January 20, 2015

DBW 2015: Amazon, Publishers Look to Ebook Subscription Services as Discovery Platform

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Officials at Amazon believe subscription-based ebook consumption is an inevitability, and will continue to invest in and build the company’s Kindle Unlimited service as part of an effort to stay ahead of the emerging trend, Russ Grandinetti, senior VP, Kindle, at Amazon explained during a candid general session interview on January 14 at the Digital Book World Conference and Expo 2015. In a separate panel, publishers expressed enthusiasm for Oyster and Scribd as discovery platforms.

OverDrive: Ebook Checkouts Up 33 Percent

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Public and school libraries that are part of OverDrive’s global network circulated 137 million ebooks, digital audiobooks, and other digital media in 2014—a 33 percent increase compared with 2013, according to statistics released by the company. Ebook circulation rose 32 percent, to 105 million, while digital audiobook circulation grew 38 percent, to 32 million. The OverDrive network also recorded 401 million visits to public library and school library websites powered by OverDrive, a 77 percent increase.

Vermont Libraries Benefit from Completion of FiberConnect Project

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The Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) and Sovernet Communications last month announced the completion of the Vermont FiberConnect Project, bringing gigabit Internet service to 43 of the state’s libraries in the mostly rural counties of Bennington, Caledonia, Orange, Rutland, Washington, Windham, and Windsor via a 900-mile network of fiber optic cable. Previously, most of these libraries relied on residential cable broadband service.

Meet the Tabletarians | Mobile Services

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In March 2011, the Boise Public Library (BPL), ID, used $3,300 in Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant funding to purchase four iPad 2 tablets and all of the trimmings. As it turned out, BPL may have been a couple of years ahead of its time. This conversation is now coming full circle. Technological advances continue to make tablets lighter, faster, and more affordable. Vendors have recently launched interfaces that make it possible to use a staff tablet to perform tasks ranging from weeding books to signing up new cardholders. Also, applying lessons learned about these devices during the past five years, many libraries are rebooting or enhancing the way tablets are integrated into roving reference, off-site programs, and other workflows.

ER&L Celebrates A Decade, Launches “Designing for Digital” Event

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Electronic Resources & Libraries (ER&L) has announced “Designing for Digital,” a two-day user experience (UX) conference on February 25 and 26, immediately following the 2015 annual ER&L conference at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin, TX, held February 22–25. The new event builds on the success of the full UX Day launched last year at ER&L 2014, according to conference officials.

“Beacon” Technology Deployed by Two Library App Makers

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Library app developers Capira Technologies and BluuBeam have separately announced the launch of micro location information services that will enable libraries to send highly targeted, location-relevant messages to Bluetooth-enabled Android and iOS smartphones.

As App Gains Traction, Queens Library Considers Vending to Other Libraries

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The initial success of the new free app developed by Queens Library has led QL to consider adopting a library-as-developer role, selling customized versions of the app to other libraries to support this and other in-house development projects.

Survey: Library Ebook Growth Slowing but Still Substantial

Survey: Library Ebook Growth Slowing but Still Substantial

Ninety-five percent of public libraries currently offer ebooks to patrons, up from 72 percent in 2010, and 89 percent in both 2012 and 2013. However, money remains the biggest impediment for libraries looking to add ebooks or expand collections, according to Library Journal’s fifth annual Ebook Usage in U.S. Public Libraries report, sponsored by Freading.

OverDrive API Usage Indicates Growth of Ebook Checkouts via OPAC

OverDrive API Usage Indicates Growth of Ebook Checkouts via OPAC

OverDrive is currently processing 350 million API server calls per month, and has supported 1.3 million checkouts via APIs to date in 2014, according to internal data given to LJ. API use has also risen steadily each quarter, with almost 233,000 checkouts during the first three months of the year, more than 529,000 in Q2, an estimated 692,000 in Q3, and a projection of at least 1 million during the final three months of the year.

Lynda.com to Offer At-Home Access for Library Users

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Lynda.com this month has soft launched lyndaLibrary, a subscription model for libraries that offers patrons unlimited offsite access to the company’s complete collection of online training resources.