Charleston 2014 – What Faculty Want Librarians To Know

Speaker: Phil Richerme, Postdoctoral Researcher, Joint Quantum Institute

He studied antimatter properties at CERN. They published the results in journals, generally the top ones in the field. Currently interested in quantum problem-solving, and now publishing in journals with a broader reach, but still no books.

Each day, the first thing he does is check arXiv.org to see what’s new in the world. Some new open access journals have been created, but the author fees are not appealing when most of the pre-print and some post-print is already freely available in the arXiv. It also saves the researchers a lot of time wasted doing things that others have already done, given the delay between when an article is submitted and when it is finally published.

The next thing he does is go to the lab. To determine what experiments he needs to do, he often does a literature search, generally with Google Scholar, sometimes with Web of Science. He does not use the university library site in part because it is too comprehensive. Books in general aren’t the medium for breaking new ground in physics. They are generally reference sources or have equations of interest, and if he does need to use one, he usually goes to Google Books. If he can’t find a scan of the book, he goes to Amazon to look inside the book, and if not there, he continues to search online. He polled his lab, and only two out of 16 researchers know how to get to the physics library.

In summary, books are no longer relevant for physics research. Journals are the primary source of communication.

Speaker: Tim Johnson, Chair of Classics, College of Charleston

I think he is saying he’s shifted from browsing physical material to digital searches/browsing. He’s interested in serendipity, or at least looking around beyond just the search results. Students can’t find the books, or figure out where they are shelved, so he sees them using more ebooks and articles.

ILL is not a workable solution, because he can’t keep the materials forever and ever like the things the library owns. He rails against our access over ownership model.

He had one bad experience with online resources, and now it’s an IT problem we will always struggle against. Digital should be free, right?

I think I know why his librarians aren’t giving him what he wants — he can’t express it in plain language, and what I can glean from his self-aggrandizing poetics and gross sexualization of the physical book, his expectations are unrealistic.

Speaker: Christine Fair, Assistant Professor of Security Studies, Georgetown University

She gets a lot of information from journals, but she mostly uses books, and particularly those not generally available where she is due to her research on Pakistani and other south Asian security. She browses physical materials, often because she finds other relevant content there.

Academics have no sense of the value of their time. As a consultant paid by the hour, it drives her nuts how much time is wasted by academics who talk about nothing for too long.

Librarians are her collaborators on learning about disciplines/areas that are important to her work but that she doesn’t have time to ramp up on her own.

Her experience with the Georgetown library has not been on the top of her list. In part, her field of study is not one that the university has historically collected in. She doesn’t expect to have everything, but she does want libraries to have better relationships with places that have the content researchers need so that they can access the resources. She’s more likely to buy a cheap book on Amazon than going to the library.

Hard to follow, but it sounds like she has to travel a lot to access content.

She wants the journals digitized? I’m guessing these are not the mainstream scholarly journals that are pretty much born digital now.

Charleston 2014 – How Does Ebook Adoption Vary By Discipline? What Humanists, Social Scientists and Scientists Say They Want (A LibValue Study)

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“ebook” by Daniel Sancho

Speakers: Tina Chrzastowski, Santa Clara University; Lynn Wiley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ebook use in their survey follows the definition of COUNTER BR2. They cannot get all ebook publishers to provide that data, and not all of the ones that provide the data uses COUNTER.

They saw a spike in use in FY14. Two things happened: ebooks get used more over time, and they’ve got 8 years of data now. And, they implemented Primo. Discovery has a huge impact on ebook use.

UIUC science faculty love ebooks. They didn’t do a DDA program for them because they already buy just about everything.

It was easier to buy non-science ebooks in packages, though this caused complications with trying to figure out the funding from many different pots. They would prefer to buy new ebook content title-by-title.

They used eBrary with a mix of STL and DDA. After the third STL at 10-15% of list price, they purchased the ebook. This meant they didn’t buy everything that was used, but they ended up spending much less over-all as a result.

They loaded the records, including those they already owned in print. They were alerted of any STL use. Purchased titles were also checked to see if there was other availability such as the print copy. They do book delivery for faculty, so they were interested in which version would be used when both are fairly easy and fast.

