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,