Professional Development

Charleston Conference 2015 (Lauren)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 4:03 pm

Contents: Alma from Ex Libris, take care in using downloads as a measure part 2, EPUB 3, NISO ODI (do we need to tweak Summon?), DPLA working on e-books, the Charlotte Initiative, Overdrive, ORCID, and the rising cost of e-book short-term loans with a DDA program part 2

My focus was networking to hear nitty gritty details from the field and to follow-up on items from last year! Charleston is a very good conference for informative chats in hallways. I learned about a number of retirements!

Alma – was the library service platform that I heard mentioned frequently again, but often in the context of post-migration this year. I asked anyone I met using Alma to tell me about their headaches. Members of the Orbis-Cascade consortium – early adopters of Alma – who spoke of undeveloped or underdeveloped aspects of the system. I would expect that in the case of early adopters. Other librarians who have come on board more recently spoke of issues of the type that can come with any system change and at least one reported that things are better now compared to the experiences of early adopters. Thank goodness for those who go before us! I also heard that Alma has had some downtime, something we know that OCLC’s WMS experienced to the point that CEO Skip Pritchard recently blast-emailed an apology. I’m beginning to wonder if that is a problem with these newer library service platforms. I sure hope that by the time we’re seriously looking at a new system, downtime is a thing of the past!

Carol Tenopir – Slides are online now from last year’s “To Boldly Go Beyond Downloads” (or download the text version from here). Last year Tenopir reported from research with focus groups and interviews that downloads were on the decline and “be careful about using it as a measure.” The interesting follow-up this year (and I had to sit on the floor in an over-full room) was that as faculty responded in the survey or interviews, they realized that sharing PDFs might be illegal, but they are focused on the goal of furthering their research, so they will do it anyway and they think of themselves as just “little fish.” Sharing the article instead of downloading at the source reduces the download count statistics, adding to why the publishers and librarians cannot totally rely upon these measures.

EPUB 3 is citable, is good for helping those with visual challenges, and could be pervasive if people would embrace it. I found a webpage that seems to cover much of what was said: http://epubzone.org/epub-3-overview/understanding-epub-3 The speakers in this session recommended training first year students to know how to download EPUB instead of PDF and to help faculty see the advantages. I’m mindful of the Betamax vs. VHS situation and how differently HD DVD vs. Blu-ray played out more recently, so the crystal ball seems a bit murky on this one.

I heard IEEE, Sage, and Gale report on participation in NISO Open Discovery Initiative (ODI). I was thunderstruck when I heard the speaker for IEEE say that the process helped them realize that 3000 of 6000 standards had not been submitted for indexing and that they’ve been able to rectify that. Gale’s speaker said that the internal audit helped them to think about what is next. An action item for libraries is to ask publishers if they have conformance statements. These publishers also learned that the configuration that a library implements in a discovery service can inhibit discovery and Gale is developing widgets for optimization. Guides should be posted to the NISO website in 2016.

Who knew DPLA is working on e-books? I didn’t! October Ivins, working with the Charlotte Initiative, was excited to learn about this. Our very own NC Home Grown eBooks (Bill Kane and I talked with Tim Rogers as he was shaping that project) was covered at this session by Jill Morris, formerly of NC LIVE (now at Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc.).

Overdrive has long focused on e-books for public libraries. The model is based on check-outs, meaning one user at a time, unless you buy multiple copies. Now Overdrive is moving into the academic market and they have developed some classroom set discounts and offer simultaneous use.

I heard a librarian from Texas talking about Elsevier’s Pure to manage the institution’s research and she said they realized they needed a campuswide implementation of ORCID, which provides numerical unique identification of researchers.

While there was talk about the death of the short-term loan (STL), there was also talk about changes to the pricing model for it. I’m sure other attendees from ZSR will mention e-book short term loans since many of us were at one session dedicated to the topic. For background on the problem, I’ll refer you again to my post from last year.

 

 

 

 

 

Charleston Conference 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014 3:09 pm

Contents: 1. short tidbits (e.g. Alma from Ex Libris, “screen reading” effects, take care in using downloads as a measure, shared print storage) and 2. the rising cost of e-book short-term loans with a DDA program

1. the short bits

Alma – was the commercial ILS that I heard mentioned repeatedly, often in the context of migrations. At a poster session, I spoke with a librarian from the University of Tennessee Libraries about their migrating order records to Alma (from Aleph) and the next day I spoke with a librarian from another state about migration to Alma. I came away with the impression that both were satisfied so far. I heard other librarians mention Alma as the ILS of interest or having recently selected it.

