Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

May 2011

E-books springing up & Nettie too!

Spring is always a time of new beginnings and there is much that is blooming in Baltimore and also within NISO. Several projects are taking shape and we're pleased that we can begin talking about them. The first initiative is actually a collection of initiatives and some forward thinking about future projects. Today, I'm pleased to announce that NISO is launching a special interest group on standards for e-books. This interest group will bring people together from across our spectrum of organizations to bring attention and industry coordination to the variety of projects ongoing in the space of electronic books. Some of this work is taking place within NISO, some in partnership with NISO, and some wholly outside of our core community. However, there is certainly a need to see this work coordinated in some fashion. We welcome a broad spectrum of participation in the group, which will operate under the auspices of the NISO Architecture Committee. There are a variety of existing projects within NISO that fall into the realm of e-books. Among these are existing work on the revision to the DAISY Talking Book standard, ISBN e-book issues that NISO engages in as Secretariat for the ISO Identifiers group (ISO TC46/SC9), and expansion of work on SERU. Added to this are projects that people have reached out to NISO to engage in, including patron-driven acquisition, e-book annotation sharing, metadata sharing, content structures, and discovery services.

NISO also has two upcoming e-book-related events; mark the dates on your calendars now. The first is NISO's ongoing partnership with the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) for the 5th Annual Forum on The Changing Standards Landscape at ALA Annual in New Orleans. This free half-day event is scheduled for June 24th at 12:30-4:00 PM. The second event is a 2-day NISO educational forum on e-books scheduled for October 24 and 25th. The programs for both events will be released in mid-May.

I'm also pleased to announce that Nettie Lagace has joined the NISO staff as Associate Director for Programs. Nettie was most recently Product Director at Ex Libris, where she worked on product development for the bX scholarly article recommender service. She replaces Karen Wetzel, who resigned from NISO to take a position with EDUCAUSE in March. We wish all the best to Karen and welcome Nettie to NISO. She's already hit the ground running, and given her record of success on various NISO working groups, as well as her long record of success at Ex Libris, we can certainly expect great things from her!

I hope that you enjoy the spring and all of the new initiatives that are springing up along with the flowers of May.

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Managing Director

NISO Reports

NISO May Two-Part Webinar: The Future of ILS

Both the back-end and the front-end of the traditional Integrated Library System (ILS) are changing and evolving. The back-end is being impacted by the change to RDA cataloging that has only just begun. The front-end is changing through the integration of the ILS with other systems and a web interface layer as well as the interactivity driven by Web 2.0. RDA implementation is expected to drive additional changes to the user-side of the ILS in ways that are still not fully understood.

NISO's two-part May webinar looks at The Future of the ILS from both of these perspectives. Both webinars will be held from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (Eastern time). You can register for either or both parts. There is no prerequisite to attend Part 1 if your interest is in Part 2. Registrants to both parts of the webinar receive a 25% discount.

On May 11, Part 1 considers RDA & Cataloging from the perspective of the cataloger and the system vendor. RDA holds the promise to more closely align Function Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) and Functional Requirements for Authorities Data (FRAD) to library catalogs. While RDA poses a disruptive shift in current cataloging practices, it also carries with it tremendous potential to move the library catalog into the age of the semantic web.

On May 18, Part 2 of the webinar shifts to what the future of the ILS will hold with respect to User Interaction. Numerous studies have shown that the typical user goes to Google before going to the library's website. What changes are underway or envisioned that can drive the user back to using the library's system or better yet make the library's data work better in the greater web environment. What are the implications of an RDA-driven library catalog on the user interface? What happens in a world where RDA can set data free from the library system to be linked to and mashed-up with other data or applications?

For a complete list of speakers and topics and to register, visit the event webpages:
Part 1: RDA & Cataloging
Part 2: User Interaction

NISO Forum: Mobile Technologies in Libraries

NISO's one-day forum on Mobile Technologies in Libraries, to be held May 20, 2011 in Philadelphia, PA, will look at both issues and solutions for offering library information resources to mobile equipment.

Libraries are daily faced with a perpetually connected user base demanding mobile access to information resources traditionally accessed from desktop or laptop computers. This forum will benefit anyone who wants to learn more about the standards you need to know about for mobile computing, what surveys tell us about what library users want to be able to do with mobile devices, models for mobile in teaching and learning, the impact on and opportunities for publisher content, and examples of mobile implementations such as MedLine Mobile and a tablet app for library assessment.

