MBLC – feasibility study

10/01/2010 02:09 PM

As the MBLC is already preparing for our next RFP process for statewide databases for FY13 (to start July 2012), the MBLC will be conducting surveys to examine the scope of electronic resources for the next  contract, as well as the feasibility of licensing e-books on a statewide basis.

If you haven’t already seen it,  the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) just released their e-book report, “eBook Feasibility Study for Public Libraries.” This report was researched and written by a COSLA Task Force made up of the state librarians from California, Kansas, Oregon, and Rob Maier from the MBLC, as well as Tom Peters and Pinpoint Logic, a design strategy company.  The task force interviewed ten library managers and staff from urban, suburban, and rural public libraries regarding eBook access, delivery and devices.  The report concludes that the following are short and long-term overall needs regarding eBooks:

•          Finding a low-cost way to lend devices through the library or let people try them out

•          Improving the ease of use for discovering and getting library eBooks

•          Expanding access to eBooks through larger collections and national buying pools while delivering real-time local statistics in a manner that helps library funders see the value of large-scale collaboration at the local level

•          Applying leverage to publishers and vendors for better pricing, licensing models, more reasonable copyright or DRM models around shared use, and standards

•          Exploring how libraries can transition from an emphasis on content supplier to creating spaces that invite social interaction around learning and living literature

Quoted directly from the report, p.6. To see the full-report on line go to: http://www.cosla.org/documents/COSLA2270_Report_Final1.pdf

Finally, you might also want to take a look at Blio.com, a new free e-book reading software developed by Baker and Taylor, Kurzweil Technologies and the National Federation for the Blind.  Blio works on all devices (pc’s, laptops, mobile phones, I-Pads, etc.)  It removes the purchaser (in our case, libraries) from being tied to a specific platform or device.  It presents books as they are laid out in printed form, color, pictures (think cookbooks!), while letting you zoom in and out, read the same book on multiple devices at the same time (start on your pc, finish on your mobile phone), etc.  For more information see http://www.blio.com/meet_blio

Marlene Sue Heroux
Reference Information Systems Specialist
Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

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