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DPLAfest 2016: E-book Research & Advocacy

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>>From the Library of
Congress in Washington D.C.>>Rachel Frick: Hi, thank you. Good Afternoon, my name’s
Rachel Frick, I’m the director of Business Development at
the Digital Public Library, and I’ve been working on a
number of eBook initiatives with my colleague Michelle Bickert, who’s our eBook Program
manager at DPLA. And we thought this would be a
great opportunity here at DPLA Fest to bring up some folks who’ve been
working really hard in the area of research and advocacy in eBooks to help us inform building
really good, compelling services for our libraries, and learn
a little more about this. So, we’ve got Michael Blackwell
from Readers First, as well as, Alison Bradley from the
Charlton Initiative. And then wrapping up everything
is our colleague Colin Rogister from the White House
who’s been helping us in facilitating the
Open eBook Project. So, as moderator, I’m going
to just help with timing, and moving our folks along. We’ll have time for maybe like, one
question in between each speaker, but we could hold all of our questions toward the
end, that’d be really great. So, without further adieu, Michael. [ Applause ]>>Michael Blackwell: Thank you so
much Rachel, I’m Michael Blackwell from St. Mary’s County
Library, and from Readers First. I’ve been with Readers
First for about three years, Readers First, the name says it all. I think we’ve got a
reputation for being kind of a technical oriented group, and
a large library oriented group. Our real purpose is making
reading easy for people, reading is the most important part. So, we’re going to start with a
little bit of trip back in time, back to about 2009, 2010, and this
is what library eBooks were like. You probably all recognize
some of these things, there’s our friend Adobe Digital
Editions, and there’s a Nook. And what’s the most
important part of that nook? It’s the plug, because
that’s how you got eBooks on it from your library. You had to have that
synchronized with an Adobe ID, and Adobe Digital Editions
synchronized with an ID. And if it didn’t all work you
got an ACSM file sitting there that nobody knew anything
what to do with. So, most of our users are
probably not very sophisticated, and I was on the frontlines then,
and I often dealt with people sort of like ones we see
on your left here. “Oh, my grandchildren gave me
this ereader, can you show me how to get content on that please? And when you did they gave you a
hug, and it was a great experience. They were in the 21st
Century, they could go home and tell their grandkids,
“Look what I did.” But too often what we saw instead
is what you see on the right here, people who were very frustrated
by that library eBook experience. This incidentally is
not a frustrated user, this is a librarian, she
was twenty-four years old when this picture was taken, and
this is what the stress of trying to teach eBooks at that time
were doing to libraries. See, she suddenly had
a couple tours in Iraq, and thought that was a
much safer and better job. So, eBook should be easy, we want
to take advantage of the benefits, that 24/7 access, it
should be easy to get. Nobody comes to you and say,
“How do I open this book, and how do I turn the pages?” So, why should library
eBooks be so tough? And that’s where Readers
First got its start. Call in a couple of folks,
Micah May and James English, and Michael Santangelo, a couple
of them in the audience here who were really instrumental
in moving this movement. So, currently we have
about 300 libraries, about 200 million readers,
and why not join? First a word from our
sponsor, Readers First, helping with library
eBooks for four years. It’s totally free, we have
two ways you can join, you can either simply be
a member and get updates, or you can join our working group. Either way, you make
a huge difference on how library eBooks work. Thank you from this
word from our sponsor. So, initial principles on this,
we wanted to launch eBooks from the library catalog. Four ground libraries were the
provider, not those vendors, eBooks is not over-drive,
eBooks is your library. Manage accounts from
the library site. You shouldn’t have to go to
all these separate places in order to manage your account. You ought to be able to do it right from the library site,
or the library app. And we want to make all
vendor content interoperable across platforms. You don’t have to have this device,
and that limits what you can do, or have this content
bundled, so that you’ve got to visit particular
vendors to do that. And our initial way of
approaching this was develop APIs, or to advocate the
development of APIs. And, finally our aim was to try
to develop and promote apps, and create some standards
for library eBook content, so that the vendors would all say,
“All right, here’s what we’ve got to do if we want to get
into the library market.” Now we didn’t approach this
as if there were any devils, there’s no demons out
there, we wanted to say, you know, you’re our friends. Who put that that slide in there? Cher, did you put that
slide in there? Well, the gentleman on the left is
Mr. Steve Potash from OverDrive, and he’s actually been
extremely pleasant to work with. Give you a specific example,
if you go to your app now, you can log into OverDrive