Steve Shadle – “How Libraries Use Publisher Metadata” Steve worked with Springer on metadata and realized other publishers could use the same kind of understanding. Publishers at the presentation were engaged and asking questions. (I say, “hooray!”)

Carol Tenopir – “To Boldly Go Beyond Downloads” reported from research with focus groups and interviews that downloads are on the decline and “be careful about using it as a measure.” The survey just went out, so keep an eye out for later reports from that part of the research.

David Durant (ECU) and Tony Horava (University of Ottawa) - “Future of Reading and Academic Library” The presenters referenced Jakob Neilson’s F shaped pattern (of eye tracking) and explained linear and tabular reading and how they affect learning. Their research includes the differences between “screen reading” and reading from print. Look for their article in the January 2015 issue of Portal.

Emory and Georgia Tech’s shared print repository, Emtech, was helped along by support from the presidents at both universities and the prior establishment of a 501-3c to support other initiatives. (I asked because I had wondered how a private/public partnership for something long-term like this could work.) They determined that they had only 17% overlap in collections and each library is putting 1 million volumes into the shared facility — serials from Tech and monographs from Emory. They are storing microforms there; with the Atlanta climate, a cooler will have to be used when pulling those from facility, so that they gradually warm up from the 50 degrees without moisture forming on them. It will be one unified collection and they are contemplating whether they will need a separate OCLC holding symbol. This will be Harvard style — with static, not mobile, shelving.

Jeff already reported on plenaries and one session that he and I both attended,plus DDA with Kanopy streaming video, and included some lovely photos.

 

2. increasing cost of short-term loans (STLs):

Summary: All parties, publishers, librarians and aggregators are adopting a “let’s work together” attitude and showing understanding that workable pricing models are yet to be figured out with e-books because monographs are different from journals; everyone is inclined towards keeping DDA rather than eliminating it. The consortia named below who facilitated a lively lunch all pulled DDA records from their catalogs but I learned in a sidebar conversation that a large consortium removed only the EBL DDA records for the same titles in ebrary Academic Complete (generally considered to be primarily a backlist) and made no other changes. We’re implementing this change, literally as I’m writing this, since we just got the subscription product through NC LIVE. (See also Carol’s report.)

Details on STLS: Following up on this summer’s announcement that a number of publishers were raising the prices of STLs, I asked Derrik to do some analysis of our own experience prior to the conference. The bottom line on his analysis is that the rise in cost is affecting our bottom line noticeably. I managed to get to a lively lunch session with a mix of publishers, librarians, and aggregators in the audience. Facilitators included a representative from: Connecticut-Trinity-Wesleyan (CTW Consortium); Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Consortium; Tri-College Consortium (Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, Haverford); The Five Colleges Consortium (Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst) The lively lunch facilitators asked specific questions and my take-aways were:

  • reaffirmation that sales of books (whatever format) are dropping and the volume of STLs isn’t rising to meet the cost of publishing them (not from conference, but see this explanation of the cost of publishing an e-book)
  • inconclusive discussion on setting an optimal dollar amount or percentage of list price (I went to the mic and commented that setting a percentage was a questionable strategy with some publishers now raising the list price for electronic to be more than print; note that the e-book was not always, but often, close to hardcover price until recently)
  • in general an embargo was undesirable from all perspectives
  • differentiated pricing on frontlist versus backlist could be considered (I wonder if this wouldn’t add undesirable complexity and there might be a better solution)

Also on the STL crisis topic, Carol and I both were at a session titled, Sustainability not Profitability: the Future of Scholarly Monographs and STL.” Carol’s coverage, also linked above, differs slightly from mine (and is brief).

