NFAIS webinar to Examine Findings of Study on e-Books and Future of University Presses

The National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS) is hosting a webinar that will address key findings from a three-year study titled “E-books and the Future of University Presses“. NFAIS is a membership association for organisations that seek to create, organise and facilitate access to authoritative information.

The webinar, scheduled for March 23, 2011 at 1 PM (EST) will address key findings from the study, including strategic vision; academic library budget developments; research about library e-book adoption; patron driven selection; current trends; new and evolving standards; and academic publishing in trends. Additionally, the webinar will explore technology driven efficiencies in workflow and production; determining core competencies: what stays in-house; expanding service partner options; service level agreements; and new business models.

Featured speakers include October Ivins, Principal, Ivins eContent Solutions, and Alex Holzman, Director, Temple University Press.

It has been observed that there is a tremendous drive in the academic library environment to reshape content and service models to deploy technologies to serve the user more effectively and efficiently at the point of information need. One of the hottest topics for libraries in this regard is e-books. This is also an area of rapid development across the publishing industry – with activity to standardise file formats, a proliferation of dedicated devices, and the transformation of purchasing and copyright practices originally developed for print books. For libraries, there are associated issues in terms of both constrained purchasing budgets and the expanding popularity of patron driven selection. Recent key library events such as the ARL Membership meeting, Charleston Conference and the ALA Midwinter Meeting highlighted the issues, and interest seems to grow daily.

Publishers in a university press environment also face some new challenges. At a time when print sales are declining, how should e-books be integrated into production and distribution to demonstrate the ongoing value of a university press in support of academic research? Rising interest in the creation of cooperative branded consortia for purposes of distributing scholarly monographs is evident as several such initiatives that have emerged. The Andrew Mellon Foundation has funded one such exploratory initiative involving various university presses including NYU Press, Temple University Press, Rutgers University Press, the University of Nebraska Press and the University of Pennsylvania Press. The 60 presses that are joining the University Press eBook Consortium (UPeC) are focused on satisfying the needs of the scholarly community as they move forward in selecting a platform and planning their collections.

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