with your library card number. That was a Readers First idea
we presented to the, so like, kind of how we work
is, what’s a good idea, and we approach the
vendors and talk about that. We say we’ve got 200
million readers, don’t you want to work with us? So, that’s not really fair to
Steve, who’s a standup guy. The guy on the right, Mr. Bezos, I believe that’s actually an
actual un-retouched photo of him. Funny thing happened, we announced
our Principle Guider website, started going to conferences, and
all these groups started saying, “We’re Readers First compliable”,
said, really, who are you? We didn’t — never even
heard of you before. So, our next step was to develop
a guide to library eBook vendors, and we developed the
matrix to do that. Hence, the picture from the
Matrix, which ranked vendors in about 37 categories,
all of them weighted. And we came up with a sort
of, composite score to try to indicate how much
these people were in compliance with Readers First. And it was amazing to see the
results, we were interviewing most of the library vendors,
and we also had contact with them though our libraries — could actually evaluate
their products. And a lot of them started
developing things that we wanted, just so they would be
Readers Fist compliant. And if you do ever access
eBooks in your library catalog, and you’re using APIs, so that it
launches right from that catalog, I’m not going to take full credit
for that for Readers First, but I will say we did have
a lot to do with that. So, then the golden period
of library eBooks began. Print started shrinking,
nobody got print anymore, everybody loved looking eBooks,
because they were so easy. Yeah, right. So, that brings us to the present,
we still have a lot of concerns about library eBooks,
Yes, they’re — most of the vendors are using APIs,
it’s gotten a lot easier to launch from your catalog, but we
still look upon this process as being too fragmented. It’s too necessary to go
out to too many places, and you’re playing app
soup when you’re trying to get all library’s content. We want them all to launch from
the single site, and the process, the very process of getting
eBooks can get in the way. And at smaller and less affluent
libraries this can be a particular problem, because we may not have
the money in order to do some of that API adoption
in the catalogues. We’re concerned about accessibility. Too often library eBooks
are not accessible to those who might not see perfectly,
or have difficulty hearing. Privacy issues. Who owns the big data on
library digital content, and what do they do with it? If you know, please let me
know, because I have no idea, I know what they say they
do, but there’s a possible — I mean, we want to
know it as libraries, but there’s a possible
stream for the mayor, and I’m certain I want them
to be taken advantage of. Preservation of eBooks. Who’s keeping track of them? In ten years are we going
to have access to them? Costs, this is a matter for
the publishers primarily. I think everybody in
this room is familiar with how much a new popular
best-seller can cost as an eBook, and how much that might compare
to a print copy of the same thing. Finally, the business
models that some vendors and publishers are using. Discovery of those titles can be
very problematic, that one user, one book model definitely
limits the number of books we can put
into people’s hands. When you couple that with prices, I
think we’re still doing our readers out there, and libraries
a real disservice. We’ve seen astronomical growth in
library eBooks, what could it be if we had a workable model where
people could access all the time, or access more frequently
than they do? How many more hits could we have? How many more readers could we have? Another concern, ILL, even if we’ve
just got a license to something, why can’t we let somebody
else look at that? Now there’s a growing vendor market, and there’s newer library
eBook vendors, and some of them are offering
very interesting models. So, that’s a good thing, and
competition’s always nice, but it’s presenting challenges
too, because once again, we’ve got more people
entering the market. How are we going to corral them? How are we going to get
them working in a way that will support Readers
First principles, so we can launch all their
stuff from the same place too? Finally, there’s many, many voices in the library eBook
— I’m at ten minutes? Ooh, I’d better hurry here. So, we’re going to go — do
the rest really quickly here, what are we doing at Readers First? First, keep calm and
raise your standards. We are supporting the
growth of standards that will work across
vendor platforms. That’s a huge thing for
us, and it’s probably going to continue to be our main focus. We’re going to release
another version of our guide, and try to give you some idea
of how compliant folks are. We’re looking for some
marriages out here. The guy on the right is, unfortunately not me
with my shirt off. I look a little more like
the person on the left. Incidentally, if you’ve never
seen the Librarian for Life and Style blog, it’s a lot of fun. We want to reach out and
work with other groups, and we think that the DPLA
EBooks Working Group is going to be a fantastic resource for us. We do want to be a part from that,
we want to share content with them. We want to share their content,
