Digital e-book lending in United Kingdom libraries is still in its infancy. Major publishers still have not committed front-list titles in a meaningful way and there is no clear path to standardizing digital in the modern library.
UK libraries have not invested in digital the way they have in the United States. 95% of all US libraries have a collection of e-book titles and this drops off a cliff in the UK. E-Book loans are roughly 5% of the average UK library, chiefly because they aren’t investing enough capital into collections and public awareness.
In 2013 and 2014 English taxpayers paid £985 million pounds for public libraries. £550 million of that was spent on staff and management. £55 million was spent on print books ( of which about £15 million was processing and £40 million went to publishers) and £10 million was spent on e-Books.
The tremendous amount of apathy booksellers and publishers have for digital library lending is palpable. Tim Godfray, CEO of the Booksellers Association said there are “serious ramifications that we believe e-book lending will have on our bookshops, not to mention the potential reduction of people visiting libraries. 39% of e-book borrowers said that they were much less likely to visit a bookshop; 37% said they were much less likely to purchase printed books; and 31% said they were much less likely to purchase e-books. If public libraries are able to loan as many e-books as they want without fair and balanced controls, many commercial aspects of the book trade would be harmed.”
It really looks like the booksellers association and publishers don’t want e-books in UK libraries. They are basically standing on their own little soapboxes proclaiming that library lending would be the death mark on mainstream bookstores such as Waterstone’s and mom and pop stores across the country.
Friday, June 5, 2015
Barnes and Noble has announced some big savings on their Nook Audiobooks app for Android. The company is taking advantage of the media publicity and launching a big campaign.
Kashif Zafar, VP, Digital Content at NOOK outlined to Good e-Reader exactly what they are doing. “To celebrate Audiobooks month, in the first two weeks of June, the NOOK Audiobooks for Android app will feature a number of collections focused on bestsellers and highly engaging titles for customers who want to listen to audiobooks while they "multi-task". Because we know that people often listen to audiobooks while doing something else, we've created unique collections for a number of various activities — for example, we have a list of favorite audiobooks for commuters, a collection for people who work around the house, one for people who exercise, one for crafters, and more.”
Kashif went on to say “Following on the heels of that, running June 14-22, we will have a Father's Day 40% off sale that showcases audiobooks that dad (or anyone!) would love: blockbuster thrillers, biographies, and more. And of course, a permanent feature we have is our Daily Find, which Android customers can find by going into the app and scrolling down on the Shop Home – it features unabridged audiobooks at 60% or more off the list price. We're excited to put these collections and programs together for our customers to help them discover great audiobooks that we love.”
Bookstores, libraries and publishing companies have all unveiled their summer reading programs which have a singular objective; getting your child to read outside of the classroom. Sadly, there is one major impediment: parents.
A new study conducted by the Literacy Trust looked at the reading trends of children in 2014 and found nearly one in four students agreed with the statement: "My parents don't care if I spend any time reading."
One in six boys surveyed by the Trust have never been given a book as a present and one in five say they haven't been taken to a bookstore. The numbers shrink a bit for girls.
The key to getting kids to read this summer, according to Kate DiCamillo is “letting kids choose their own books. Don't hover. Don't judge. Don't say no if they want another "Big Nate" instead of "Charlotte's Web.
Be the parent who says "this is totally yours," DiCamillo says. "It's treacherous waters where you're forcing something onto them. It pushes them further away."
Deborah Johnson is the buyer for the book section of Barston's Child's Play toy store said that parents need to relax this summer, too, just because a child in fourth or fifth grade might not jump into reading easily "doesn't mean they won't become a lifelong reader," she says. "I think kids get messages that parents are worried about their reading. But we have to remember that everyone has their own taste and own pace."
She also mentioned she doesn't mean to lecture, but children have phones and other technology from a very young age. If they play a lot of "brain-numbing games, they are less likely to want to read a book. So perhaps we should consider getting our faces away from the phone, too. Remember that children are modeling our behavior.”
Luminary author James Patterson also wants your child to read and is doing his best to foster the love of the written word. In a recent television interview he said “a lot of parents know they are supposed to work with their kids on their soccer skills and teach them how to ride a bike. And that's all good. But what I think people really have to get into their head is that it is our job as parents and grandparents—it's not the schools job—it's our job to get our kids reading so there need to be books in the house.”
James Patterson and I share the same fear that children these days are living their lives without books. It is the parents responsibility to foster a love of reading and to visit the library or take them to the bookstore. Remember, children without books translates to a world run by the shortsighted and the glib and the apathetic and the narrow-minded.
At this very moment, the Raspberry Pi education team are in Exeter nearing the end of the second day of Picademy #10; Day 2 is Project Day, and the #picademy hashtag on Twitter is full of photos of biscuit-tin robots, papercrafts, Babbage bears and breadboards as the teams share their projects.
Primary, secondary and post-16 teachers can be part of CPD like this: Picademy #11 takes place on 13 and 14 July at Pi Towers in Cambridge, UK, and you can apply here. As ever, it’s completely free to attend, and you don’t need any experience: we’ll teach you, inspire you, feed you, and give you free resources, and at the end, you’ll join the friendly and enthusiastic ranks of Raspberry Pi Certified Educators (you even get a badge).
But what’s it like, exactly? Raspberry Pi Certified Educators have blogged and tweeted quite a lot about their experiences of Picademy:
One of our favourite things about Picademy is watching the effects ripple out afterwards, as people write about its impact on their teaching and network with one another to organise events local to them. Spencer Organ, a chemistry teacher from a school in Birmingham who attended Picademy in October 2014 blogged about the training itself and, later that term, about the impact of his two days at Pi Towers:
David Saunders travelled from overseas to attend Picademy in April, and went home inspired:
More Raspberry Pi Certified Educators have written about their Picademy experiences and their effects than I can quote here, and you’ll find more of them listed on our Picademy home page.
We always finish Picademy with a group photo. It’s an occasion of dignity and gravitas.
So, what are you waiting for?