There was a lot of good use across the disciplines, but relatively small numbers of titles were used enough to trigger the purchase (more than 3 STLs). These were all multi-user titles, so for each STL triggered, many people could use it during that 24 hour period. On average, there were around 4-5 user sessions per title for both the Humanities and Social Science pilots.

For the Social Sciences, they found that 67% of the STLs were owned in print, with 73% of them available to be requested if the user wanted that format. For the Humanities, 80% were owned in print and 71% of those titles were available.

Based on the metrics from eBrary, they could make some conclusions about what the users were doing in that content. “Quick dips” were less than 9 pages looked at, printed, copied, and no downloads. “Low” was 10-25 pages viewed, printed, etc. and no downloads. “Moderate” 26-45 pages used with a chaper download. “High” up to 299 pages and chapter downloads. “Deep” significant views or whole-book download. They might want to combine deep and high.

In the social sciences, 80% of the use came from quick and low, with no real deep reading. In the humanities, about 46% of the use came from quick and low, with the remaining coming from moderate and high use, and two books fell into the deep category.

They followed up the DDA program with surveys of the faculty and graduate students for the books triggered in the program. They used SurveyMonkey and gift cards for incentives.

They had questions about the perceptions of ebooks, and used skip logic to direct them to specific books in their discipline to use and then respond to questions about that book. It took about 20 minutes to complete. Around 15% of the Humanities responded and 25% of the Social Sciences responded.

They included a question about ejournals to put them in the frame of mind of other electronic things they use. Given the options for book formats, though, they found that most of the respondents would prefer to use mostly print with sometimes ebook.

Every discipline expects that they would be able to download most or all of an ebook, and that the ebook will always be accessible and available (translating to unlimited simultaneous users, no DRM, etc.).

The humanities haven’t quite reached the tipping point of the shift towards ebook use, but the social sciences think that in 5 years, most of their monographic use will be electronic.

Availability and accessibility is the tipping point for chosing a preferred format. If the print book is unavailable, then they are most likely to use the ebook than ask the library to buy another copy or borrow another copy.

In the end, though, it’s still just a “big ol’ hassle” to work with ebooks compared to how we’re used to using books. For many, the note-taking ability or the technology to better use the ebooks were a hinderance.

What do all disciplines want? More ebooks, more current ebook titles, fewer restrictions on copying and printing.

Image reproduction and copyright are big issues — ebooks need all the content that is in the print book. People want consistency between platforms.

We’re still in the early evolution of ebooks. Many changes are yet to come, including copyright changes, tablet and reader evolution, platform consolidation, and things we have not yet thought of.

Readers and scholars are ready for the ebook revolution. How will the library respond?

Charleston 2014 – DRM: A Publisher-Imposed Impediment to Progress, or a Legitimate Defense of Publisher/Author Intellectual Property Rights?

Speaker: Jim Dooley, University of California

<insert very slow and deliberate description of all of the headaches of DRM in the library world>

Speaker: Zac Rolnik, Now Publishers

His company does not use DRM on their content, but they are not open access, either.

They want to control the distribution of their content but also maximize the access to it. Not putting DRM on the content is their solution to that push/pull. They also want the user to have a good experience getting to the content.

Implementing and managing DRM does not come without its own costs, and the benefits in his estimation are not great enough to justify those costs. Some seepage of the content is okay, and occasionally good. It can raise awareness of the content itself.

The major STEM publishers don’t have DRM on their ebooks (if purchased directly). Most large institutions and consortia have big deal packages with all of the content, so who would be excluded by DRM? DRM does not benefit the goals of Open Access or Fair Use. So, why have it at all?

Speaker: Adam Chessler, Business Experts Press / Momentum Press

A publisher might want to implement DRM to have control over the distribution of their content, as well as protecting their assets.

If you decide to go the route of DRM, it’s not simply pushing a button. If you have a strict DRM regime, you couldn’t use something like SERU, so you’ll spend a lot of time on licensing and legal discussions. Developing and administering platforms is time-consuming, as well as resource-consuming. Monitoring the use and making sure that there are no violations of the DRM is also time-consuming and resource-consuming. More time on the sales team will be spent explaining to the customers what they can and cannot do with the content.

