With the launch of iBooks Author in January, Apple made it possible for anyone to make graphically stunning multimedia publications. The implications for education are huge. Imagine replacing standardized textbooks with customized reference materials tailored to meet the unique needs of learners in the classroom, library, or across a district.
If you're one of the last few people on Earth who haven't read the Harry Potter series, now you have no excuse. Today Amazon announced that it's adding all seven of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books to the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.
"Library Journal is presenting a series of articles, Exploring Ebook Options, that takes an indepth look at some of the ebook platforms that are now in the marketplace. Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360 and Freading from Library Ideas have already been profiled. This story provides an environmental scan."
"Like many libraries, Florida International University (FIU) Library started an e-book reader lending program that circulates e-book readers. Each reader comes with more than one hundred titles that have been selected by subject librarians. But how can a library make these library e-books on e-book readers noticed by library users? How can a library help a user to quickly figure out what books are available on, say, a library Kindle device when those are specifically what the user is looking for?"
Unglue.it, the crowdfunding platform designed to encourage authors and publishers to make their ebooks available under a Creative Commons license, was officially launched on May 17. Unglue.it works by allowing the rights holders of an already-published book to set a funding threshold—generally between $5,000 to $25,000—and a deadline for a funding campaign. If supporters pledge sufficient funding prior to the campaign deadline, the book will be released as an “unglued” ebook edition, free of digital rights management (DRM) software, and free to copy and share under a Creative Commons license.
Even as anxious publishers are hoping to increase friction in the ebook lending experience, librarians have been clamoring for vendors of integrated library systems (ILS) to make e-lending a unified, sleek experience. Rather than navigating their patrons away from the library’s web presence to Balkanized, often commercial, third-party platforms, each with a different discovery and delivery experience, librarians have been demanding a single, easy-to-use, easy-to-search platform — an integration of the ILS with ebook vendor platforms.
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