new model includes ad banners, but costs $25 less ($114)
    • nook – Barnes and Noble | 2nd largest | hybrid eInk/LCD touchscreen | Supports OverDrive .epub eBooks (until April 20, it was the only one that supported library eBooks)
    • Kobo – Canadian, inexpensive ($100) | not attached to a big eBook store | works great for loading local or public domain content | Formerly attached to Borders book store
    • Sony Readers – first eInk reader | Touch, Daily, Pocket | more expensive | attached to Sony book store (not a comparable store to and
  • Why has Kindle won?
    • Amazing Amazon store behind them – content, content, content to buy
    • Ubiquitous – Amazon kindle apps for every platform available – purchase a Kindle book and read it invisibly on PC, phone AND Kindle device.
    • Invisibility – whispersync – don’t have to do anything to sync anything manually.
    • Kindle Apps for Macs, Windows, iPad/touch/phone, Android tablet/phone/handheld
    • Announcement that OverDrive will work with Kindles is HUGE for libraries (see articles above)
  • eBook files
    • Text (txt) files – universal, no formatting, raw text – all eReaders let you display .txt
    • PDF – Retains formatting, no flexibility, portable document format, open standard now (was Adobe), image container – eReaders display PDF (some better than others b/c of screen size)
    • mobi – old eBook specific file type, supported by Kindle, simple XHTML, designed for eBooks means the display includes hyphenation, formatting for chapters and headers, chapter hyperlinks – more control over how the eBook is presented
    • azw – version of mobi used by Amazon for the Kindle
    • ePub – electronic publication, new standard, every eReader except Amazon uses this for their format
  • File Protection
    • File type (.epub) + Digital Rights Management (DRM) = Lock on the file that protects against piracy, sharing of files, etc.
      DRM is the password to open the eBook file.
    • Adobe DRM – most common (OverDrive uses Adobe Digital Editions and your Adobe Digital ID) =
      Adobe is one Key to Open the eBook file
    • Apple Fairplay form iTunes – Apple iBooks read ePub files, unless they have Adobe DRM, then it’s not readable.  Apple will open ePub files with Apple Fairplay DRM.
    • Amazon DRM
    • Matrix of possibilities – see Resources Mentioned section above for wikipedia article comparing eBook formats
    • Which devices open and read which files with which DRM? That’s the question…
  • Questions
    • Accessibility and eReaders: Generally less friendly than tablets, but generally less powerful and able to make interface tweaks.  Kindle allows for text size changes, text-to-speech experimental feature (controlled by publisher)
  • Licenses
    • Library buys a Kindle, buy a book from with Library account – can you circulate the device to your patron?  Seek legal council…and look at the Kindle’s license.
    • Licenses trump copyright.
    • Use of Digital Content clause and Limitations clause – “you may not sell, rent, lease, distribute…to any third party” + “solely for your personal, non-commmercial use” = pushing to loan this.
    • Not allowed to tamper with protections of the Kindle or Software – can’t remove the DRM legally.
    • Software provides Amazon data including memory, up-time, log files, and signal strength – Libraries have issues with how Kindle ‘talks to the Mother Ship.’ Tracks what is being read.
    • Kindle may modify, suspend, or discontinue the Service at any time – without your say.
    • Nook license reads the same.
    • Google books – says “personal, non-commercial use” and that you can’t sell, rent, lease, distribute…”
    • Library Vendors – what licenses do they use?
      • Jason couldn’t find any (on the Web, at least)
  • What University of Tenn – Chattanooga did…
    • Legal council at the University reviewed proposal to circulate Kindles attached to an account, so patrons can buy books.  Legal not comfortable with that situation.
    • Libraries in the US are lending Kindles – licenses ‘seem to say you are not allowed to do that.’ – so, the question is – how comfortable are you defending yourself in front of a judge?
    • Can circulate Kindles (physical object), the question is if you can circulate the eBooks that are on it!
    • Asked English professors for book lists – most Intro to Lit classes use Classics (in public domain) | Shakespeare | Medieval literature — loaded Kindles with Public Domain books — Circulate to students without license issues!
    • Circulate one device with 250 “classics of Western Literature” to students!
    • Load iPod touches with classics, as well.
  • Cataloging
    • Find objects by title/author – ex. ‘Jane Eyre’ on a shelf and on a Kindle
    • Minimize future edits / updates based on future classes or curriculum changes
    • Obvious in the catalog – number of Readers owned
    • Created a Generic Bib entry for “eReader” and added titles/author (700 subfields) for Content on the books (indexed, searchable) – Items added were the individual eReaders (kindle 1, Kindle 2, Kindle 3) – simple, alternate search terms, 700 $a/$t, 245:: Electronic book reader.
    • Screencast from their catalog:
  • Vendors, sites and tools
    • OverDrive – most popular
    • NetLibrary
    • eBook Library (EBL)
    • SpringerLink
    • MyiLibrary (Ingram)
    • feedbooks – Thousands of well-formated public domain books (epub, mobi, html, pdf – many versions) – funny – guess what the most ‘popular public domain book’ was? Look below…
    • Project Gutenberg – Providing free eBooks for 15+ years
    • Calibre – tool – downloadable software (free) converts one file type to another.  If you can only find mobi, but need ePub – calibre will convert it.  Allows you to break DRM with a plug in (hackery).
  • Summary & Conclusions:
    • License trumps fair use and copyright – carefully read licenses | ‘uncharted territory’
    • Library vendors are harder to use than Amazon – we’ll see if OverDrive news improves usability
    • Amazon close to being able to provide an ad-supported Kindle – means you can have a ‘free’ Kindle!  How will that impact libraries?

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