NISO Forum: The E-Book Renaissance Part II

October 18-19, 2012


Thursday, October 18, 2012
8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 9:10 a.m.

Welcome & Introductions

Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO

9:10 - 10:25 a.m.

Keynote: Electronic Literature's Units and Bindings

Nick Montfort, Associate Professor of Digital Media, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Literature has long manifested itself as poems, stories, and plays, on broadsides and in letters and chapbooks -- but for centuries the main, defining unit of literature has clearly been the book. The book has been the basis for institutions, including bookstores and libraries, and is central to the modern idea of authorship. In recent decades, the project of literature has intersected with the digital in the form of hypertexts, multimedia CD-ROMs, expanded books, interactive fictions, sites, pages, blogs, tweets, apps, programs, installations, and performances. The Electronic Literature Organization has worked for more than a decade to facilitate and promote literature in digital media in these and other forms. Surveying some of this electronic literature provides a rich context for the standard, contemporary concept of the e-book -- which, I argue, is unlikely to become the analogue of the "book" for literary art in digital media. Instead, I suggest considering standardized e-books as part of a spectrum of book-like literary productions.

10:25 - 10:40 a.m.


10:40 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.

Panel discussion: Running with the Bulls: Publisher Perspectives on Managing E-book Growth
In the last five years, eBook consumption has grown from a rounding error to as much as a quarter of some publishers’ unit sales. For selected individual titles, eBook sales can make up as much as half of the total number of books sold. With the market changing widely and rapidly, publishers continue to evolve their e-book initiatives. In this panel, four publishers will discuss how they currently think about the eBook market, offering perspectives on: current market research; platform, interface and delivery mechanisms; promotional design; and the prospects for digital content in the next few years.

Moderator: Brian O'Leary, Magellan Media Consultant Partners

  • Ken Brooks, SVP, Global Production & Manufacturing Services, Cengage Learning
  • Isabella Steel, Head of Digital Business Development, HarperCollins Publishers
  • Ania Wieckowski, Managing Editor, HBR Press
  • Adam Witwer, Director, Publishing Technology, O'Reilly Media
12:10 - 1:25 p.m.


1:25 - 2:40 p.m.

Library Perspectives

The Ideal E-Book World: An Academic Librarian’s Dream

Suzanne M. Ward, Head, Collection Management, Professor of Library Science, Purdue University Libraries

Library patrons clamor for e-books.  Librarians are ready and willing to provide their patrons with access to e-books whenever possible, but publishers don’t always make it easy.  Sometimes it takes months after print publication before new titles appear in electronic versions.  Sometimes publishers only sell certain e-book titles as part of bundles.   Sometimes publishers sell their output in large packages at attractive per-title prices, but librarians know that their patrons will not use all of the books in the package and are becoming increasingly reluctant to tie up large percentages of their book budgets in single or multi publisher deals.  Sometimes publishers are slow to add their e-book titles to aggregators’ lists, if they do so at all.  And not all publishers participate in the growing phenomenon of patron-driven acquisitions which more and more librarians regard as the preferred selection method.  Librarians understand that publishers need to make a profit on the books that they produce, but in the e-book arena the current array of choices and options does not always coincide with librarians’ desire to spend collection funds wisely and in their patrons’ best interests.  A collection manager from a large research library will discuss the current e-book landscape from a librarian's perspective and suggest feature and service improvements to enable libraries and publishers to benefit and meet evolving user demands while remaining flexible in the new era of publishing, acquisitions and scholarly collection development. 

Managing E-Books for a Consortium
Alan Darnell, Director, Scholars Portal, Ontario Consortium of University Libraries

Scholars Portal, an initiative of the Ontario Council of University Libraries, provides technology support for OCUL member libraries in many areas, including virtual reference, citation management services, numeric and geospatial data services, and digital content management. Two of the largest repositories of digitial content managed by Scholars Portal -- an E-Journal collection of 32M articles and an E-Book collection of close to 500,000 texts -- provide an interesting study through contrast of the unique and daunting challenges of managing e-book content. The presentation will look at issues related to consortial acquisition, local loading, metadata management, digital preservation, usage drivers, and student and faculty adoption of ebooks compared to ejournals.

2:40 - 3:25 p.m.

The NISO DDA Working Group: Toward Best Practices for Demand-Driven Acquisition of Monographs
Michael Levine-Clark, Associate Dean for Scholarly Communication and Collections Services, Penrose Library, University of Denver

The co-chair of the newly-formed NISO working group for Best Practices for Demand-Driven Acquisition (DDA) of Monographs will report on the group's progress so far and its plans for the coming year. The group will be examining business models and technical issues relating to DDA implementation, and will welcome feedback throughout the year.

