E-Books Focus Group

Background: The E-Books Focus Group was a joint ELUNA, IGeLU an Ex Libris group tasked to look at future E-Book needs. The focus group created a 36 page report.

Executive Summary

After years of hype accompanied by only desultory growth, the number of e-books available on the Internet has suddenly begun to grow dramatically. Sources of growth include not just traditional book publishers, but also mass igitization by players like Google, library-based digitization such as Making of America and the Million Book Project, and open access initiatives around the world. Libraries will need to manage and provide appropriate access to these books.

The coming of e-books will have implications for most of the systems Ex Libris offers. Ebooks provide a number of challenges different than those of e-journals. The scale is much larger (millions of e-books versus a few tens of thousands of e-journals). Books are “bibliographically” more complex versions, editions, manifestations), which demands more sophisticated discovery and elivery functions. Identifiers, critical in linking applications, are spottier and more complex. And free content is much more common in the e-book world, challenging established workflows and information flows supporting library acquisition, cataloging and access.

The Focus Group discussed the nature of the evolving e-book environment, and
analyzed in some depth the issues raised by e-books in four areas: discovery, linking, management, and delivery. It identified new requirements necessary to support e-books within Ex Libris’s products and ranked these in terms of their short-term and long-term importance (see Appendix A for full details of the ranking process and results).

Click here to see the report details and Ex Libris’ response to the report.