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Interactive eBooks may lower comprehension

A study described in the NY Times online finds that the interactive features of many ebooks may lower comprehension. The research was presented by Heather Ruetschlin Schugar, an associate professor at West Chester University, and her spouse, Jordan T. Schugar, an instructor at the same institution. The findings are based on small samples and the current research is preliminary. From the article:

“…flourishes can interrupt the fluency of children’s reading and cause their comprehension to fragment, the authors found. They can also lead children to spend less time reading over all: One study cited by Ms. Smith and the Schugars reported that children spent 43 percent of their e-book engagement time playing games embedded in the e-books rather than reading the text.”

Posted in Devices.

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Kobo combats competition bureau ruling

The National Post reports that Kobo is challenging the ruling from the Competition Bureau to end existing contracts with multinational publishers for agency pricing. From the article:

“Without a stay, Kobo will be irreparably harmed,” Kobo said in a memorandum filed March 10. “Its contracts with four of the largest e-book publishers in Canada will be terminated or fundamentally altered. Kobo — not the Consenting Publishers — will bear the financial losses arising from these changes.”

Posted in Publishers, Retail.

3M Cloud Library in Canada

3M Cloud Library became available to Canadian public libraries in January 2014 after launching in mid-2012 in the United States. Approximately 400 libraries in the US use 3M Cloud Library and 3M has commitments from ten Canadian public libraries to launch the service in 2014.

3M offers eBook and downloadable audiobook content from the five multinational publishers (Penguin RandomHouse, Harper Collins, Hachette, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster) as well as Canadian and other national and international publishers, with over 200,000 titles available from over 300 publishers. The publisher determines the license types, which are the same as those available through OverDrive, however, 3M negotiates transferability of licenses into their publisher contracts.

3M Cloud Library has partnered with Smashwords to provide their catalogue of 100,000 self-published titles to public libraries. This allows libraries to buy and lend self-published content, which has not been an option with other platforms.

3M also has an option for libraries to enable a “Buy and Donate” button that will appear on the web interface (but not in the apps). When a user clicks the Buy & Donate button it links to the title on the Kobo website. Any purchases result in a donation to the library.

ReadersFirst assigned a score of 84 to 3M Cloud Library for their support of ReadersFirst principles. API integration to support discovery, borrowing and account management is available and the Polaris, Innovative, and SirsiDynix integrated library systems and Bibliocommons discovery layer have integrated the 3M APIs.

Interested libraries can contact Doug Monson at 3M for more information.

Posted in Libraries, Publishers, Vendors.

Why Public Libraries Matter: Forbes

Another thought-provoking article by David Vinjamuri in Forbes discusses the challenges with eBooks and the proliferation of self-published content, proposing that libraries collaborate to create a trusted source for book reviews.

Posted in Libraries, Publishers, Vendors.

In Norway, Books published before 2000 go online

From an article in the Telegraph (UK), The National Library of Norway has made more than 135,000 books published before 2000 free online, and compensated publishers and authors on a per page basis. Digitizing has been done with the consent of the copyright holders. Access is available to internet users in Norway and foreign researchers, and content is in multiple languages.

Posted in Libraries, Publishers.

13% of Canadian seniors use smartphones; 12% have tablets

A report by Media Technology Monitor finds that just 13% of seniors over age 68 use a smartphone, compared to 63% of other Canadians surveyed. The surveys took place in the spring and fall of 2013. Other findings from the article:

  • 61% use a cellphone compared to 87% of other Canadians
  • 12% of seniors had a tablet, usually an iPad
  • 23% use social media

Posted in Devices, Retail.

Pew eBook research summary from NBC

If you don’t have time to read the full Pew report published yesterday, NBC News as published an excellent summary.

Posted in Devices.

New Pew study: eReading rises as device ownership jumps

Pew released a new eBook study today, finding that eBook reading has jumped with device ownership:

  • 50% of US adults now own either a tablet or an eBook reader
  • 28% of US adults read an eBook in 2013, up 5% from 2012
  • of adults under age 30, 47% read an eBook in 2013
  • 5% are reading only eBooks
  • tablet owners are more likely to be younger, have higher levels of education and higher household income; eReader owners are primarily white, 30-64 and are more likely to be women

Posted in Devices.

US Kids reading eBooks: new study from Digital Book World and PlayCollective

An October 2013 study found that 67% of children read eBooks, and 44-50% of children ages 2-13 use eReaders at least once every day (it seems likely this includes tablets). The full reportChart of Reading eBooks by Age in 2012 and 2013 is $295 and available as a downloadable PDF.

Posted in Devices, Retail.

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ReadersFirst guide to library eBook vendors released today

Michael Santangelo, Electronic Resources Coordinator at BookOps in New York, announced the release of the ReadersFirst guide to eBook vendors today. The new ReadersFirst Guide provides scores for major library eBook vendors on compliance with ReadersFirst principles. The guide is intended to give librarians the knowledge to be more effective eBook providers by helping them identify eBook products that provide a seamless experience for patrons and are responsive to the needs of libraries through APIs.

The ReadersFirst principles are:

  1. Search one comprehensive catalog to access all of a library’s offerings
  2. Place holds, check out and renew items, view availability, manage fines, and receive communications within the single source the library has determined will serve their users best (website, catalog, or other)
  3. Seamlessly enjoy a variety of e-content
  4. Download e-books that are compatible with all reading devices

ReadersFirst leadership group members will be taking part in the ALA Masters Series at this month’s ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, on Sunday, January 26 at 11:45. Following the conference, the group will reconvene to discuss updates and further eBook advocacy work.

Posted in Libraries, Vendors.