and work with other groups. And we’re just introducing ourselves to the Charlotte Initiative you’ll
be hearing from in a minute. We’d love to be working with you. What can you do for eBook advocacy? Speak up, talk to your
vendors, but more importantly, get involved with this conversation. Become a part, join
one of these groups. We are soliciting members,
and it is totally free. Here are our principles, and I don’t
have time to review them in depth. Okay, make sure you’re
recognizing the library as provider. It shouldn’t be, I access an eBook,
who’s Overdrive, or who’s 3M? It should be the library
that you see, easy to acquire and manage, no more than 3 clicks. Seamlessly available, available
across all different platforms, accessible, we need
those features built in. Private, and we need to
formulate this a lot much more, but how much information
should be shared, and who should it be shared with,
and should the restrictions be? And finally, provided by a business
model, which is beneficial to all. Authors, yes, publishers, yes, it’s not like we don’t think
people deserve a fair shake, but we think our readers
deserve a fair shake too. Quick shout out for Kelvin
Watson from Brooklyn, we were –>>Queens.>>Queens, I keep saying that. I am sorry Kelvin, that’s the
third time I have done that. I am — I will now
bury my head in shame, I have shamed this
cathedral of learning. The silver lining from
the hurricane that came through there was the development
of some robust standards. We were talking in NISO for a
while, kind of flirting with NISO, now we think those might be used. A number of our colleagues from
Readers Fist have been instrumental in developing the SimpyE app,
and if you don’t know about that, please find everything you can about
it, and plan on becoming an adopter, because it is going to
revolutionize library eBooks. Thank you so much for
your time this morning. [ Applause ] Oh, any quick questions? We’ll have time at the end too. Yes?>>Are slides going to
be available afterward?>>I’m told yes. No. I — let’s find
your presentation, okay.>>Alison Bradley: Nope. Yes. All right, I brought my own
timer because otherwise, who knows how long
I’ll be talking for? Okay. Hi, everyone. I’m Alison Bradley and the head of
Research and Information ‘Services at UNC Charlotte, and I’m here to day representing the
Charlotte Initiative. This is a Mellon funded project
that is designed to convene a group of publishers, librarians, and
consortia representatives to talk about ways that we
can collect eBooks, and academic libraries
for the long-term. So, for a little bit of background, this project was really
started several years ago, and it’s based upon our
library’s assertive positon on what we’re willing to
tolerate in eBook collections that we provide to our users. Our first experiences with eBooks,
well, it’s probably similar to a lot of the other libraries out there, we had the net library
collections about ten years ago. They were purchased by
a state-wide consortium; we were very excited
when we got them. We promoted them really heavily, and our users gave us
feedback hot and fresh. They were frustrated with the
limitations on those collections. They didn’t like the interface, they didn’t understand why only one
person could use a book at a time. And in academic library, they had
been trained for ten years prior to that to use online journals,
when anyone could look at a copy of any article at any time. They could download a pdf, they
could take it with them, print it, save it, copy it, paste it. So, when we came in and
said, well, you know, the publishers are saying this eBook
needs to work like a print books, they didn’t really make
that connection quite as easily the publishers had hoped. The particular bad feedback came when our classroom instructors had
a book that they either assigned, or that they’re students all found
at once that they all wanted to use. I think that the final
straw for us was when we had a really nicely
phrased, but extremely angry email from a professor who said, “If I’d knew that your
eBooks worked liked this, I would have told my students
not to use the library at the beginning of the semester.” So, that’s the kind of thing
a librarian never wants to hear, right? That’s not what we’re there for. Our Associate University librarian
for Collection Development, Chuck Hamaker, came to the subject
librarians next department meeting and said, “Hey, we’ve got
28,000 of these books, can we just withdraw them?” “Can we take them out
of the catalog?” And that’s probably the first
time in recorded history that all of us agreed, right? There were absolutely no dissenting
opinions, we were all happy to say, we’ll throw them out, and we
will not provide them any longer, because they just don’t meet
what a campus of our size, and our type of research needs. So, Chuck began writing and speaking
really actively on his position on what an eBook collection
needed to provide to serve an academic
campus like ours. He eventually drafted
three basic principles of what we thought we
needed to have in order to make these collections useful
for our students and our faculty. They’re pretty simple, we
think that our collections need to have unlimited,
simultaneous users. They need to have no
digital rights management, and they need to have
irrevocable, perpetual access, and archival rights
at the library level, so that we can buy
