ebook usage statistics

In a recent phone/web town hall discussion with Peter Shepherd, Project Director for COUNTER, mused about why publishers (and libraries) have not embraced the COUNTER Code of Practice for Books and Reference Works as quickly as they have the Code of Practice for Journals and Databases. His approach is that we are paying customers and should have that information. My perspective: meh.

I would like to see ebook usage for items that we purchase as a subscription, but for items we own (i.e. one-time purchase with perpetual access), it’s less of a concern for collection development. Licensed ebooks with annual subscriptions (like regularly updating encyclopedias or book packages) are more like online databases or ejournals than traditional paper books, so in that regard, it shouldn’t be difficult for publishers to implement the COUNTER Code of Practice for Books and Reference Works and provide use information to customers.

For books that are static and don’t have any annual cost attached to them, there isn’t much of a regular need to know what is being used. We keep track of re-shelving stats for the purposes of managing a physical collection with space limitations, and those problems are not replicated in an online environment. Where the usage of owned ebooks comes into play is when we are justifying:
a. The purchase of those specific ebooks.
b. The purchase of future ebooks from that publisher.
c. The amount of money in the ebook budget.

Hopefully Mr. Shepherd, Project COUNTER, and vocal librarians will be able to convince the publishers of the value of providing usage information. When budgets are as tight as they are these days, having detailed information about the use of your subscription-based collection is essential for making decisions about what must be kept and what can be let go (or should be promoted more to the users). Of course, in less desperate times, knowing this information is also important for making adjustments to the library’s collection emphasis in order to meet the needs of the users.

radio is fun!

Aside from the occasional mistakes (which were swiftly corrected), things went fairly well with my first foray back into radio. The live stream is experiencing some technical difficulties, and more to the point, it wasn’t working during my show. Apologies to anyone who tried to listen then. (Anyone = Benjamin, who may be the only reader of this blog in a time zone where 3-6am Eastern is not an unreasonable.)

If you would like to know what tunes I chose, the playlist is now available. You can follow it weekly if you like, although there is not an RSS feed.

back on the radio

In a few hours, I will be starting my first shift alone at WRIR. Luckily, not many people will be listening from 3-6am (Eastern). If you’re up, feel free to tune in (terrestrial radio and streaming online) and laugh at all my screw-ups.

I have spent several hours tonight creating a playlist, rather than just going in and doing it on the fly like I used to. Partially because it’s been a long time since I thought about my music collection from the perspective of radio (family-friendly content), and partially because having all of my music in iTunes makes it easy to sort through by song rather than pulling each disc off of a shelf to decide what to play.

The hard part of the whole process was determining how much music I need to bring, since I will also be playing stuff from the WRIR library, making announcements, and other breaks throughout the show. I suspect this will get easier the more I do it.