Thoughts on the 2015 SLAV conference on eResources

A really interesting day, and one in which I got to pick the brains of many like-minded library staff. Lots of robust discussion around eBooks and eResources (and the vendors!) not only what’s out there, but how to make it work for you.

Some ‘takeaways’ from the day:
Do your homework!
What ‘extras’ does the vendor offer? Stats, DDA, purchase limits, purchase triggers, etc.
How will you catalogue it? Does the vendor provide downloads?

The full Storify available here:
SLAV eResources

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Cranky!

I’ve been quiet here of late. So damn busy!

But today I’ve come across a curious, confusing and confounding problem – why are eBooks that were previously available from our US supplier now not available to Australian customers? WHY?!

Here’s the whole story as I see it:

We use Destiny Library Manager from Follett. It’s a US company that makes various database management systems, including student and learning management. They know their stuff.

Which is why I am TOTAL IN LOVE with their online purchasing system, called TitleWave. TitleWave has thousands and thousands of great resources, in heaps of great formats – eBooks, audio, visual, and hard copy. It’s so easy to search, order, pay and upload. And the great thing about it is – we own the books.

Now here’s the problem as I see it. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks pretty clear to me.

It seems that “someone” found out about this easy-to-use system and has shut it down. Rather than lifting prices for Australian purchasers, or making the titles available elsewhere (on publisher websites, for example) so that I can upload them into my catalogue, or renegotiating contracts with the US, they just shut. it. down.

I’m not trying to do the creators out of their dough. They get paid little enough already. I’m happy to pay Australian prices for eBooks that SEAMLESSLY upload to my catalogue software. Overdrive ain’t seamless. Wheelers ain’t seamless. They are proprietary rental systems. I don’t need another place for my students to have to look for resources. Getting them to look at the catalogue is hard enough!

The Destiny/ TitleWave system of buying, downloading and USING eBooks is the best ANYWHERE. No extra modules. No format changes. Licences for single- or multiple-use built in to the cost. Easy for users to access and read. Isn’t that the point?

Why not jump on board, Australian publishers? Get with the program. Because I’m not swapping to Overdrive or Wheelers when I have a BUILT-IN, ownership system already in my catalogue. (Not to mention that, heaven forbid, if my library budget gets cut, then our students no longer can access the eBook ‘rentals’ from these companies).

You’ve been more than happy to let libraries buy books and lend them to people until they fell apart for years and years. And do you know what? You didn’t lose a cent. Because when a paper book falls apart from use you know what a library does? They buy a REPLACEMENT! And you know what happens when eBooks don’t get read, you buy another one!

So, my suggestion is. Get talking to Destiny. There are a lot of users of this catalogue software in Australia, and the excellent ordering and uploading of electronic resources is a great selling point. Why not get your product into more schools, rather than less?

Yours in crankiness,

Week 4 – Extension Activities

Extension Activities

9. Examine the following resources.

I really liked this part of this article:

I became aware of this connectedness of our thoughts as I read Ted Nelson’s Literary Machines back in 1982. Perhaps the seminal introduction to hypertext, Literary Machines opens with the basic assertion that all texts are hypertexts. Like it or not, we implicitly reference other texts with every word we write. It’s been like this since we learned to write – earlier, really, because we all crib from one another’s spoken thoughts. It’s the secret to our success.

  • and this one about eReaders.
  • And surge they have!

    Moodle looks good. Just yesterday we had a presentation from StudyWiz, which looks like a total rehash of Moodle. Anyone using either of them?

    I have already used Google Earth and am aware of the teaching resources available. Now to get the teachers to use them!

    I can see where Evernote would be useful, but isn’t this what iGoogle does?

    10. Do you have a Kindle, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch or other eReader/s in your school? When the iPad was announced, there was debate online for days about the need for e Readers and the future of books. What are your thoughts? How will they impact on the use of fiction and non-fiction?

    No iAnythings in our school, except those the students have. I think there might be a definite possiblity that we might be getting iPads on the book lists at some point in the future. When? *shrugs*. We do have some eBooks for the staff to use to print out answer sheets and assignments quickly and easily. Mostly in science.

    11. Explain how sites such as Moodle or Google Earth can change the way students interact with the subject matter they are studying.

    Real time information and feedback.

    12. How can the use of videos from the above sites help teaching and learning? Is accessibility an issue in your school? Can this be changed with lobbying the right people?

    Accessibility? Half of the things on this course are inaccessible here – especially visual stuff like TwitPic etc. Lobbying and EDUCATING the right people.

    13. How do you think sites such as Evernote help you organise yourself? Can you envisage educational applications for Evernote?

    If kids have the right hardware in front of them then they can save and share in an instant.

    14. Read the Enterprise Project developed by the Education Unit of the State Library of Victoria. How does the example of incorporating these tools in teaching and learning assist you?

    It’s sort of clunky, isn’t it. I can see how you could use it to introduce students to Google Docs and how you could embed it into an existing curriculum (always a good thing to not be reinventing the wheel!). Mmmmm.

    Onto Week 5!