Sunday, September 30, 2012

Internet Librarian 2012 > A104/A105 – Ebook Economics & Trends

A104/A105 – Ebook Economics & Trends > 2:15 PM – 4:00 PM

Erik Adams, Electronic Resource Librarian, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton
Elizabeth Altman, Web Services Coordinator, California State University, Northridge
Doris Small Helfer, Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities Librarian, Oviatt Library, California State University, Northridge
Steve Kutay, Digital Services Librarian, California State University, Northridge
Mary Woodley, Collection Development Coordinator, California State University, Northridge
Gerry McKiernan, Science & Technology Librarian, Iowa State University

Increasingly, libraries are clearing stacks to make way for flexible spaces suited to portable personal technology and replacing print holdings with electronic collections. The session begins with a case study of replacing annually purchased reference books with electronic books, includes an analysis of the economics, review of availability of materials, and a brief look at the difficulties of creating specialized ebooks to fill in gaps. The CSU group share the results of a survey to assess the use of e-reader and tablet devices, their adoption by students and faculty, as well as how frequently and in what environments they are being used for conducting research and completing course assignments. McKiernan looks at the current landscape for digital textbooks; the vendors, platforms and initiatives happening in this space; funding options; predictions; and more!


The Changing World of Resource Sharing: Copyright Clearance Center, Creative Commons & e-Textbooks

Date & Time:Thursday, October 11, 2012
9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Location:Corning Museum of Glass
Rakow Library
Registration:Free! But please register.
Lunch will be on your own.
Registration deadline: Friday, October 5th
Funding: This training is funded in part by Federal Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) funds, awarded to the NYS Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

1:30 - 2:30      Digital Textbooks: A Perfect Storm for Higher Learning

While not currently widely adopted, an increasing number of colleges and universities are providing campus-wide access to digital textbooks or piloting their use for specific courses. This presentation will provide an overview of a number of major local, state, regional, and national initiatives by institutions of higher learning as well as by primary and secondary schools in the U.S. and elsewhere. It will also profile select e-textbook platforms and features and the associated costs and benefits of digital textbook use.

Speaker: Gerry McKiernan currently has primary responsibilities for Collection Development, Instruction, and Reference and Research Services in Aerospace Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering; Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering; Alternative Energy; Environment Sciences; Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering; and Mechanical Engineering with the Library of Iowa State University, where he has been employed since April 1987. Prior to joining ISU, Gerry served as the Museum Librarian at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, and as an Assistant Librarian with the Library of the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.

Gerry curates several blogs that include _DT > Digital Textbooks_ which is "devoted to documenting significant initiatives that relate to any and all aspects of digital textbooks, most notably their use in higher education."


SETDA > Out Of Print: Reimagining the K-12 Textbook in a Digital Age

Monday / September 24, 2012 / 2:00-4:00 pm EDT 
 National Press Club, Washington, DC

Out of Print highlights the sea change underway in the multi-billion dollar U.S. K-12 instructional materials market enabled by recent technology and intellectual property rights innovations. With a focus on the ultimate impact on student learning, the report provides examples of lessons learned from recent digital and open (OER) content initiatives by leading states and school districts and offers comprehensive recommendations for government, industry, and educators to ensure that the inevitable shift to digital instructional materials improves student achievement and engagement and efficiently uses scarce resources.


  • Douglas Levin, Executive Director, SETDA, 
  • Geoffrey Fletcher, Deputy Executive Director, SETDA,
  • Tiffany Hall, K-12 Literacy Coordinator, Teaching and Learning, Utah State Office of Education,
  • Lan Neugent, Assistant Superintendent for Technology, Career, and Adult Education and Chief Information Officer, Virginia Department of Education,
  • Tom Woodward, Assistant Director, Instructional Technology, Henrico County Schools, Virginia,
  • Peter Zamora, Director of Federal Relations, Council of Chief State School Officers.

Source and Links To Press Release, Report, Related Resources, Slides, and Video Available At


The Atlantic: California Takes a Big Step Forward: Free, Digital, Open-Source Textbooks

This week, California took a big step forward in the march toward online education. Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a proposal to create a website that will allow students to download digital versions of popular textbooks for free.

The new legislation encompasses two bills: One, a proposal for the state to fund 50 open-source digital textbooks, targeted to lower-division courses, which will be produced by California's universities. (Students will be able to download these books for free or pay $20 for hard copies.) The other bill is a proposal to establish a California Digital Open Source Library to host those books.

On the textbook side, California will ask the California Open Education Resources Council, comprised of school faculty, to create and oversee a book approval process -- which will include the development of a list of targeted courses "for which high-quality, affordable, digital open source textbooks and related materials would be developed or acquired" by the University of California, California State University, or California Community College systems. [snip]


The new law will also be something of a technological experiment -- and an intriguing one, at that. For one thing, it makes a point of extending its impact beyond California's borders. Any digital textbooks created under the council's auspices, the new legislation says, must be placed under a Creative Commons license -- which will allow faculty at universities in other states to make use of the textbooks for their own students. And the textbooks, furthermore, must be encoded in XML (or another "appropriate successor format") to facilitate their re-use.



