Ebooks in European public Libraries

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Presentation delivered at Internet Librarian 2014 about the current state of e-lending in UK and other European public library systems.


  • 1. Helen LeechSurrey Library Service, andShelf Free (www.shelffree.org.uk)@helenleech

2. Half of all adults now own a smartphone (Ofcom2013)One in four households now has a tablet (Ofcom2013)We think seven out of ten Surrey residents has adevice on which they can e-readPwC think the ebook market is going to overtake theprint market by 2017Charlie Redmayne of HarperCollins thinks the bookmarkets going to settle at 50% digital (Telegraph)Around a fifth of library authorities in the UK are stillNOT offering e-booksSurrey spends 2.6% of its bookfund on e-books 3. Overdrive, Askews and Public Library Online (with WFHowes, Bolinda and Peters just entering the market)Popular fiction and non-fiction not e-audioOne user, one loanEpub and pdfDigital Rights Management software is normallyAdobe Digital Editions which means no downloading on librarycomputersNo integration with the catalogue. Third parties only 4. Overdrive arrives in the UK around 2009Surrey libraries ebook collection launches in2010 with a hugely successful campaigntargetting commutersAnybody, anywhereOverdrives controversial relationship withAmazonPenguin, Random House withdraw fromOverdriveBeginning of the Dark Age of e-lending 5. Rise of the Society of Chief Librariansdigital / ebook groupDiscussions with the PublishersAssociationThe Reading Agencys digital marketinginitiativeShelf Free (www.shelffree.org.uk) 6. All Party Parliamentary Group October 2012Random House release backstock November 2013Sieghart Review April 2013Sieghart pilots October 2013 7. A key recommendation was that a series ofpilots be constructed to test remoteelending, based on one user, one copy andthat copy would deteriorate after an agreednumber of loans. The pilots are intended toprovide publishers, authors, agents andlibraries with an evidence base to assesswhat happens to lending and purchasingbehaviour in those areas.(Society of Chief Librarians and the Publishers AssociationInvitation To Tender, September 2013) 8. 1. Libraries dont have the right to lend e-books. Seehttp://shelffree.org.uk/2014/03/12/the-right-to-e-read/2. Authors get paid (via Public Lending Right) when their physicalbook is borrowed from a public library, but not if its an e-book. Thelegislation hasnt kept up.3. You cant borrow library books on a Kindle.4. Library e-books and e-audiobooks are almost impossible forpeople with serious sight impairments to use. The combination ofregistration issues and the Digital Rights Management (DRM)software makes them almost unusable.5. You cant borrow an e-book in a library (unless you bring yourown device, and the library offers wi-fi. DRM means you cant uselibrary computers). 9. 6. Libraries cant host and loan e-books themselves. They dont have thetechnology. Third-party companies do it for them.7. Libraries cant buy and own e-books, which are licensed. If a library servicechanges supplier, it loses the stock it has paid for.8. Roughly 85% of popular e-books are not available to public libraries.Publishers are anxious about how e-loans will affect their sales, and theresno legal requirement for them to sell to libraries.9. Many library services help people to get started with e-books. They runpublic workshops, offer training and advice, and take e-readers and tablets tohousebound users.10. Public libraries in the UK spend around 78m per year on books, andaround 2m on e-books.- See more at: http://www.futurebook.net/content/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-ebooks-and-uk-public-libraries-0#sthash.YsP90Zsh.dpuf 10. The rise of self-publishingPatron Driven AcquisitionThe ethics of using our customer dataHow much control we want over therelationship with publishersPublic Lending Right 11. The importance of language leading to pricesettingLibrary services are not necessarily statutory or freeCopyright legislation EU Copyright Directive2001 and the exhaustion doctrineVAT situation 12. Germany publishes about 82 000 books each year (US=292k,UK=149k)One in four Germans own a tabletBook market is in turmoil, ebooks rising slightlyAmazon controls about 45% of ebook sales (launched in Oct2012)Divibib is main library supplierM-licence, L-licence, XL-licenceSome problems: windowing, Holtzbrinck group dont sell topublic libraries, one publisher (Beck) asking triple the retailprice620 out of 2100 libraries lend ebooks (2012 figures) 13. France publishes about 42 000 books each year(US=292k, UK=149k)One in ten people own a tabletBook market is in turmoilStrong support for the book as cultural artifact andresistance to ebooks (but starting to shift). The statesets prices and VAT.Biblioaccess is the largest supplier to librariesLow takeup, concerns about high prices, limits onconcurrent access, some publishers preventing remoteaccess, lack of interoperabilityCouperin.org and French Ministry of Culture arefocussing on the issues 14. Publishes around 4ooo books per year The creation of Elib in 2000 opened up e-lending Patrons chose the stock. By 2013 e-loanswere rocketing, but the system was flawed.Librarians were unable to control costs, andpublishers were worried about eroded sales The practice of windowing by publishers hasled to the launch of a protest campaign by theSwedish Library Association Now libraries can choose between an accessmodel and a licence model = bettermanagement of costs. 15. Sweden: Atingo a relationship between the Publit publishing serviceand Axiell . = Self published materials and pay-per-loanFrance: Library / bookshop partnerships via Pret Numerique enBibliotheque, at Montpellier, Grenoble and AulnaysousBoisSweden (again): Stockholm Central Library digitising Ordfrontsbackstock in return for lending rightsCzech Republic: Ebooks in all Libraries libraries as part of digitisationprocess, providing statistics about useNetherlands: Qinqo retail cards for ebooks 16. NAPLE: National Authorities on Public Libraries inEurope. Website at http://naple.mcu.es/. Blogat http://napleblog.wordpress.com/.The Global Ebook Report by Rudiger Wischenbart,available at http://www.wischenbart.com/EBLIDAs campaign The Right to E-Read:http://www.eblida.org/e-read/home-campaign/.(EBLIDA is the European Bureau of Library,Information and Documentation Associations.) 17. Helen LeechHelen.leech@surreycc.gov.ukShelffree.org.uk