Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2011 NLA Para along with S & I Spring Meeting Online

Did you miss the 2011 NLA Para along with S & I Spring Meeting? Would you like to catch it online? Well here's your chance http://blip.tv/file/4947888. The Handouts can be found at http://www.nlc.state.ne.us/comp/para/2011springmeeting/2011Paraspgconfwebsite.html. Enjoy!

Friday, March 25, 2011

2011 Spring Meeting summary

Another Spring Meeting successfully concluded! We embodied our theme, Collaboration across Libraries, by inviting the Special & Institutional Section to co-sponsor with us, and we had an excellent turnout: a total of 52 registrants in 12 locations. Besides our group viewings in Lincoln, Omaha, and Norfolk, people were signed up to watch in Beatrice, Bellevue, DeWitt, Fairbury, Imperial, Maywood, North Platte, Papillion, Sidney, and South Sioux City! Our speakers, Devra Dragos, Mary Stultz, Maureen O'Riordan, Nancy Chmiel, and Deb Vinopal, all did a great job, and so far feedback has been positive. Please comment!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ashland, Neb. - new library in the works!

Even in these economic times,  Nebraskans stills place emphasis on having good libraries.  The proposed plan for Ashland's library will go from the current 1000 square feet to almost 9000 square feet as part of a library-community center!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Scholarships to the 2011 Para & S&I Spring Meeting

Collaboration Across Libraries
Thursday, March 24, 2011 9:55 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. CT
Paraprofessionals Spring General Meeting 1:00 - 1:45 p.m.

The Paraprofessional Section is offering a limited number of scholarships to attend the Spring Meeting, Click here for more details and registration. So if you are a Para or S&I member and would like to attend for FREE submit your name, address, email, phone and library affiliation to Jennifer Wrampe, jennifer.wrampe@nebraska.gov.

Scholarship recipients will be asked to submit a 2-5 sentence statement about themselves and their job when applying for the scholarship. The statements will be posted to the Para Facebook page and blog.

The registration deadline is March 22, so apply for the scholarship today!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

HarperCollins eBooks to Self-Destruct after 26 Checkouts

By now I'm sure most of you have heard about HarperCollins latest move in the realm of ebooks. If you haven't, here it is in a nutshell: HarperCollins ebooks licensed to libraries through OverDrive will expire after 26 checkouts. And by expire, I mean self-destruct. After 26 checkouts (about a year's worth for a library with a two-week loan period), the library must purchase the book again in order to keep it available to patrons. On the other hand, in certain subject areas, that's about the time the book would be weeded anyway.

The Library Journal broke this news on Friday.

I don't have much to add to this discussion that hasn't already been said, so here's a roundup of a few articles on the topic. Be sure to read the comments and follow the links for more good thoughts on the issue.

The New York Times covers the issue, mainly drawing from the LJ article.

Over on Atzblog, Joe Atzberger talks about the folly of forcing libraries to pretend ebooks are like print books. He also touches on the consortium issue. That is, if your library is in a consortium, that 26-checkout limit applies to the whole consortium. So depending on how many libraries are in a particular consortium, your library might only get one or two checkouts, if any, before the book goes away.

Librarian by Day brings out the additional detail that libraries will be expected to enforce geographic restrictions on their users, to make sure people from outside their jurisdiction aren't checking out these ebooks. She also provides a link to the PDF of the letter to OverDrive Library Partners from OverDrive CEO Steve Potash, which is the original source for all of this news.

Of course, this letter talks about a lot of other things going on with OverDrive, most of which are quite positive. It is worth noting that OverDrive did not identify HarperCollins by name, but said the new ebook lending terms were required by "certain publishers" (a phrase both italicized and boldfaced in OverDrive's letter). HarperCollins later identified themselves as the publisher referred to.

Some libraries are calling for a boycott of HarperCollins. I can't say I disagree with this in theory, because the only way to insure that other publishers don't follow their lead is to make sure that HarperCollins LOSES money because of this decision. However, I have my doubts that a boycott will really be all that effective. Many libraries don't really have that option, as they are bound to purchase whatever titles their patrons request or require, regardless of publisher. And, as the first commenter on the LIS News article observed, why boycott HarperCollins when we're not boycotting Macmillan and Simon & Schuster, neither of whom allow libraries to circulate their ebooks under any conditions?

Someone has even gone so far as to draft an eBook User's Bill of Rights. I've seen it, verbatim, on various blogs, and I have no idea who originally authored it.

Does your library lend ebooks? If so, do you use OverDrive? Or do you have any HarperCollins ebook titles from other vendors? What's your view of the 26-loan limit? Is it out of line or just fine?

My library does not use OverDrive, although we circulate ebooks from some other vendors. I didn't see many HarperCollins titles in our ebook collections, so this won't affect us immediately. However, I find this issue interesting because it has the potential to affect all libraries eventually. This is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

UPDATE 3/2/2011: Library Journal has posted a followup article, wherein OverDrive and HarperCollins respond to the criticism. This includes a full reprint of HarperCollins' open letter to libraries.