Internet Librarian 2011: Ebooks & the Future of Publishing, Lending, Learning
David Bowers and Stephen Abram
David Bowers is from Oxford University Press. Libraries are still a place that people interested in learning can gather and share information. “Libraries are the original Google.” Oxford University Press is a business with one share-holder—the university. Their goal is to share information with the larger world. He mentioned Oxford Scholarship Online. Overdrive predicts there will be 16 million downloads of eBooks this year. Oxford has seen a similar huge growth in eBook usage. As a publisher they’re being approached all the time by companies wanting to work to distribute their digital content. What’s changed over the last two years is how telecommunications companies can share information with individuals. The iPhone took power away from AT&T, Verizon, etc. and allowed users to decide which apps and content they put on their devices.
Stephen Abram is talking about Gale Cengage’s project which is investing $100 million in figuring out what a textbook will look like over time, what a children’s book will look like in 2020, what’s going to happen with large print? Stephen emphasized the importance of this content being ADA-compliant. The content also needs to be learning-style independent. Look at systemwide adoption of textbooks and focus on what makes learning successful. They’re testing 750 “textbook objects” in 150 schools across America. How do we remove the hard line between the library and the textbook in the classroom? Multimedia is essential. The book as a solid stable object is dying, but that’s okay. We have games, audio, video and other ways to tell stories in a blended environment.