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ebrary Signs its 120th University Press Partner

The digital library distributor ebrary is pleased to announce that it is 2 dozen short of a gross. It has just added a dozen new partners, bringing the total number of university press content providers to one hundred and twenty.

“ebrary offers a variety of models that enable us to monetize our e-book content to libraries of all types and sizes,” said Kathryn Conrad, Director, University of Arizona Press. “We are delighted to make our e-books available to libraries in ways that address their individual budget requirements, while enabling patrons to access the important monographs that meet their research needs.”

ebrary offers content under both a recurring subscription and a perpetual license, as well as many other options including patron driven (let readers pick what a library buys), topic specific collections, starter packs, and more. It currently offers a total of  438,058 titles and adds more every week.

via ebrary

Scholastic Launches new Reading Service for California Libraries

Yesterday marked the launch of Bookflix, the newest reading service from Scholastic.

Bookflix, now freely accessible to all library patrons in California, offers digital content for children in grades Pre-K-3. It make reading exciting by combining classic fictional video storybooks with similarly themed nonfiction ebooks.

BookFlix connects the library to the home,” said Hugh Roome, President of Scholastic Library Publishing. “In adopting BookFlix, California is making cutting-edge e-reading technology available to families anywhere they have an Internet connection, and providing a tool that introduces young readers to classic books and stories in new, 21st Century formats.”

The service offers a number of features that should appeal to any parent of a young child, including a read along option, educational games and activities, narrated text and definitions of key vocabulary words, and safe, age-appropriate web links so children can further explore topics that catch their eye.

BookFlix can be access through libraries’ websites as well as the Scholastic website.


Cambridge University Press Launches New Digital Dist. Platform

Cambridge University Press took a step this past week towards becoming a digital content distributor. On Wednesday it officially announced University Publishing Online, a new way for libraries and schools to acquire content from academic publishers.

It’s due to launch in late October 2011, but Cambridge University Press has already announced several partners.  Liverpool University Press, the Mathematical Association of America, Boydell & Brewer, and Foundation Books will have their content on the new site when it launches, and Cambridge University Press also plans to announce more partners in the coming weeks.

Libraries will be able subscribe to any of a wide range of subject-based collections, or they can choose to build a custom collection of titles from the 12 thousand titles currently available. They’ll have 2 buying options for University Publishing Online when it launches, and each will involve multi-user licenses and minimal digital rights management (DRM).

image by huangcjz

Library Ideas Expands Freegal Music Service

Library Ideas announced this week that it had quadrupled the number of MP3s offered through Freegal, a subscription music Service for libraries.

It just signed a deal with Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA) which added nearly 2 million DRM-free MP3s to Freegal. Until adding IODA, Freegal content was primary from Sony.  the new music will expand the offering to include diverse genres from 50 countries.

The Freegal service is already in beta in a number of libraries, and a number have signed up to add the service in July. The Los Angeles County Public Library added the service on July 1,  and Library Ideas said that it would launch the service “in over a dozen libraries” in Australia and New Zealand beginning July 8. freegal will also be available in Italy this fall.

via Library Journal

Softlink to Distribute OverDrive eBooks in Australia

Softlink announced today that it had signed a deal with OverDrive to act as a local distributor in Australia. It has integrated OverDrive’s vast selection of digital content, including eBooks, audiobooks, music, and video, into its Oliver Library Management System.

“Softlink is excited to be a part of the eBook revolution in Australia. As a strong supporter of education in Australia, we look forward to assisting school libraries with enhancing their traditional collections and appealing to today’s tech-savvy students by extending the reach of the library,” said Mr. Hillary Noye, Softlink’s Business Development Manager Asia Pacific.

Oliver LMS is designed to provide each school with a customized website that fits that schools needs. It supports integrated book reviews, user created reading lists, organizing and cataloging multiple file formats, web-based admin controls, as well as many other features.

image by JanneM

OverDrive Adds More Unlimited Access eBooks to its Digital Library Service

OverDrive has just signed a new distribution agreement with Thomas Nelson, Encyclopedia Britannica, Crabtree Publishing, and Lonely Planet. These 4 publishers are joining Liquid Comics in allowing libraries to license a single copy so multiple users can access it at the same time.

Libraries will still need to check out the ebooks, and the ebooks will still expire at the end of the checkout period. Simultaneous access collections are available on an annual subscription basis. Overdrive is adding this new lending option as part of OverDrive WIN, a series of platform enhancements to streamline user experience and provide access to more content.

Charles Darwin’s Personal Library Now Available Online

Cambridge University Library, in partnership with the Darwin Manuscripts Project, and the Biodiversity Heritage Library announced today that the first part of Charles Darwin’s personal scientific library is now available online.

His collection, which spans over 1,400 titles, is in the process of being scanned and uploaded. 730 titles have margin notes written by Darwin, and about 300 of the most heavily annotated titles have already been placed online.

University Librarian librarian Anne Jarvis said: “The Darwin collections are among the most important and popular held within Cambridge University Library. While there has been much focus on his manuscripts and correspondence, his library hasn’t always received the attention it deserves – for it is as he engaged with the ideas and theories of others that his own thinking evolved.”

Darwin’ Library via JISC

image via BHL

Sixty-seven Percent Of Libraries Offer eBooks

The number of public libraries offering eBooks has been steadily growing over the past three years.

According to a new report from the American Library Association, 67.2 percent of public libraries offer eBooks in 2011, up from 65.9 percent in 2010, 55.4 percent in 2009 and 51.8 percent in 2008. This number is not a surprise, as companies like OverDrive (one of the leading digital book distributors) and device makers like Sony have been expanding their library partnerships.

Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina and Massachusetts lead the pack, while states including North Dakota, Nebraska and New Mexico lag behind. (Follow this link to see the full state breakdown).

The full ALA report:2011 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study is available here.

OverDrive To Distribute O’Reilly eBooks

The digital content distributor OverDrive just announced that it has added a new publisher to its stable. O’Reilly Media, a technical and professional publisher, will soon make its 1,500 titles available to OverDrive’s partner libraries, schools, and bookstores. All titles will be sold DRM free and they will be available wordwide.

OverDrive provides digital distribution services for more than 15 thousand libraries, retailers, and schools around the globe, and it has released apps for Windows, OSX, iPhone, iPad,  Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone 7.

3M to Debut New Digital Library Platform This Week

Attendees are just about to depart for the ALA conference in New Orleans this week, and there’s a major announcement waiting for them. 3M plans to unveil the 3M Cloud Library at the ALA Annual Conference, which starts on June 23.

3m will be demoing the new system in its booth, and it plans to offer sneak peaks of the new hardware like the Discovery terminals and the 3M eReaders. 3M is also pleased to announce that it has added HarperCollins and Sourcebooks to its growing list of partners. This now makes 4 publishers announced so far, including IPG and Random House. More partners could be announced later this week.

The new digital library will go into beta testing this summer, and 3M has revealed the names of some of the libraries, including Saint Paul Public Library (MN), Bergen County Cooperative Library System (NJ), Maricopa County Library District (AZ), Douglas County Libraries (CO), Darien Library (CT), Richland County Public Library (SC), and the State Library of Kansas on behalf of the Kansas Digital Library Consortium.

image by Sandy Girl