NISO Forum: The E-Book Renaissance: Exploring the Possibilities Exposed by Digital Books

October 24-25, 2011


Monday, October 24, 2011
8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 9:15 a.m.

Welcome & Introductions

Todd Carpenter, Managing Director, NISO

9:15 - 10:15 a.m.

Keynote Presentation
E-books: a Library and Publisher Partnership

Jamie LaRue, Director, Douglas County (Colorado) Libraries

eMedia is changing everything. Or is it? We’re still trying to connect creators with their audiences, and libraries are still uniquely qualified to do that. LaRue will highlight some experiments that may help all of us thrive in the electronic ecosystem.

10:15 - 10:45 a.m.


10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Panel discussion: Publisher and Content Provider issues
Primary publishers and content providers will discuss the background and motivations for their e-book initiatives, and where applicable, any future plans. They will include, but are not limited to, perspectives on market research; platform, interface and delivery mechanisms; and pricing and sales designs. Panelists include:

  • Terry Ehling, Associate Director, Publisher Relations and Content Development, Project MUSE
  • Alex Holzman, Director, Temple University Press
  • Jennifer Kemp, eProduct Manager, eBooks, Springer
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.


1:00 - 1:40 p.m.

Licensing Issues with E-Books: Academic and Public Library Perspectives
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Kristin Eschenfelder, Associate Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin Madison

Eschenfelder will provide an overview of the major licensing issues related to e-books in both academic and public library environments. Topics covered will include: pricing models, standards/readers, perpetual access/ownership and interlibrary loan.

1:40 - 2:15 p.m.

Money for Nothing and Your Books for Free
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Caren Milloy, Head of Projects, JISC Collections

An overview of the UK academic E-books market from the librarian perspective; Caren will present findings from the JISC national E-books observatory, an e-textbook study and introduce new research into open access monographs.

2:15 - 2:45 p.m.


2:45 - 3:30 p.m.

E-Book Standards and Metadata: Best practices to maximize discoverability of your e-titles
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Beat Barblan, Director, Identifier Services, Bowker

As the number of eBook titles competing for readers’ attention keeps expanding, discoverability becomes a real challenge. This presentation offers some best practices relating to standards and metadata as well as an overview of some of the newer standards entering the publishing world. Finally it gives the audience a quick glimpse at a new and free tool publishers can take advantage of to further maximize discoverability at virtually no cost.

3:30 - 4:15 p.m.

EPUB 3: Not Your Father’s EPUB
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Bill Kasdorf, Vice President, Apex Content Solutions; Metadata Subgroup Lead, IDPF EPUB 3 Working Group

The just-published EPUB 3 format is a major update to this key standard for reflowable eBooks that enables it to accommodate a much broader range of content (including STM, textbooks, and serials) and provide much greater functionality, including delivery to tablets and smartphones as well as PCs, laptops, and eReaders. Based on HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript, it accommodates rich media, scripting, MathML, linking, improved typography and layout, global language support, and enhanced metadata, navigation and accessibility. This session will provide a thorough overview of EPUB 3’s exciting new capabilities. 

4:15 - 5:00 p.m.

Roundtable Discussions
Topics from NISO E-Book Special Interest Group

The NISO E-Book Special Interest Group is made up of dozens of participants from all parts of the NISO community: librarians, publishers, services for publishers, and software vendors. The E-Book SIG is currently exploring a range of industry best practices and standards related to the creation, distribution, discovery, delivery and preservation of digital book content.

Current E-Book SIG subgroups are: Accessibility issues; Discovery Tools and Linking; Distribution (EPUB, PDF, Web & others); and Metadata General (ONIX, MARC, PREMIS, METS, Dublin Core, PMH, etc.). Issues on each of these topics which have been generated through subgroup conference calls will be distributed at participant tables, and E-Book SIG participants and NISO staff will lead brainstorming discussions, for sharing with the larger group.

5:30 - 7:00 p.m.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011
8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Panel discussion: Vendors & Platform Providers
This panel discussion, managed in a "Town Hall" format, will engage executives from major e-book aggregators with questions about how their respective products and companies manage exposure, acquisition, packaging, integration, and end-user issues of e-books. Audience members are encouraged to pose their own questions to the panelists. Panelists are:

  • Moderator: Sue Polanka, Head of Reference & Instruction, Wright State University Libraries
  • Matt Barnes, Vice President of Marketing, ebrary
  • Ken Breen, Senior Director, E-Book Products, EBSCO Publishing
  • Kari Paulson, President, EBL
  • Rich Rosy, Vice President and General Manager, library services division of Ingram Content Group
  • Frank Smith, Director, Books at JSTOR
11:00 - 11:30 a.m.
11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Users, Patrons and Devices: In the Hands of Users

Anne Taylor, Director of Access Technology, National Federation for the Blind

In this presentation, the attendees will learn about various web-based and handheld reading systems that the blind and print reading disabled population use to access e-books. Even though some reading systems are usable by the blind and the print reading disabled, far too many more e-readers that currently are in the market are only partially accessible or have no accessibility features at all. Ms. Taylor will demonstrate several widely used e-readers that present significant access barriers to the blind.

Identifying the best reading system is only half of the equation. In order to ensure that this sector of population have complete access to books, Forum attendees need to understand which e-book file formats provide enjoyable and productive reading experience for the blind and print reading disabled. A discussion on the pros and cons for popular e-book formats is included in the presentation as well.

12:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

End Users Speak: Outcomes from Recent Surveys
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Steve Paxhia, President, Beacon Hill Strategic Solutions

Paxhia will summarize and highlight findings from recent Book Industry Study Group research on users, including the "Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading" and "Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education" surveys.

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
1:30 – 2:15 p.m. "Ask Anything" session
An open discussion for all E-book Forum participants to reflect on the topics shared during the program and provide opportunities for questions of any kind to be asked and answered.
2:15 - 2:45 p.m.
2:45 - 3:45 p.m.

Closing Keynote

Laura Dawson, Content Chief, Firebrand Technologies

Dawson will distill themes and observations from the two days of Forum speakers and conversations and, based on her years of industry experience, will offer advice to help seize opportunities and support constructive paths forward in a complex and chaotic environment.

3:45 - 4:00 p.m.
Final Wrap-Up
4:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Closing & Adjourn


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