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Against The Grain Journal

Charleston Library Conference 

Jan 29, 2017

The Evolution of E-Books

As we all know, the advent of the ebook have had a profound impact on libraries. What started as very tentative steps with NetLibrary at the turn of the millennium – this seems like a lifetime ago! - has rapidly evolved with the integration of digital content and services in libraries. The evolution from print to online has been a rocky and complicated journey, unlike the relatively smooth transition from print to online format for journals. Much has been written and said about the challenges and opportunities resulting from the ebook. Major challenges include ownership, preservation, discovery, accessibility, licensing and acquisition models, and usability. It’s time to take a step back and look at the remarkable evolution of the ebook – where have we come from, where are we today, and most importantly, where do we want the adoption or integration of ebooks to lead us? What does this mean for the iconic role of the monograph in libraries and in particular for the success of our students and faculty? Looking back can help us better understand the odyssey of the road ahead. What are the main drivers, challenges, and opportunities? Our panelists have significant and varying experiences with ebooks in libraries and they will bring us their insights and analyses. They will address various issues and challenges, guided by the questions below.

Historical Perspective of eBooks: How have eBooks changed over time? What is your perspective on the evolution of the eBook? What do you like and/or don’t like?

The Future of eBooks: What new developments are on the horizon? What are the latest models emerging? Will these changes meet the needs of students in higher education? What are the implications for academic libraries/students/educators?

Impact: How will eBook reading impact literacy, reading, and learning in today’s world? Will this affect academic collection development? What philosophical challenges are posed as academic libraries embrace eBook collection development?

Tony Horava (Moderator)- University of Ottawa, AUL Collections, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

I've been involved in Collections work for many years, and have seen remarkable transformations over the years. The challenges around ebooks, licensing, budgets, consortial strategies, new forms of knowledge and scholarly communications spring to mind. Reading in the digital age fascinates me - it is such a sea-change. The Charleston Conference is always energizing. I look forward to connecting with many people and hearing new ideas and innovative strategies on the various challenges we face.

James O'Donnell - Arizona State University Libraries, University Librarian & Professor

James J. O'Donnell is the University Librarian at ASU Libraries.He has published widely on the history and culture of the late antique Mediterranean world and is a recognized innovator in the application of networked information technology in higher education. In 1990, he co-founded Bryn Mawr Classical Review, the second on-line scholarly journal in the humanities ever created. In 1994, he taught an Internet-based seminar on the work of Augustine of Hippo that reached 500 students which deserves to be called the first MOOC. He has served as a Director, as Vice President for Publications, and as President of the American Philological Association; he has also served as a Councillor of the Medieval Academy of America and has been elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy. He serves as Chair of the Board of the American Council of Learned Societies. His edition of Augustine's *Confessions* is a standard, while his most recent books, Augustine: A New Biography, The Ruin of the Roman Empire, and Pagans bring cutting-edge scholarship to a wide audience. His work of most relevance to issues of libraries today and tomorrow may be found in his 1998 book, Avatars of the Word: From Papyrus to Cyberspace.

David Durant - East Carolina University, Federal Documents and Social Sciences Librarian

My professional interests focus on the importance of preserving and ensuring access to legacy print collections in the digital library environment. This is an especially pressing issue in federal documents, where my institution is a member of the ASERL Collaborative Federal Documents Program, but also for broader monographic collections as well. I'm also interested in the ways in which technology is altering the ways in which we read and think, and the broader societal implications of these changes.

Mitchell Davis - Bibliolabs CFO

Mitchell Davis is a publishing and media entrepreneur. He was the founder in 2000 of BookSurge the world’s first integrated global print-on-demand and publishing services company (sold to in 2005 and re-branded as CreateSpace). Since 2008 he has been founder & chief business officer of BiblioLabs -- the creators of BiblioBoard.
BiblioBoard is an award-winning App and web content delivery system that makes community engagement tools and simultaneous use content available to public, school and academic libraries. Today they work with thousands of libraries and publishers around the world in pursuit of a new vision for the future of libraries.

He is also an indie producer and publisher who has created several award winning indie books and documentary films over the past decade through Organic Process Productions, a small philanthropic media company he founded with his wife Farrah Hoffmire in 2005.

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