this stuff and keep it. We see it as part of our
responsibility to be able to hold on to the materials that we
purchase for our student’s research, so that someone can go back
in 50 years or 100 years, whether that material
is out of date or not, and see how did we study
that stuff back then? In fall of 2014, our
library had the opportunity to pitch some different research
ideas to a program officer from the Mellon Foundation’s
Scholarly Communications program, and this was the one that he picked. So, we were invited to develop
a proposal on what we could do if they gave us some money
related to these three principles. And, what we came up with was
to convene a working group, which I mentioned very
briefly at the beginning. So, and spoiler alert, we were
funded to convene a working group that consist of librarians
from all different types of academic libraries across
the country, and also in Canada. Consortional representatives
who purchase for state-wide and regional consortia, and also
publishers from university presses and non-profit scholarly
presses in particular. So that we could talk about the
potential that there is for eBooks to be provided to academic
libraries meeting these principles, but also what kind of
threats there might be to those university
presses business models, because they’re frightened
by these ideas. They think that this might actually
be the thing that kills them. We know that a lot of providers
either aren’t currently, or are refusing to sell books
that meet these principles, but we want to understand
the ones that do. How they get past that fear, and how they get past the
challenges that they see? So, the working group has about 25
members, we met in-person last Fall, and we’ve been having regular
conference calls throughout the Winter and the Spring. We’ll have another
meeting this coming Fall to discuss the high level issues
around these three principles. The second part of the
grant is our research teams. We have four mayorly
focused research teams that are addressing specific
applications of this project. The first is Licensing
Principles team, they’re studying public
ally available licenses from scholarly presses on what they
offer as their default conditions when they sell large
eBook collections, or eBooks individually
to academic libraries. The Course Use Research
Team addresses that angry professor’s email. How can you buy these
eBooks in a way that they make sense
for classroom use? The User Experience Research
Team is addressing the ways that our libraries assess how
their users feel about eBooks. In particular, how much of our
current research climate — you know, they’ll do a
study, they’ll run a survey, and they’ll say, “Oh, people
feel “x” about eBooks, and they won’t differentiate between
whether that person is thinking of an OverDrive book they
got from the Public Library, or a Springer title that they were
able to download the complete pdf with one click, or something
from ProQuest’s collection, where each book can act differently
from one page to the next. It might be my least favorite,
and finally, we have a Platforms and Reservations Research team
which is addressing the ways that libraries themselves
can make use of those archival rights
that we’ve negotiated. And who can — they can actually
book, store, and preserve content for the long-term, but serve
it on a single platform to their users no matter what
publisher that material came from. So the essential work of the
project is to gather information. We’re trying to get a
sense of what’s happening in the market right now, and
also to start discussions so that we can better understand
how this market is changing, and how we can frankly
promote the ideas that we think are really
essential for eBooks to be useful in an academic library. The final reaming portion of the grant is a comprehensive
environmental scan of the market, which is including
a literature review of what publishers are — I’m sorry. A literature review, a
survey of publishers to find out who is willing, or
already offering collections on the terms that we’re suggesting. And also to find out
for the publishers that aren’t offering
collections to these terms, or who don’t like the idea when we
propose it, what’s stopping them, and what could we do
to meet them halfway? And also just to review the
current practices of libraries, how many of them are trying to
provide content to their users under these parameters, and how many
of them are not concerned as we are? And finally, each of the research
teams will also be writing, publishing, and presenting
on their findings, but also on the additional questions that are raised throughout
the work of the grant. And we’re anticipating that we
will probably have more questions than answers at the
end of this two years. But the final portion of the grant
is going to be an open conference that we’ll be hosting in
Charlotte in March of 2017. Each of the research teams will be
reporting out on their findings, the working group will
be reporting out on — well, anything that we’ve managed
to answer, but more likely, most of the questions that we expect
everyone to be facing together. It will be free and
open to the public, and I hope that everyone
will consider attending. Yeah, okay, thank you. [ Applause ]>>We have some time
for some questions.>>Alison Bradley: Question, anyone?>>Colin Rogister: All right. Thanks so much Rachel