Speaker: David Parker, Alexander Street Press

DRM reader platforms restrict knowledge sharing. It perpetuates a pricing model driven by print, and eliminates the conversation and creativity that could come. Piracy of scholarly and learning-oriented ebooks is not pervasive, and is quite overstated. These are the downsides of DRM for authors.

Charleston 2014 – From Course to Reserves…to Course Reversed?

Speaker: Nicole Allen, SPARC

Textbook prices have risen over 80% over the last decade. Put this in the larger context of the rising cost of education, and these are often out of pocket expenses not covered by grants and loans. Rental textbooks are one way to save money, but the message we are sending to students is that the information in them is no longer relevant when the course ends.

This market is skewed because the decision-makers (professors) are not the ones paying the cost (students). At least 2 out of 3 students have not bought the textbook at least once because of the cost. Students can’t learn from course materials they can’t afford.

SPARC advocates for open educational resources. These are either public domain or have the rights to be used, remixed, and shared. Rice University’s Open Stacks project provides free digital textbooks with hardcover print copies for around $50. Washington State funded a program for faculty to develop and curate course content for the most common high school courses across the state. MIT’s Open Courseware allows faculty to share their teaching materials.

Tidewater Community College’s two-year business degree uses OER in every course. Imagine doing this in the gen ed program of a four-year school.

Developmental math courses have higher passing rates using OER because the students have better access to the materials.
Speaker: Charles Lyons, University at Buffalo

Can libraries do more than put textbooks on reserve? The library is not even on the student’s radar at Buffalo when it comes to textbook sources.

Faculty are not unaware of the costs, for the most part, and they want to do something about it. The reality is that changing resources is difficult. Librarians can help faculty identify and evaluate OER.

Textbook authors are not only in it for the money, but incentives are important. They won’t get the same kind of recognition as they would by writing scholarly articles and monographs, so the money off-sets some of that.

Bookstores are starting to get the message about affordability. Some places the bookstore provides the library with a list of textbooks and they identify books already available, and the bookstore puts up a sign next to the book indicating that the library has a copy.

Students prefer the cheaper edition, in general, regardless of format, but if prices are the same, students will opt for print more than electronic.
Speaker: Bob Nardini, Ingram

Sales pitch for their e-textbook and print textbook services.

Charleston 2014 – Being Earnest in the New Normal

Speaker: Anthea Stratigos, Outsell

Library budgets on average are increasing at around 3%. The publishers are fighting over the same dollars, because this is not enough growth for the needs of their business. Librarians are asking them to demonstrate the value publishers are providing.

To demonstrate value, you need to have the right team, and each member needs to know and stick to their role.

Start by having a strategy. If you don’t have a strategic plan or mission, you don’t know where you’re going nor what you’ll need to get there. Strategies aren’t fixed in stone — they must adapt as institutions change.

Understand your target markets. Who are you serving? How do they intersect? Do they intersect? When you understand who you are serving, you can better plan those services.

Understand what users want. 78% of students surveyed use the physical library daily or weekly. 44% use the digital collection. Studies have also shown that students and professors are more tied to print than we think, particularly with textbooks. However, this may not be true for your market. You need to survey your own folks to determine what their interests are.

Benchmark — there’s always something better to aspire to.

Once you understand your markets, assesed their needs, and benchmarked, then it is time to establish your portfolio. You’ll know what to add, what to drop, what to ask for money for, and what to target to whom.

Then, it’s time to brand your experience. If the library as a quite place to study is most important to your students, do you advertise that?

Engage with your community in meaningful ways to market the things that matter to them.

Deliver wow. Surprise your users. Have actionable deliverables when users ask for research assistance, particularly at the executive level, and not just pages of search results.

Measure ROI and value. Make use of your business students and give them experience doing the research in this area. Usage statistics don’t measure value, they measure volume. Tie what is happening in the library to the institution’s goals — focus on those outcomes and what role you play in that.

Be sure to play and enjoy the results of your work.

Choose your future — will it be Dewey Readmore Books or 22 Jump Street? Will it be a mascot that defines your library culture, or will it be drug trade ring using the dusty books of the library archive as the transfer point? A great library doesn’t have to have the best/newest things, it just has to transparently provide what its community needs.