Skip to content

New study on ereader vs print comprehension

From the Guardian on August 19: “A new study which found that readers using a Kindle were “significantly” worse than paperback readers at recalling when events occurred in a mystery story is part of major new Europe-wide research looking at the impact of digitisation on the reading experience.

The study, presented in Italy at a conference last month and set to be published as a paper, gave 50 readers the same short story by Elizabeth George to read. Half read the 28-page story on a Kindle, and half in a paperback, with readers then tested on aspects of the story including objects, characters and settings.”

Posted in Devices.

Tagged with .

Early report from pilot shows libraries drive sales

A UK library eBook pilot showed that of 464 books loaned through the public libraries participating, patrons bought 20 books. The pilot launched in March 2014 and is planned for one year.

Posted in Libraries, Publishers, Retail.

eBook vs. Paper: a thoughtful discussion

Financial Times recently posted an interesting discussion of the varying research on whether reading on paper or screen is better, identifying why it’s still too early to make this judgment.

Posted in Devices.

Tagged with .

eBooks in Canada: The Next Chapter — webinar Tuesday, July 8

Join Christina de Castell from Vancouver Public Library for a one-hour webinar “E-books in Canada: The Next Chapter” about eBooks in public libraries on Tuesday, July 8 at 12pm Eastern/9am Pacific, offered by the Education Institute.

Hear the latest news on the e-book advocacy front and get up-to-date on this fast moving area of public library collections. Topics covered will include research from the publishing industry, consumer trends, and an overview of the e-book products entering the Canadian library market, including the latest news from ALA.

Key benefits:
- Get caught up on research and developments in the Canadian and international e-book industry
- Find out how children and teens are using e-books
- Learn about new trends and products coming to market

Christina de Castell is Director, Resources & Technology at Vancouver Public Library, where she is responsible for oversight of service and strategy for technology, collection development, digital services and technical services. A member of the CULC eBook Task Force since its inception in 2010, IFLA’s eLending Working Group, and the leadership group of ReadersFirst, Christina is a regular speaker on e-book and technology topics.

Register online via the Education Institute.

Posted in Libraries.

New OverDrive features

OverDrive announced a number of new features at the ALA Conference, including:

  • new licensing models including always available on more titles and cost-per-checkout for patron driven acquisition, initially on movie content
  • catalogues of graphic novels, manga and new children’s ebooks and picturebooks in EPUB3 with fixed layout
  • the ability to migrate titles from Advantage libraries to consortia when they’re no longer as popular
  • audio narration features
  • the elimination of the Adobe activation step in August
  • new content in EPUB3 format in Chinese, Korean, Japanese and others, as well as interfaces in these languages

The above features and new streaming movie content will be available in Canada. So far, the Simon & Schuster content is not available in Canada. New content providers that are available in Canada include Penguin Canada, Dorling Kindersley, Wimpy Kid, and Warner Brothers.

OverDrive also presented interesting new promotional options to integrate excerpts from books into websites, including a widget so libraries can do this themselves.

Posted in Libraries, Vendors.

Digital sales outstrip bricks & mortar in US

The reports that unit sales online are now ahead of sales from bookstores and other physical locations. The study from the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group also found that trade paperbacks remain the number one trade format from traditional publishers. The report does not discuss the impact of self-published content, which would not be included in the study.

Posted in Publishers, Retail.

Will e-readers disappear? Nook spins off from Barnes & Noble.

Barnes & Noble has announced that it is spinning off its Nook division to a separate company. New York Magazine reflects on the future of reading on phones and tablets with constant distractions and alternative choices, and predicts the likely end of dedicated e-readers. They include the following:

“”E-readers are looking like the next iPod,” Mashable writes today, noting that smartphones and tablets with e-reader apps are poised to cannibalize sales of dedicated e-readers in the same way that the iPhone – which had all the capabilities of an iPod, plus calling and texting and tons of other apps – killed its single-feature predecessor.”

Posted in Devices, Publishers.

New interface for Gale eBooks

Gale eBook collections now have a new, print-style look for online reading, announced on their blog last week. The view displays as PDF, but the full searching and other features of a research database are still available.

Posted in Publishers, Vendors.

HathiTrust decision allows digitizing for search and accessibility

From the CBC story:
“The library lets the general public search for particular terms but shows only page numbers where the term is found, unless the copyright owner has authorized more extensive information.

It also permits anyone who is able to prove that he or she cannot read printed material to access full books in alternative forms, such as through software that converts text into spoken words or that magnifies text.”

Posted in Libraries, Publishers, Vendors.

OverDrive partners with Smashwords for self-published content

Announced on, digital self-publishing site Smashwords has partnered with Overdrive to make 200,000 ebooks by Smashwords authors available for lending.

The announcement notes: “Smashwords is not a stranger to libraries: It already has deals with distributors Baker & Taylor Axis 360 and 3M Cloud Library, as well as with regional library systems like Colorado’s Douglas County.”

Some curated lists will be available: “Libraries will soon have the option…to purchase the complete catalog of the top 100, 500 or 1,000 bestselling Smashwords authors. Smashwords will also produce curated buy-lists by genre, such as the top 1,000 bestselling Smashwords romance titles, or the top 1,000 bestselling mysteries and thrillers.”

OverDrive has confirmed that the content will be available to Canadian libraries later this week. The OverDrive press release is available from

Posted in Libraries, Publishers, Vendors.