News You Need to Start the Week

by | Aug 6, 2012 | 0 comments

Kindle ebook sales in the UK; another university press on “hiatus”; ARL joins Amicus brief on Google book settlement; Univ. of Memphis debuts digital repository; Engineering Village has a new design; GOBI3 has expanded ebook access; PAPR is now online; and self-published books make the NY Times Bestseller list.

Kindle ebook sales have overtaken Amazon print sales, says book seller

According to this article in the Guardian, Amazon.co.uk has said that sales of its Kindle ebooks are now outstripping its sales of printed books.

Underlining the speed of change in the publishing industry, Amazon said that two years after introducing the Kindle, customers are now buying more ebooks than all hardcovers and paperbacks combined. According to unaudited figures released by the company on Monday, since the start of 2012, for every 100 hardback and paperback book sold on its site, customers downloaded 114 ebooks. Amazon said the figures included sales of printed books which did not have Kindle editions, but excluded free ebooks…

Much to the consternation of the publishing industry, Amazon has refused to release audited figures for its digital book sales, something it does for printed books. It told the Guardian that the company would not discuss future policy on the matter…”

Another Press on Chopping Block

Inside Higher Ed reports that “The University of New Orleans has eliminated the job of the director of its university press, and plans to put the publishing operation on a “hiatus.”

A university spokesman declined to confirm the plan, except to say that the institution is facing a new round of deep budget cuts, and that officials would announce this week how to respond to the cuts. The spokesman also suggested that it would not be correct to say that any final decision had been made, and that the university would have no further comment. But the dean of arts and sciences — in an e-mail to the director, obtained by Inside Higher Ed — states that “we have put the press on hiatus…”

The news from New Orleans comes at a time when many academics are concerned about the future of university presses. The University of Missouri announced in May that its press would be eliminated (although officials have since said that the press may survive in an altered form focused more on teaching students). Recent years have seen presses closed or suspended at Southern Methodist University and the University of Scranton. And in March, the Utah State University Press announced that it would mergeinto the University Press of Colorado…”

ARL Joins ALA, ACRL, and EFF in Amicus Brief Supporting Google Book Settlement

“On August 1, 2012, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) joined other members of the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA)—the American Library Association (ALA) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)—and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to file a friend of the court brief (PDF) in Authors Guild v. Google, Inc., a lawsuit in which authors allege that Google violated copyright by scanning books to create Google Book Search (GBS), a search tool similar to its Internet search engine. The LCA/EFF brief defends GBS as permissible under the doctrine of fair use, a flexible right that allows copying without payment or permission where the public benefit strongly outweighs the harm to individual rightsholders…”

The University of Memphis Libraries (TN) Debuts Digital Repository

“The University of Memphis Libraries’ new online digital repository is now available to the public. Students, researchers, and the Memphis community now have online access to the digitized portions of the University Libraries’ rich special collections through Content Pro, Innovative’s digital collection management solution.

Of special significance is the digital repository’s National African American Photographic Archive (NAAPA) collection. This collection is a collaborative project between The University of Memphis Libraries and Ampro Industries, Inc. of Memphis. The aim of the project is to collect, scan, and make available to the public photographs and informative metadata illustrating the daily and work lives and social activities of African Americans. The collection currently contains 374 images, which date from the 1880s to the 1980s. As the part of the ongoing project, the University Libraries solicits the donation or loan of significant materials from the public, along with background information, that it can digitize to help document of people, places, and events of importance to African American and American history and culture…”

Elsevier Launches New Design of Engineering Village

Information Today reports that Elsevier has launched a “newly redesigned Engineering Village (EV). Enhancements to the EV user interface include the visual and structural organization of the product … The new functionality and features that have been added have streamlined the site without sacrificing any of the solution’s sophistication. As a result, essential information can be found quicker and more efficiently, streamlining workflows, saving valuable research time, and boosting productivity.

Expanded Access to eBooks on EBSCOhost Now Available Through GOBI3

Also from Information Today a report that “librarians accustomed to selecting and managing their eBook collections through GOBI3 from YBP Library Services (YBP), the academic division of Baker & Taylor, now have additional access options for the more than 320,000 eBook titles from eBooks on EBSCOhost. EBSCO Publishing and YBP have expanded the EBSCO eBook models that are available in YBP’s acquisition and collection development interface…

Print Archives Preservation Registry (PAPR) Now Online

By way of the Center for Research Libraries, InfoDOCKET reports that “the Print Archives Preservation Registry (PAPR) is now available online at http://papr.crl.edu. The registry is designed to support archiving and management of serial collections by providing detailed information about titles, holdings, and terms and conditions of the major print archiving programs. PAPR now includes a searchable database, tab-delimited reports for download, and the simultaneous display of title and holdings information from multiple print archiving programs, including the Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST), Law Library Microform Consortium (LLMC), and CRL’s JSTOR archive. It also references titles held in digital format by Portico and CLOCKSS. Most of the records included at this time are for the WEST project archives…”

Self-Published Authors Make NY Times Best Sellers List

Four Smashwords authors made The New York Times Best Sellers list for eBook fiction this week. Many of these authors have also topped our Self-Published Bestsellers List.

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