for having me here today. So excited to be here in The Library
of Congress, and talk about eBooks. And so, I just want to
talk a little bit today about the Open eBooks initiative,
but before I delve into Open eBooks, I kind of want to back up a few
years to where this all got started. So, the President in 2013 in June launched an
initiative called ConnectED in Mooresville, North Carolina. The big goal of ConnectED was
kind of the yank our schools and libraries into the 21st
Century, and build atop a lot of the innovation that is — had
gone on the EdTech sphere already, and also on folks like, the Digital
Public Library have in libraries. So, the big goal of ConnectED was — is to connect 99% of students
in schools and libraries by 2018 to high speed broad-band and Wi-Fi. The good news is we’re on
track to meet that goal, already 20 million more students as
of last June have been connected. We’ll see more data on the
Fall on where we are now, but things are going well there. And it’s not just about
connectivity though, the pillars of ConnectED are
connectivity, training, teachers and librarians to be able to utilize
the high speed Wi-Fi and technology, and devices and quality
digital content. So, the President challenged
the FCC to step up and help us meet the
connectivity goal. They changed — they did some e-rate
modernization, and raised the cap on e-rate by 1.5 billion per year. Happy to say that it’s going
well, and hundreds of millions of dollars have already gone
out to schools and libraries. One quick — one change that was
really important was making Wi-Fi available for funding again. And we’ve seen a lot of
instances where schools and libraries have gone from,
you know, 10% connectivity in the buildings, to 100% not today. Moving to training. So, in terms of training, we kind
of addressed that with Future Ready. So, Future Ready is kind
of the train the trainer — train the teacher and
educator type of thing. So, thousands of superintendents
have committed to make their schools future ready,
and they have attended summits from around the country to
receive high quality professional development, and also
have a network of support. And really excited that
— that that was — we were able get it off the ground. The Alliance for Excellent
Education is a partner, as well as many library
groups as well. And, so, moving to the device side, the President challenged
device makers to make devices price
competitive with a text book. And we have seen prices
drop significantly over the past few years, obviously
some of that is Moore’s law, but also some of it is, for example,
Microsoft made a big commitment where they cut essentially the
Windows fee that would have gone into a computer out of the equation. So, schools got about 100
bucks off every single device, and you’ve seen device prices
being driven down significantly. And you can get Chromebooks
or other tablets for as cheap as $150.00 these days. So, and also Apple
stepped up in a big way, and committed a hundred-million
dollars’ worth of free IPads and other software to
low-income schools. And those have already been rolled out in schools all
across the country. So, the last piece is content,
that’s what we’ll talk about today, high quality digital content. So, in challenging the
private sector we, you know, we got a lot of different
commitments on the device and connectivity side, but we
hadn’t — other than Safari Books, hadn’t gotten a lot on
the digital content front until about a year ago. And that’s when we worked
with The Institute of Museum and Library Services, which
already had project — as you mentioned, Library
Simplified underway with New York Public Library. And we were just thinking about how
we could reach kids that, you know, buy books at home, don’t have many
books at home, and provide them with a scalable solution
that would allow them to have a world class
library at their fingertips. So, working with Moira Marks,
who’s here today, you know, they — we utilized — leveraged the
grant that they already had with New York Public Library. Connected with the
Public Library of America, who is providing content curation,
and a lot more to the project. As well as First Book, who’s
providing authentication, and Baker & Taylor’s kind of
serving the eBook from their server to the students through the New
York Public Library developed app. So, that’s kind of the genesis
of how it came together working with Nancy Weiss in the Office
of Science and Technology policy, and my others in Domestic
Policy Council. And the partners kind of took this
from a nascent idea to a real thing, and we were able to
work with publishers to get thousands of eBooks donated. These are not, you know, just
the bottom of the shelf eBooks, these are really top quality. You have things like
Twilight, which, you know, the kids love apparently, and we
recently added National Geographic. So, there are a total of ten
publishers, and you know, for example, Macmillan stepped
up in a big way and gave all of their age appropriate
titles away to this project. So, that’s just the start, I just want to talk a little
bit about eligibility. So, first, this is the first
book criteria of eligibility, so in order to become a
part of Open eBooks you have to join the first book network. In order to join the first book
network, you essentially have to serve low-income