  • Barbara Kawecki from YBP gave the landscape of library activity to start the session: from 1998 to now there has been a dramatic decline in print purchasing. A loss of 50,000 units to a publisher is significant. YBP has seen a dramatic increase in records sent for DDA but only tiny amount is purchased and a large percentage of spending is on STL.
  • Rebecca Seger of Oxford University Press then gave an overview of the cost of monograph publishing and stated that the real problem is shrinking monograph budget (which I heard multiple times at the conference). She explained that with journals publishers can estimate revenue because of subscriptions, but publishers have used the print approval plans of libraries historically to estimate revenue for monographs. Each title might sell 400-700 “units” for the lifetime. Publishers can’t sell that amount now and can’t estimate revenue based on approval plans anymore because of all the changes libraries are making relative to DDA/STL. It costs about $10,000 to publish a monograph and printing is only about a third of that cost (or more for a smaller publisher).
  • Lisa Nachtigall from Wiley also described the impact of DDA/STL:

2009 to now: 92% print to 77% print
3rd party sales of e big increase: now 7%
32% less revenue from top 100 titles from 2009 to now; 28% less if take out the top 5 performers
70% of all etransactions from DDA/STL
Only 32% of DDA records went to transaction and 82% of that are STLs
86% less revenue on the e

Lisa is in the editorial part of Wiley and says that because of all of this Wiley is exiting Physics altogether, getting out of higher level research areas and will focus on textbooks. She noted that faculty will not able to disseminate their research in the same ways.

  • Michael Levine-Clark (a frequent speaker on e-books and Associate Dean for Scholarly Communication and Collections Services at the University of Denver) counseled the audience for librarians and publishers to work together on this problem, which was also the attitude at the lively lunch I described above. He said he was willing to pay more for the titles that get used. Various pricing models are needed together right now. He is concerned about the level of risk — future access to the titles not purchased — but he noted that the budget doesn’t allow him to buy all of those titles now anyway. He had a lot of analytical graphs in his presentation, which may be found near the end of the entire presentation. He wondered about having a fee for DDA service to publishers and YBP as part of the solution (but several audience members noted that all libraries already pay a small fee to YBP for the service of managing the bibliographic records). He concluded that we need to pony up to keep all books available for long term. During Q&A with the audience, it came up that if part of the change to using STL includes charges for browses, then it may not work. There was agreement from the audience that we have to work with publishers to keep DDA. The concept of an annual fee, “pay to play,” was raised again.

This was a particularly good conference in terms of content and consistently nice weather.

ALA Annual 2014 Las Vegas – Lauren

Thursday, July 3, 2014 4:08 pm

Three segments to my post: 1) Linked Data and Semantic Web, 2) Introverts at Work, and 3) Vendors and Books and Video — read just the part that interests you!

1. Linked Data and Semantic Web (or, Advances in Search and Discovery)

Steve Kelley sparked my interest in the Semantic Web and Linked Data with reports after conferences over the past few years. Now that I’ve been appointed to the joint ALCTS/LITA Metadata Standards Committee and attended a meeting at this conference, I’ve learned more:

Google Hummingbird is a recent update to how Google searching functions, utilizing all the words in the query to provide more meaningful results instead of just word matches.

Catalogers and Tech Team take note! Work is really happening now with Linked Data. In Jason Clark’s presentation,”Schema.org in Libraries,” see the slide with links to work being done at NCSU and Duke (p. 28 of the posted PDF version).

I’m looking forward to working with Erik Mitchell and other Metadata Standards Committee members in the coming year.

2. Introverts at Work!

The current culture of working in meetings (such as brainstorming) and reaching quick decisions in groups or teams is geared towards extroverts while about 50% of the population are introverts. Introverts can be most productive and provide great solutions when given adequate time for reflection. (Extrovert and introvert were defined in the Jung and MBTI sense of energy gain/drain.) So says Jennifer Kahnweiler, the speaker for the ALCTS President’s Program and author of Quiet Influence. Another book discussing the same topic is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Many ZSRians attended this session!

3.Vendors and Books and Video

I spent a lot of time talking with vendors. Most notable was the meeting that Derrik, Jeff, and I attended with some of the publishers that are raising DDA short term loan prices. This will affect our budget, but our plan is to watch it for a bit, to develop our knowledge and determine appropriate action. It was helpful to learn more from the publishers. Some publishers are able to switch to print on demand, while others cannot because traditional print runs are cheaper than print on demand and their customers still want print. Print-driven publishers have to come up with a sustainable model to cover all of the costs, so they are experimenting with DDA pricing. DDA overall is still an experiment for publishers, while librarians already have come to think of it as being a stable and welcome method of providing resources.

Derrik and I also started conversing with Proquest about how we will manage our existing DDA program in regards to the addition of ebrary Academic Complete to NC LIVE.

“The combined bookshops of Aux Amateurs de Livres and Touzot Librarie Internationale will be called Amalivre effective July 1, 2014.”