Source and Full Text Available At 


_Sustainability: A Comprehensive Foundation_ > A Free, Open-Source Textbook

"Sustainability: A Comprehensive Foundation" is a free, open-source textbook available for viewing online or as a download for use on e-readers or printing. First and second-year college students are introduced to this expanding new field, comprehensively exploring the essential concepts from every branch of knowldege – including engineering and the applied arts, natural and social sciences, and the humanities. As sustainability is a multi-disciplinary area of study, the text is the product of multiple authors drawn from the diverse faculty of the University of Illinois: each chapter is written by a recognized expert in the field. Designed for the new generation of e-readers, the book can also be viewed in a browser, saved as a pdf, or printed.

 Full Text Available At 


Companion Text for A Free Online Sustainability [MOOC] Course


Saturday, September 29, 2012

eText @ University of Illinois at Urbana-Illinois

What is eText?

eText is a fully accessible, interactive, and environmentally sound platform to deliver classroom materials to students and faculty at the University of Illinois.

Who can use eText?

eText is universally accessible. That means any individual, with valid University credentials and connected device with an HTML5 compliant web browser, can access eText content regardless of nature of their device and their visual abilities.

Video Demo Available At 


Digital Textbook Presentations > Belgrade, Serbia > September 2012

In late September 2012, I also had opportunities to present at various venues in Belgrade, Serbia.

The first was prepared for presentation at 11th Conference New Technologies and Standards: Digitization of National Heritage.  However, due to the cancellation of my flight from Vienna, where I had a long layover on my way from Milan, I was not able to deliver it.

McKiernan, Gerry. “Open Access Textbooks: A Survey of Major Initiatives.” Presentation prepared for XI New Technologies and Standards: Digitization of National Heritage 2012Faculty of Mathematics, University of Belgrade, Serbia, September 21, 2012. Self-archived at  (29 September 2012). Selected.

Fortunately, I was able to re-book my flight to arrive in Belgrade to give a scheduled presentation at the University of Belgrade library.

McKiernan, Gerry. “Digital Textbooks: An Idea Whose Time Has Come.” Presentation given at the University Library "Svetozar Marković", University of Belgrade, Serbia, September 21, 2012. Self-archived at  (29 September 2012). Invited.

Video Available At 


Duration = ~ 57:30 Minutes

On Saturday, I visited the Nikola Tesla Museum, and later gave a presentation at the American Corner, a venue co-sponsored by the Embassy of the United States, Serbia.

McKiernan, Gerry. “Digital Textbook Impressions.” Presentation given at the American Corner, Belgrade, Serbia, September 22, 2012. Self-archived at  (29 September 2012). Invited.

I wish to thank Adam Sofronijevic Head, Development and System Administration, and Vesna Vuksan, Senior Librarian, Development and System Administration, both of the Book Digitization and Cultural Activities Department, University Library "Svetozar Marković" University of Belgrade, for their kindness and hospitality.

I am most grateful to the Embassy of the United States, Serbia, for their generous support that enabled me to visit Belgrade.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Digital Textbook Presentations > Parma, Italy > September 2012

In late September 2012, I had the opportunity to offer a three-hour workshop to students enrolled in the Digital Library Learning (DILL) program at the University of Parma, Italy.

DILL is a two-year international master for elite information professionals to provide them with the skills and competencies to navigate the rapidly evolving world of digital libraries. It is offered in cooperation between Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (Norway), Tallinn University (Estonia), and the University of Parma (Italy).

DILL is a Master Programme under the European Union's Erasmus Mundus Programme.

McKiernan, Gerry. “Digital Textbooks: An Idea Whose Time Has Come.” Workshop presentation given at Biblioteca Internazionale Ilaria Alpi, Parma, Italy, September 18, 2012. Self-archived at   (28 September 2012). Invited.

A/V Available At 

Part I


Part II


In addition, I also gave a supplemental presentation later that week.

McKiernan, Gerry. “Digital Textbooks: An Idea Whose Time Has Come.” Presentation given at the University of Parma, Parma, Italy, September 20, 2012. Self-archived at (28 September 2012). Invited.

A/V Available At 


I wish to thank Anna Maria Tammaro, Professor at University of Parma and Coordinator, International Master DILL Digital Library Learning, and Elisabetta Longhi, University of Parma, Tutor, International Master DILL Digital Library Learning, for their kindness and hospitality.

I am most grateful for the generous financial support provided by Erasmus Mundus Programme that enabled me to present.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Big Bookboon Textbook Survey > ~60% of Students Prefer Digital Textbooks

September 11 2012

On the occasion of the start of the new semester we have asked close to 10.000 students about their opinion on digital vs. printed textbooks. Would you like to learn more about international students’ reading and learning habits? On the right you can see, for examples, the results from the US. Interested? Then take a look at the other results. And last but not least, thanks to all those who participated in our survey.

About the survey

Our textbook survey was conducted between the 1st of June and the 1st of September. During this time close to 10.000 students from countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands answered our questions about the use of textbooks. The results from Denmark and Germany will be online soon. In the meantime, take a look at the already existing results – in a written and graphical version. [snip]

  • US students are the champions of digital textbooks: 58% favour digital over printed textbooks.
  • UK students are the kings and queens of taking it easy: 62.5% of the students in favor of digital textbooks prefer them because they are easier to carry.
  • Dutch students never get tired of flipping real pages around: 70% of them are still preferring printed book

Source and Links to Individual Country Surveys Available At