Monday, June 20, 2011

Whose is going to Capture the Various Library Worlds

The library digital world is starting to undergo some serious consolidation and establish interesting partnerships. The market itself is quite diverse with public, institutional, academic, corporate and educational libraries supporting different usage and content needs and straggling not just books but learned journals, journals, reference works and information resources.

Overdrive announced a partnership arrangement with Amazon to offer the giant’s digital content through their increasingly dominant public library offer. This coupled with Amazon’s new and limited loan service begs many questions as to the exclusivity of the partnership, the long term ambitions of Amazon and their intent to move in this direction. The public library arena could become crowded with many digital supply offers and we still have Ingram in the US and many localised offers emerging around the world.

Google appears to be stuck with their settlement offer and intent to cloud cover the library world but their intent to be the information index of the world and their continuation to scan libraries and now grow their bookstore clearly indicates that they aren’t going away. However they have just announced and arrangement with The British Library to access a huge volume of out-of-copyright works for free for the first time on the internet and mirrors deals Google already has in place with more than 40 libraries around the world. The British Library deal covers some 250,000 texts dating back to the 18th Century. Google covers the cost of digitisation, producing one copy for its own use, an one copy for the library.

Smiths News bought Dawson Holding earlier this month. Dawson Books, is the largest division on the acquisition and makes for a good strategic fit, complementing Smiths Bertram's wholsale and library services division. Dawson's eBook platform provides an established digital platform, an alarming gap in Bertram's market offer. Hat more acquisitions could be undertaken.

EBSCO and The H.W. Wilson Company have recently announced a merger agreement. EBSCO and Wilson have complimentary products the merger will enable the Wilson controlled vocabularies to be integrated into EBSCO's controlled vocabularies, resulting in improved subject indexing for EBSCO databases and its search and relevancy ranking algorithms. Similarly, Wilson indexing, abstracts and full text will be fully searchable via EBSCO Discovery Service for subscribers of Wilson databases.

SwetsWise, a competitor of EBSCO, has expanded its eBook catalogue to over one million publications. Swets has achieved this with leading eBooks publishers and aggregators. This in turn compliments and enhances their librarian interface for librarians and information managers to select and acquire eBook content. Customers are able to purchase under the same pricing and purchase models offered by publishers and aggregators directly offering a single, user-friendly interface to acquire and manage both eBooks and journals.

Then we have OCLC who have their WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway to access WorldCat, the world’s largest library community of over 72,000 libraries in 170 countries which host over 230 million records of books, e-books, serials, sound recordings, images, musical scores, maps, visual materials, mixed materials and computer files.

Finally Bloomsbury have show us that a simple library shelf offer has a great appeal to public libraries and a model that has the ability for libraries to do it themselves.

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