Regarding video, Mary Beth, Jeff, Derrik and I attended a presentation by two Australian librarians from different large universities (QUT and La Trobe, with FTE in tens of thousands). They reported on their shift to streaming video with Kanopy and here are a few bullets:

  • Among drivers for change were the flipped classroom and mobile use
  • 60% of the DVD collection had less than 5 views while streaming video titles licensed through Kanopy averaged over 50 views
  • 23% and 15% (two universities) of DVDs have never been viewed once
  • 1.7 and 1.8 (two universities) times is the true cost of DVD ownership
  • They have a keyboard accessibility arrangement for the visually impaired
  • Usage is growing for PDA and non-PDA titles in Kanopy [reminds us of our experience with e-books]
  • Discovery of the streaming videos came largely through faculty embedding videos in the CMS
  • Other discovery is not good for video, so they had Proquest add a radio button option for video to Summon to help promote discovery [can we do this?]
  • They concluded that because of greater use,online video is the greater value for the money spent

 

Lauren C. at ALA Annual 2011, New Orleans

Thursday, June 30, 2011 12:35 pm

Like Lauren P., most of my hours in New Orleans were spent on responsibilities as an elected representative: Chair of Acquisitions Section (AS) in ALCTS.

I attended 2 programs organized by committees of AS on Saturday morning, had a quick Aramark lunch in the convention center, ran by the Serials Solutions booth to check with Mary Miller about finalizing a contract for the Summon discovery service, then spent the rest of the afternoon in the ALCTS Board meeting. Monday was very similar, right down to the fast Aramark lunch. Sunday was my big day though: I ran the AS Executive Committee meeting, pinch-hit on a panel discussion about print-on-demand after lunch, and that evening, handed a leadership award to Eleanor Cook and a certificate of appreciation to Dr. Knut Dorn.

About a week ago I was asked to substitute for librarians who had to pull out of the panel discussion, so I was prepared, but having never served on a panel outside of my own library, I was really nervous! It helped that there were only about a dozen people who attended. Also Lynn gave me good advice — to think of how calmly and slowly Dr. Ed Wilson speaks — which helped me even more for the awards ceremony, while reading the citation on the certificate for Dr. Dorn! I also announced ALCTS’ decision to rename the award to: HARRASSOWITZ Award for Leadership in Library Acquisitions, In honor of Dr. Knut Dorn, Senior Managing Partner. Dr. Dorn is retiring as the Senior Managing Partner and Director of Sales with HARRASSOWITZ, which has sponsored the award for about 15 years. I still cannot believe how smoothly my day went in spite of having to change location between each major event. I even found the earring I lost that morning in the bottom of my backpack when I got home. Good thing I didn’t throw its mate away!

I feel good about the accomplishments of the Acquisitions Section and the ALCTS division this past year. I’m happy that one particular issue will be seriously addressed in the coming year: I strongly believe that in this era, we should have one conference per year, and that governance shouldn’t be limited just to those who can afford to attend two conferences in person. Finding and implementing solutions is now in the ALCTS strategic plan and the incoming ALCTS President pledged to give her attention to this. The Board approved a strategic plan linked to ALA’s strategic plan. One major initiative of ALA’s plan is Transforming Libraries (see the picture of Lynn and the ACRL Excellence Award at a new portal, http://transforming.ala.org/ ). ALCTS’ linked strategic intitiative is Transforming Collections, with a task force to brainstorm actions. I hope Derrik forgives me that the Board extended the term of the task force, since I got him into that! In addition to strategic planning, my section caught up on getting our web pages updated, put several publications into the pipeline, participated in ALCTS 101, and held 2 well-attended programs and a successful pre-conference on patron-driven-acquisitions of e-books. Once I turn in my section’s annual report, I’ve finished my work on the ALCTS Board, but will still serve a year as Past-Chair for the Acquisitions Section.

Here’s an interesting tidbit I got from Paul Courant, University Librarian and Dean of Libraries at the University of Michigan, who was the speaker for the ALCTS President’s Program:

Costs of storage:
$4.26 open stacks
$0.86 high density (but not as usable)
$0.22 HathiTrust average

Courant also said that we owe it to students and faculty to do what we do cheaper. He is an economist, and his presentation definitely connected with me, especially with my strong acquisitions focus at this conference. Another point he made that resonated with me is that we should learn to share ownership, going beyond the type of sharing that we’ve typically done via ILL. It made me feel good about our role in ASERL’s journal retention initiative, as a start.


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