Simon and Schuster book publishers are creating a new way to purchase digital books. The NY times article is another example of the growth of ebooks. It is trend that we are watching closely. Ebooks and etextbooks will change how librarians provide services to their academic, special and public library communities.
Academic learning spaces and e-book readers are a subject that our team is focused on understanding. It affects library space planning and design. Indeed, libraries are unique learning spaces that improve student success rates and ebook technology is changing education.
Recently, an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education demonstrated the challenges of ebooks and the lessons that can be learned from innovative projects. E-book readers are in a transition as they get to market and it is very easy to reject the new technology because it doesn’t work. Developers don’t always see eye-to-eye with users so it takes time for these tools to hit critical mass.
6 lessons learned from e-textbooks includes a good overview of the challenges that higher educational institutions face when they start moving toward e-books and e-textbooks; learning curve, some professors innovators, battery life, subjects are not equally friendly and impact matters. For example, at Northwest Missouri State University, the Sony e-book reader didn’t provide the type of navigation that users were used to and it became uncomfortable for some students to leave their text book behind. They expected it to be the same as a normal book and it’s not the same. It is new technology and it requires training. Here, Academic Libraries have an opportunity to become relevant by providing training and support.
We know it will take time for students and professors to learn how to use ebook technology illustrating why impact matters. We also know that the publishing community needs to extend their products to support e-books and e-textbooks. This will take time, for example, science materials get good coverage via the ejournals, but econtent for humanities is taking time to get to market.
At the Lyndon Institute, ACA developed a unique program to support critical needs by recommended kindle as a solution. The library had a flood and lost its entire collection. The school needed a solution and fast.
p>Today, the project has its successes and challenges. It doesn’t mean that the Kindles are perfect, but the solution does provide students with more access to books and journals then ever before. We need to recognize that the library and ebooks are in transition. Today its a blended environment that we use for study.
University librarians are an important test group for e-books. Student want more seating in the library and e-book readers are a way to increase access to e-journals. Professors are starting to use blackboard and blogs to post reference information. The University library is supporting their work by teaching information literacy and providing support to students. It is logical to see a group librarians take charge. One group we have been associated with is LITA. They have a great blog with lots of information.
One major improvement in the way we think about library building design is GREEN TECHNOLOGY. It is very important to have a building that utilize energy efficiently. We have developed a number of green library buildings including KAUST, Fuller Theological Seminary, WestHampton Free Public Library and Public Library Branches @ LVCCLD; Centennial Hills and Compass Point.
Fortunately, Library Journal has been creating venues for architects and library planners to share their GREEN research. For example, the Arlington Public Library recently came out with a request for qualifications for the development of its library and district. The library planning team took advantage of the economy and have library architectural firms present their credentials. The result is a good link for librarians who wish their next building project will have a GREEN LIBRARY DESIGN.
Digital collaboration is a very important aspect of the learning environment. In the future, more and more work will be online and at the library. This type of learning will be like a perpetual kindergarten, requiring users to constantly learn how to master IT technologies.
Edutopia’s academics discuss the importance of technology in the learning environment and we agree its important for libraries to consider. Over the years, our library programming has expanded from building programs to e-Campus and e-Library development. For NATO we developed a Digital Asset Management plan that focused on e-learning and discovery.
Take a look at the Online Learning Web Site. EBSS developed this web site for librarians who are considering library and IT development. There are tools that can be used as low cost solutions for the special library.
Your not alone in the development of your special library. E-library development can be harnessed for success…go for it!!
We believe its very important for librarians to have an MLS degree. There are a number of Graduate Schools that offer 100% online MLS degrees. It is a great way to become a librarian.
The following is a short list from the ALA database.
Check it out.
1. Clarion University of Pennsylvania
2. Drexel University
3. Wayne State University
4. North Carolina Central University
5. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
6. San Jose State University
7. Southern Connecticut State University
8. Texas Woman’s University
9. University of Alabama
10. University of Puerto Rico
11. University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
12. University of Tennessee
13. University of Southern Mississippi
14. Florida State University