students, or students in need. So, this reaches students in
Title I schools, students in — libraries that e-rate
are above 90% — percentage, and federally
qualified healthcares, USDA Summer Food Service Programs. Students that primarily in
the Special Education classes, or pull out and push
out, push in situations. And then also, schools that are
on military bases, or 70% or more of the students in a school
are from military bases. So, a lot of eligibility, and just
one quick note on this, you know, when we started, that one of the qualifications is you’re
served by a homeless shelter. When we started there was kind
of some question about, you know, will these kids have
devices at home? You know, there’s low
penetration, and that’s true, at the time that we started
the percentage was lower, but recent data came out showing
that 85% of students in families with kids ages 6-13 have
either a tablet or smartphone. And 90% of smartphones or
tablets can utilize Open eBook, so Android, and IOS. And so, what that basically means
is that there’s a huge proportion of kids out there — they’re
eligible, and its tens of millions. And one quick story, I was talking
to a principal last week in Brooklyn who has a student who came up to her
and said — he’s a homeless student, said that Open eBooks has
been a game changer for him. They had been sending home hardcopy
books to him, and he kind of moved from shelter to shelter, but the
hardcopy books were stolen often. And kind of, counter
intuitively, but the — actually having a tablet
is more safe be said, because he can keep
it on his person. And so, he’s checked out an
e-reader, and is able to read it at home with his family, and
they’re really excited about that. So, just wanted to give you a quick
overview of what it looks like, this is an IPhone view of what
Open eBooks might look like. There are all different
categories, should mention that DPLA has put together
a fantastic curation quarter where they’ve gotten some of
the nation’s top librarians to basically take all of the
books the publishers donated, and have curated them
into different swim lanes. You’ll see here, informational
books, National Geographic was a
recent addition to the group, and we really have tried to —
we meaning the curation core, have really tried to make sure that the books really matched the
students that were reading it. So, we’ve really tried to have a —
as many diverse titles as possible. They’re encouraging publishers
to give more, they have books in Spanish, and are working
towards having even more languages. So, this is just a quick
look of what it looks like, and I just noticed that New
York Public Library is here, Micah May has been spear heading it from New York Public
Library’s standpoint, and put together a fantastic app. You’ll see here that it’s you know,
very slick, you’ve got a catalog, you’ve got a section of My Books
where you can store the books that are yours, that that you have
already checked out, you click read, you return them when you’re done. They’re — the cool thing about
this is that it’s multi-use, simultaneous, so you could return
that Ashley Bryan book, and decide, oh, wait, I want to show it to my
brother, check it right back out. So, although there is a limit of
ten, and the reason for that is, they — teachers and other
librarians have, kind of, thought it would be too
much to have ten at a time. Although, it’s a limit of ten,
it’s essentially unlimited. So, that is Open eBooks, I want
to leave some times for questions, but really want to encourage
you to, either go yourself to Open eBooks.net and
take advantage of it, or encourage your network to do so. We really think it’s
a great resource, and we’ve actually seen
incredible demand that’s gone way above our expectations. So, thanks so much, and
happy to take questions.>>Any questions?>>[Inaudible] I’m sorry. I’m a public librarian at Prince
George’s county, digital services. I want to tease out a bit the
notion of the known [inaudible] versus open access to eBooks. I’ve seen the debates
on social media and I’m still not totally convinced that you know everyone
has access to a device. I just wanted to hear
some further –>>Colin Rogister: Sure, no I
mean, and that’s definitely true. I think the — what
the partners wanted to do here is provide a
great resource to those kids that do have access to devices. So, although, you know, they
essentially didn’t want to wait until there’s 100% device
penetration to move. And you know, for kids like the
homeless student in Brooklyn, who were able to checkout e-readers
can be a huge plus to them. I do — would say that, you know, there’s a lot of research
showing that, you know, in a very few years we might
be at 100% penetration. And the New York Public
Library is working — what they’re developers are
working on a web based version, which should open it up even more,
so just beyond the Android and IOS, so that essentially you
can have it on any device, any laptop, any computer. So, that’s a great question, and something that we’re
certainly working on. [ Inaudible Remark ] Sure, hey.>>Micha May: So, I’ll jump in here. I think, you know, [inaudible] I
couldn’t, can’t resist, you know, keep my mouth shut or whatever. But I guess, one thing that
I thought about a lot is, I think that in device lending
space it’s a very much a time of experimentation, right? You see many schools going to one
