Sunday, January 10, 2010

Media Week 1: Libraries, EBSCO, EBrary, UBM, Prognostications

Martin Amis is profiled in the Observer this morning (Link):

And last year, Amis drew criticism when he noted of the public interest in Katie Price that "all we are really worshipping is two bags of silicone" – though it probably says more about the dislocation of feminism than about Amis that mocking the cult of Jordan is deemed worthy of rebuke.

In one way or another, Amis's subject has always been sex, particularly the male view of sex, and therefore of women. At the same time, his method has remained extravagantly and grotesquely comic. In novels like Money, he pioneered a baroque-pornographic style to depict the sexualisation of the contemporary world. It was one of the aspects of Amis writing that his father, Kingsley, found unappealing.

"Sex is a fascinating area," Amis senior once explained, "but it's harder than he thinks. Nobody says that fiction should be able to discuss everything; he thinks he can do it, but I wonder if he can."

New blogger Dan D'Agostino (no known connection) at Teleread takes a look at why libraries may be ill advised to buy eBooks: No one will read them (Link):

With a vigorous, searchable Google Books on the horizon, could academic libraries suddenly find themselves and their e-book collections completely bypassed by their students and faculty? The New Year finds both academic libraries and the big commercial publishers that serve the academic community in a state of paralysis, on the one hand knowing that their onscreen e-books are not reaching potential readers and on the other unable to embrace the exploding popularity of e-readers and smart phones as platforms for their content.

How did it come to this? In order to explain it’s first necessary to understand that the world of academic publishing and academic libraries, probably the single biggest sector of the current e-book market, is a strange parallel universe in relation to the rest of the e-book world. And in this strange universe, two fundamental laws currently govern all activities.

NPR looks at How To Work Your Social Network To Find Jobs (Link)
Some burgeoning social networks not only target specific professions but also authenticate people's real-life identities to create secure networks that aren't searchable on the Web. The goal is to let people be comfortable sharing information and get advice without all of the information coming up the next time someone runs a Google search.

A case in point is Martindale-Hubbell Connected from LexisNexis. Michael Walsh, the chief executive officer for LexisNexis U.S. Legal Markets, describes it as "a combination of LinkedIn and Facebook for the legal community."

The service, which has about 24,000 members, provides a way for attorneys to search for future business, get legal advice and find a job. One feature allows users to cross-reference contacts they may already have established on LinkedIn. Each profile shows the law school a person attended and any articles they might have written. Users also can connect with Martindale-Hubbell's career center.

Walsh says LexisNexis' research found that 70 percent of lawyers use social networking tools. He says this number is extraordinary given how busy lawyers are and the extent to which they often keep information close to the vest.

EBSCO announced the launch of an enhanced version of their federated search tool EBSCO Discovery Service (link):

EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) provides much deeper indexing than any other discovery solution, as well as access to all of the library’s full-text content (both electronic and print resources)—an integrated one-stop search experience for a library’s journals, magazines, books, special collections, OPAC and more.

In addition to the most comprehensive and robust collection of metadata from the best content sources, EDS also provides full indexing from EBSCOhost database subscriptions, as well as many non-EBSCOhost partners, including: NewsBank, Readex, LexisNexis, Alexander Street Press and more. Superior relationships & licenses with academic publishers make EDS the most comprehensive service for searching the complete full text of journal articles and other sources. Nearly every major academic publisher is included in EDS.

Ebrary is doing market research into patron driven acquisitions (Link):

“As usage plays a key role in determining the value of electronic products and services, patron driven acquisition is quickly evolving as a model of choice,” said Leslie Lees, ebrary’s Vice President, Content Development. “We are proud to report an outstanding response to the first phase of our PDA pilot, and look forward to gaining even more invaluable input that will help shape our final product.”

ebrary’s PDA pilot participants are given access to a selection of approximately 100,000 e-books and other authoritative titles from the world’s leading publishers such as Wiley, Elsevier, and McGraw-Hill. Purchases are automatically triggered based on usage measured by page views, copies, and prints.

Titles purchased through the PDA pilot, integrate with other ebrary products and services including Academic Complete, ebrary’s flagship subscription product that provides cost-effective, multi-user access to a growing selection of more than 45,100 titles. Additionally, all ebrary titles include rich functionality for quickly and easily discovering and managing information online such as InfoTools, which turns every word into a portal to other online resources of the library’s choice; highlighting and annotating; multiple search options; and personal bookshelves.

Bowker has licensed the print versions of their Books In Print line to Grey House. (Press Release). The agreement is effective January 1, 2010 and I understand both companies are very happy with the agreement.

Other news items posted on the twitter last week:
Interview w/ David Levin at United Business Media. Acquisitions get the attention but "divestitures are very important" http://bit.ly/6GdiXq

The FT looks at Informa and the possible frustrations of the company's CEO Peter Rigby: How can Informa grow and provide shareholders with a decent return? http://bit.ly/7as6lF

The Dallas Morning News looks at Textbook rental programs. These articles are often amusing and informative for the questions. Students often don't hold back. (DMN)

All the prognoticators prognostications - and a big thanks for George for putting this schedule together. (Link)
The Bookseller tells us that the Administrator working on the Borders UK wind down has been able to sell the Books Etc brand which will in turn be revived, but only online. (LINK) As an aside it was quite depressing to see the Borders store on Charring Cross Road completely gutted as of December 24th. If I remember correctly that used to be an old Books Etc location.

More on the opportunities for media investment in China. http://bit.ly/4Sqqrh and a related item on China publishing: http://bit.ly/4VJE9N

Financial information companies are seeing significant expansion in the Gulf. http://bit.ly/7C7YFz. Over the next few years, this growth is likely to cover the softness in the European and North American marketplace.

Christ, is it 2010 already...? I just got over Y2K. Speaking of which Gary A is now on the back nine as of this week.

1 comment:

Keshia said...

libraries are one of the things that you can do to improve relations... :D

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