The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) and Book Industry Communication (BIC) today co-published for public comment a discussion paper on the International Standard Text Code (ISTC) intended to foster understanding of the unique book identifier and provide clarification as to its potential benefits. The paper, entitled The International Standard Text Code: A Work in Progress, is the first in a new series of BISG discussion papers that will be published online for real-time reader review and comment.The Bookseller (UK) reports on UK publisher concerns over libraries future lending practices with respect to e-Books. Does this presage issues in the US? (Bookseller):
"We've commissioned this paper to encourage our members to take a long hard look at the opportunities ISTC can offer the book industry," commented Peter Kilborn, Executive Director of BIC. "Their active support is essential if the standard is to achieve the critical mass it needs to deliver real benefit, especially as digital formats proliferate in the future."
The ISTC has been called one of most important identifiers since ISBN. The ISO standard, published in 2009, identifies an underlying textual "work" independently of a specific manifestation. It provides a much needed mechanism for identifying an original text that may be available in many seemingly different published versions with different ISBNs. By doing so, it has the potential to provide better, more targeted online search and discoverability.
However, like ISBN, ISTC's path to adoption has not been a straight one. Misunderstandings--even controversy--with regard to its implementation and its efficacy in solving key book industry problems abound. The new BISG/BIC discussion paper is designed to look beyond the official documentation of the International ISTC Agency at the real opportunities available to publishers, retailers, rights and collection agencies, bibliographic aggregators and systems providers to derive benefit from early implementation of the standard.
The Library Modernisation Review, published this week by culture minister Margaret Hodge, said the government would make an “affirmative order preventing libraries from charging for e-books lending of any sort, including remotely”.Mark Twain's autobiography is in preparation and will include revelations about his relationship with his assistant Isabel Lyon (Times):
Tim Godfray, chief executive of the BA, said he had “concerns” over the issue, with the BA council meeting yesterday [Thursday] to discuss the matter. In a submission sent to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on 25th January, the BA said it was “worried about the loaning of e-books in the library market”.
The submission also said there was “undeniable tension” between the library world and authors, publishers and booksellers. It stated: “The former want to give as much information to their ‘customers’ for free; the latter to make a living by creating, producing and selling copyrighted material.”
Clara convinced Twain, perhaps unfairly, that Lyon had stolen $2,000 when she supervised the building of his last home in Connecticut. Twain sacked Lyon and repossessed a farmhouse he had given her as a Christmas present. He then showed her the 429-page dossier and threatened to release it if she ever tried to extort money from him or his family. It was a brutal finale to a close relationship that had brought much happiness to one of America’s most popular and highly paid writers. In 1904 Twain, then 68, employed Lyon, a socialite who had fallen on hard times, as his secretary and a companion to Clara. Twain and Lyon became close: the widower described her as “slender, comely, 38- year-old by the almanac and 17 in carriage and dress”.A newly rediscovered memoir by one of Lord Byron's lovers suggests he was really a monster (Observer):
Written by one of the women closest to them, it contradicts historical accounts and demolishes their moral reputations. Penned when she was an embittered old woman, it reveals for the first time her accusation of both poets ruining lives, including her own, in their pursuit of "free love" and "evil passion". Historians yesterday hailed it as an extraordinary discovery.From the twitter (@personanondata)
Daisy Hay was researching her first book in a New York public library when she found the manuscript – a fragment of a memoir by Claire Clairmont (1798-1879), Mary Shelley's pretty step-sister, who was made pregnant and dumped by Byron in her teens, and whose contemporaries gossiped that she had also had a child by Shelley.
Historians have striven repeatedly to understand the bizarre relationship between Clairmont and the Shelleys – she went with them when they eloped, and lived with them throughout most of their marriage. There was also the entanglement with Byron, who virtually abandoned their illegitimate daughter, Allegra, sending her to a convent, where she died aged five.
Outsell/Springer Report on Special Libraries Offers Academic Parallels (LJ)
Perception crucialOCLC looks at future risks to the academic library and concludes (OCLC):
Aside from linking library value to grant income, another crucial component of demonstrating value is addressing the perception of library services, especially among decision makers. This is important in both academic and corporate settings.
Here, the Springer/Outsell report's conclusion that "information managers must not allow the value of the library to be underestimated" stands as a more universal maxim: Libraries provide services and support not just in the breadth and quality of the information provided, but also in terms of staff skill-sets. Embedding the library function into the workflow of users as much as possible will further cement their position.
This is heartening but likely to be inadequate. Most institutions continue to direct resources in traditional ways towards operations that are marginal to institutional and national research priorities, towards processes and services that are ignored or undervalued by their clients and towards staff activities that are driven more by legacy professional concerns than user needs. To properly respond to the risks identified here, research libraries need to come together around an action agenda aimed at improvement of the research enterprise they serve. Incremental revision of traditional operational models will only hasten the movement of important new research services to other entities within the academy, leaving the library with only the vestigial values of its book-determined legacy. It will look the same but everything will have changed.Information Today's Barbara Quint discussed the NetLibrary to Ebsco deal (IT):
The NetLibrary acquisition will ultimately allow EBSCO customers to search their NetLibrary ebooks on EBSCOhost. EBSCO will begin work immediately to integrate NetLibrary ebooks into the EBSCOhost platform while also maintaining and making improvements to the NetLibrary platform. The purchase included e-audiobooks and the NetLibrary staff and operations located in Boulder, Colo. EBSCO plans to continue the subscriptions using the NetLibrary platform. Tim Collins, president of EBSCO Publishing, stated, "We plan to invest in the current platform with scheduled enhancements. We're working with the Boulder team to integrate it so users can search NetLibrary along with EBSCOhost databases and EBSCO Discovery Services. We plan to grow the business."Even without Rooney, the team played well. Still top.
To protect library investments in NetLibrary ebooks, OCLC will place all NetLibrary ebooks purchased by libraries in a dark archive-the OCLC ebook archive-at least through March 2013.
EBSCO will provide OCLC MARC records for applicable ebooks to libraries free of charge and will ensure continued visibility of these important collections in WorldCat.org. EBSCO plans to maintain the popular ebook content purchase model and will explore ebook subscription options. Thousands of libraries also subscribe to Recorded Books eAudiobooks on the NetLibrary platform. This service will continue as EBSCO and Recorded Books will partner to provide access and new eAudiobook content on the NetLibrary platform.
Moving into ebooks marks an expansion of EBSCO's scope. "Our customers have been encouraging us to enter the eBook business as their users want to search eBooks on the same platform they are using to search leading full-text databases," said Collins. As to EBSCO's future plans for ebooks in general, Collins said, "We are already talking to publishers about new formats like epub and Onix for metadata. If publishers want material processed in those formats and it can benefit customers, I do see us going that way. At this point we're agreeing to explore it. As to e-readers, it's probably too early to be looking at different devices. One of the first things we're going to do is work with focus groups of librarians and ask what they want to see us do in general for interface features. We're trying to approach this methodically and avoid the temptation to make decisions quickly. It's early days yet, but we're committed to serving libraries."