3:25 - 3:45 p.m.


3:45 - 4:30 p.m.

Culture is the Algorithm
Richard Nash, Vice President of Community and Content of Small Demons

Huge swathes of the discussion about the future of publishing focus on format, product and process—what books will look like, what workflows will look like, what organizational structures will look like. How technology makes all this different.

Much of this is reminiscent of Ted Levitt’s seminal paper on “Marketing Myopia,” where an overemphasis on product narrows future growth opportunities. If format—both the old containers and the new ones—matters less than we think, where do we look for insight? I’ll argue that we can look instead to culture for ways forward.

Drawing on our experience in developing Small Demons, I’ll describe how we pushed ourselves beyond format and focused instead on the obsessions that culture produces. Drawing on a range of practices starting with Cosplay, I’ll argue that the journey to the future of the book leads right back to the story itself, rather than than look to the services for understanding as to where story might be going, look instead to culture for insights as to where devices might be going.

4:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Ask Anything Session

5:30 - 7:00 p.m.


Friday, October 19, 2012
8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Panel discussion Aggregators and Platform Providers

  • Moderator: Sue Polanka, Head of Reference & Instruction, Wright State University Libraries
  • Ken Breen, Senior Director, eBook Products, EBSCO Publishing
  • Terry Ehling, Associate Director, Content Development and Publisher Relations, Project MUSE
  • Carol Helton, Vice President, Worldwide Sales & Marketing, Credo Reference
  • Heather McCormack, Collection Development Manager, 3M Cloud Library
  • Rebecca Seger, Director, Institutional Sales, Americas, Oxford University Press 
11:00 - 11:15 a.m.
11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Born Accessible: making e-books fully inclusive from day one 

  • Larry Goldberg, Director, Media Access Group Director at WGBH and The Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM)
  • Geoff Freed, Director of Technology Projects and Web Media Standards, The Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media NCAM

An introduction to evolving authoring and display technologies, including mobile devices and e-readers, that provide reading experiences for people with print disabilities. The presentation will include discussion of new reading systems, publishing tools and practices, the EPUB 3 standard, "smart graphics," best publishing practices, and the Content Model for accessible images. Also discussed will be Federal and state requirements for accessible textbooks and relevant public policy initiatives.

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

End Users Speak: Outcomes from Recent Surveys

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, as well as Library Journal's Patron Profiles and new Academic Patron Profiles.

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
1:30 – 2:15 p.m.

The Future of eReaders
Jenn Vail, Senior Marketing Manager, E Ink

E Ink is the world’s largest supplier of electronic paper displays (EPD) into the eReader market.  Our low power, paper-like displays can be found in the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo eReader and Sony eReader.  As the eReader market has matured, we have worked with our customers to add new functionalities to the devices to make the user experience more robust. We continue to develop improvements in our core technology and in the ecosystem supporting eReaders to bring new features to users.  In this session we will discuss future technologies that company is developing, and where we see the future of eReaders.

2:15 - 3:00 p.m.

Rights, DRM, and Piracy

Skott Klebe, Manager, Special Initiatives and Information Security, Copyright Clearance Center

Digital Rights Management technology is surely one of the most controversial topics in every discussion about digital media. Proponents of DRM argue that DRM is necessary to deter piracy, while opponents argue that it doesn't deter piracy, or that piracy actually promotes sales. In this wide-ranging talk, we cut through ideology to review some of the best scholarly research on the impact of piracy, and consider how this data can inform the underlying strategy that motivates DRM.

3:00 - 3:15 p.m.


3:15 - 4:15 p.m.

Digitize, Democratize: Libraries and the Future of Books
Robert Darnton, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the Harvard University Library; Member, Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Steering Committee

Despite a lot of loose talk about the death of the book and the obsolescence of libraries, books and libraries are more important than ever in the current digital environment; and their importance will increase as we design the digital future—if only we can get it right.  One way leads through excessive commercialization to a future in which the public will cease to have access to most of the material that belongs in the public domain.  Another way would democratize access to knowledge by creating a Digital Public Library of America.  The DPLA faces formidable problems, but it is being successfully organized; and when it opens online next April, it will begin to make America’s cultural heritage available, free of charge, to all Americans and in fact to everyone in the world.

4:15 - 4:25 p.m.

Closing & Adjourn

Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO