The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), the trade and standards organization responsible for the EPUB standard for ebooks, on October 14 asked members to begin voting on a proposed merger with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the international organization that oversees standards for the web. Voting is currently scheduled to continue through November 4, but on October 19, an online petition was launched demanding that the voting stop.
The University of Michigan Library (UM) has launched Deep Blue Data, an open repository for sharing and archiving large datasets generated by UM researchers. Soft launched in February and officially announced in September, Deep Blue Data complements the university’s long-running institutional repository, Deep Blue, and is part of a suite of research data services that the library has been developing for UM faculty and students.
Academic database and streaming media publisher Alexander Street is beta testing the Open Music Library (OML), a new online resource that will eschew database paywalls, enabling non-subscribers to discover and use high-quality open access and public domain content from contributors such as the Library of Congress (LC) and the British Library (BL), while offering subscribers a seamless experience discovering and using free and for-fee content together.
The trend of circulating “stuff” other than books and DVDs is not new, but a few libraries have begun to embrace it more fully. For example, the “Library of Things” at Hillsboro Public Library, OR—inspired partly by tool libraries like Berkeley’s and the Library of Things at Sacramento Public Library, CA—offers patrons access to musical instruments, tools such as infrared thermometers and thermal leak detectors, gold panning kits, bakeware and kitchen appliances, karaoke machines, and even commercial-grade popcorn and cotton candy machines.
Academic libraries continue to add to their ebook collections, but while ebooks are becoming the preferred format for reference materials, many students still prefer to read and study monographs and textbooks in print, according to “Ebook Usage in U.S. Academic Libraries 2016,” a survey conducted by Library Journal and sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning.
At the request of Sno-Isle Libraries, WA, OverDrive has developed a demand-driven acquisition (DDA) model for popular ebooks, enabling patrons to discover thousands of titles for which the library has not yet purchased a license. When a user checks out one of these titles, Sno-Isle is invoiced, and the ebook is added to the library’s collection in a transaction that appears seamless to the patron.