to one, and you see others not. And you know, within the
New York City Department of Education there is a wide
variety of experiments being run, and evaluation of those experiments. And I think that has
made sense to me, I mean, part of it isn’t just
the financial fact of it, we don’t have a magic wand to buy everyone a device,
we couldn’t do that. And we somehow created and
discovered a magic wand to give everyone content,
and that’s pretty cool. But further than that I think
it makes sense in a way to start with content first, and if you have
devices and you have nothing to put on them, which I think is
sometimes a problem, right? And we’ve got a device for
every student in our school, but like literally
what do we put on it? And so, in a way you want to have the content solution there
first while how devices will be provisioned is still a
landscape of experimentation, and a thousand flowers
are blooming in the space. So, that all of those experiments
can test, and then give us feedback about how best to deliver
the content. So, if you’re going to do one first,
I think it makes sense to start with content, and I think we all
very much agree that, you know, getting devices and
[inaudible] is still a challenge, and something we probably
need to work on. And I would say there’s a positive
reinforcement there, right? If you’re considering providing
devices, and there’s nothing to put on them, it’s not a
very compliant case. If you’re considering
providing devices and you say, and we can give every
student this great, you know, collection of eBooks along with
other educational software, then it makes a lot more
sense to make an investment. So, hopefully having a content
solution in place will actually help to drive positive devicing option. Do you think there’s
other, you know, angles or questions we’re missing?>>I’m not really either
[inaudible], but I — the administrators in
my organization are, you know, we’re a public library, so we’re
already provided the access to eBooks in some sense
with or without the reader. Having a reader to me, or having
a device may be more important. I do see your point about the
content first solution, thanks.>>Sure.>>Thanks James that
was a great question. Any other questions?>>Colin Rogister: Yes?>>Big supporter about the eBooks,
and when it first rolled out I got in a couple of [inaudible] to
push and say, this is great, and incidentally with the
simultaneous access wouldn’t it be great if we could all offer that? I think it’s a pretty serious
push back on something, and that was like really saying,
I can’t go to my coach and say, I’m sorry, you’re just not
cool right now at these books. And say we won’t adopt at all, because we use them
to serve everybody. At some point at talking point, what do we say back next time
somebody says that to me?>>Colin Rogister: Sure, I mean,
I think that the way we were able to make this work with
publishers was to have it go through the First Book Network. And so, you know, although we are
working on a solution that all kids, and all families can access,
right now this is where we stand, and you know, I think it’s a tough
message to say, but essentially, you know, I think you can — if
you’re in a library you can talk about all the library books
that you have there available. I mean, this is certainly
seen as a supplemental program that builds upon the
— a top the great work that libraries already have. Michah, do you want to jump in?>>Michah May: Yeah, I think I
might have a punch counter to that which is, you know, libraries
I think, even schools are used to giving some special
benefits to low-income, right? We have free lunch, there’s
Title I, it’s very much done, and libraries we try to
really hard to say it’s equal, and everyone has access
to everything. And I guess there’s a question,
if you have the ability to give special access to a limited
population, do you want to do that, even though you can
give to everyone? And as a thought experiment you
might ask these directors, okay, if [inaudible] system, if you have,
you know, give me seven branches, a few of them fall [inaudible]. To get you new funding
we have to apply, administrate that community
as low-income. So do we not do that application,
because every branch can’t have it? No, we take it where
we can get it, right, and in some ways this is
analogous, if you have a resource that can only — think, publishers
are not going to give away the books to everyone, how could they do that? So, if you have a resource that’s
available only to low-income, just in the same way that you know, that we apply for [inaudible]
funding only for the branches that qualify, I would say that
is a benefit to the library’s in the system that potentially
you know, allows us to reinvest in [inaudible] serving
those who don’t qualify.>>Michael Blackwell: Well
and we’ve targeted groups that can’t use it, you know –>>Colin Rogister:
There you go, yeah.>>Michael Blackwell:
Head Start Kids. Maryland has what we
call juvie centers, which is early child
literacy, kids in poverty. Targeted those kids who
have homeless backgrounds, so we’ve been doing outreach
especially with the schools to target it, but I just, you
know, wanted to hear what you’d say to that, because that
doesn’t get any push back.>>Rachel Frick: We all have
the same goal, we want to spark that lifetime love for any reading, we want to grow our
universal leaders, and this is yet another tool in our
toolkit that allows us to have a little bit
more, I guess [inaudible]. So, I just wanted to say just
kind of, once again to point out, Open eBooks is really the
first production ready to point at assembly, and I don’t
take enough time to say that. And I think simply as part
of this whole kind of, one of the main ingredients
in increasing our bandwidth to be more powerful with our eBooks. Because I think there’s some
development simply so that if there is a child at their public
library, and is authenticated with their public library, and then
they have another authentication through eBooks, they can have
access to multiple libraries through this one particular app. So, I think that’s the
direction we’re going, and like any project
Open eBooks is — we’re committed for a few
years to work together on this, this is our first iteration. This is the first deployment
[inaudible] is SimplyE, you know, this is the first roll out of the
first collection of the eBooks, so if anybody has any
questions, comments, suggestions for partners,
and ways to improve and grow this, it’s really welcomed. So, yes, you have a question?>>Yes. Related to that, how open
is First Book to doing this on mass? So, you know, as a large library
system we qualified easily, it wasn’t a problem, I was
able to order some licenses. People aren’t really
asking for it though, we do library registration drives
for our kindergarteners every year, couldn’t we just hand them
a [inaudible] access code.>>Rachel Frick: When you
say on mass, how many?>>20,000?>>Rachel Frick: Last time
we had to get the camera, it does not [inaudible] voice. 20,000?>>It would be in the thousands.>>Rachel Frick: I would say
let’s talk to First Book, because I think we want
to make sure that kids that are qualified are
getting those particular codes, and we’ve worked on that. We have worked with First Book
on large [inaudible] codes, but we want to connect the kids
that qualify to those programs, but we also — it’s not just I
guess, handing out the codes, but we want to make sure that
we connect with the parents, download the app, and make sure that
they know how to work through it, so we have successful book reading
experience at the end of that.>>And I think they need a
packet to go with that library –>>Rachel Frick: They have a parent
letter, but you know, we have — our friends at First Book
would love to work with you on that type of large scale Lola. So, yes, let’s connect,
and [inaudible].>>Colin Rogister: And your
question actually brought up — reminded me of something that’s
incredibly important as part of ConnectED, which is the
ConnectED Library Challenge, which IMLS is spear heading. And that is essentially,
the idea of, you know, not every kid has a
library card today. When I taught we had to do a
trip to the library, you know, rent a bus and all of that. Why can’t we just have
the kid, when they show up for school the first
day, get a library card? And so, you know, for example
in D.C. they made the commitment to the ConnectED Library Challenge,
they went from about 5,000 students to 70,000 students
having library cards. So, it’s a huge jump, and
so, yeah, and I also wanted to mention two other initiatives,
ConnectHome and ConnectAll, that if you have questions about
I’d be happy to talk to after. ConnectAll is something that’s
recently announced by the President, both of them try to reach kids
at home to provide more access to the internet essentially. And ConnectHome is through
housing developments, and ConnectAll is essentially
all Americans, so it’s not necessarily just kids. And it’s kind of, we’re working with
a lot of different entities on that. One big change that kind of
spurred this was the modernization of the Lifeline program, which
will now allow low-income Americans to use Lifeline for broadband.>>Rachel Frick: Last question.>>What is the status of the
Connected Library Challenge? About a month ago — we’re
working with our schools, we got a new 503 kids card app
that massively increase the number of young kids with cards. So, we said, hey, we want to be part
of the Library Connected Challenge, and got into that, okay that’s
great, but we’re kind of you know, in a holding pattern right now, because so many people
recently wanted to join, I just wanted to know,
where we might be with that?>>Colin Rogister: Okay, well, I
think we should definitely follow-up with you if you haven’t
heard back yet. The ULC is working with IMLS on
kind of, supporting folks that want to make the pledge, and what
we’ve had to date, you know, hundreds of thousands of kids
have gotten library cards. We’re gathering the data from
librarians to all across the country to try to aggregate that. Nancy Weiss is here, do you
want to comment to that?>>Nancy Weiss: Yeah,
yeah, we talked about it, and we also have some resources, and
more [inaudible] to speak as well, and [inaudible] coming out. But perhaps we can
follow-up on that.>>Rachel Frick: In order to keep
on us on track here on the program with the program [inaudible]
it’s 2:30, right? Or am I reading my clock wrong? And it’s time for a break, so if
you have any additional questions, please ask our speakers,
and please [inaudible]. [ Applause ]>>This has been a
presentation of the Library of Congress, visit us at loc.gov

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