For a complete agenda and registration information, visit the event webpage.

NISO/BISG 5th Annual Forum on The Changing Standards Landscape

NISO and the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) will hold their 5th annual forum on The Changing Standards Landscape on Friday, June 24, 2011 from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. in New Orleans prior to the ALA Annual Conference. This year's focus will be on common synergies between publishers and libraries and creative solutions for creative solutions to information problems in the critical areas of content identification, discovery, and format, in particular e-books. A full agenda with speakers will be posted to the event webpage by mid-May 2011.

This event is free and open to the public, however attendees are asked to register online.

This event is sponsored by CrossRef.

E-book SIG Call for Participation

NISO's Architecture Committee is creating a Special Interest Group focused on E-books (the NISO E-book SIG). Simultaneous with the formation of the group, NISO is issuing a call for participation in the E-book SIG and its associated monitoring group. The E-book SIG will explore a range of industry best practices and standards related to the creation, distribution, discovery, delivery, and preservation of digital book content. The primary responsibilities of the group will be to continuously monitor and review the state of the industry for e-books and to suggest areas for new initiatives within NISO or areas where NISO can engage with other communities on e-book work underway outside of NISO. The group will also host thought leader meetings and commission relevant research to advance the state of the industry.

While NISO is best known for shepherding groups focused on a specific problem through the creation and implementation of recommended practices and standards, NISO's new strategic initiatives seek to widen its outreach within the information industry. Specifically, the NISO Board and Architecture Committee seek to emphasize NISO's role as a facilitator within the industry, one that can foster cross-community dialogue in a given topical area and provide a place for the incubation of ideas even if no formal standards process within NISO is ever initiated as a result. For more details on the new SIG, read the full call for participation.

NISO encourages any organization actively engaged in this area to contact the NISO office via email to participate. Please indicate if you are interested in the core group or the monitoring group.

New Specs & Standards

Reaffirmation of ANSI/NISO/LBI Z39.78-2000 (R2010), Library Binding

NISO voting members and ANSI have approved the reaffirmation of this standard for another five years. Library Binding describes the technical specifications and materials specifications for first-time hardcover binding of serials publications and paperbound books for library use, and rebinding of hardcover books and serials intended for library use.

EDItEUR, Accessible Publishing: Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers

This set of best practice guidelines provides advice to publishers on making their books accessible to people with print impairment. The guidelines form part of a joint project, the Enabling Technologies Framework, which EDItEUR is delivering in collaboration with the DAISY Consortium. The framework project is funded by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) under its visually impaired persons (VIP) initiative to facilitate access to copyrighted works for people with print disabilities. The Guidelines have been endorsed by the International Publishers Association, the Federation of European Publishers and the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM).

ISO 16175-2:2011, Information and documentation – Principles and functional requirements for records in electronic office environments – Part 2: Guidelines and functional requirements for digital records management systems

This second part of a new three-part standard specifies a set of functional requirements for digital records management systems (also called electronic records management systems or enterprise content management systems) irrespective of the media in which they were created and/or stored.

Media Stories

ISBN and QR Barcode Scanning Mobile App for Libraries
Code4Lib, Issue 13, 2011-04-11; by Graham McCarthy and Sally Wilson

Ryerson University Library wanted to improve patron access to its resources by leveraging mobile phone technology. The Library added QR codes to the catalog records and then developed an ISBN barcode scanning app to utilize them. The app uses a snapshot taken with the phone's camera and interprets the barcode symbol. If the symbol represents a 10- or 13-digit ISBN, the number is passed to the library's xISBN web service, provided by OCLC's WorldCat, and a lookup is performed in the library's catalog and in Google Books. The user receives on his/her phone an XML document with title, author, call number, and library availability information about the resource. The app currently works on iOS and Android devices with BlackBerry coming soon. To expand beyond the library, the app also provides students with "provides single-click authentication into their profile, access to their courses, booking of study rooms, departmental hours of operations, access to the campus directory, campus maps, and meal and photocopy plan transaction history and balances." The single-click authentication is not included in the open source code. Other university organizations are interested in building on the app. The Ryerson Math Centre is conducting a pilot to scan student IDs to sign up for workshops and tests. The application won the Ontario Library and Information Technology Association's Award for Technological Innovation. (Link to Web Source)

Disintermediation and Its Discontents: Publishers, Libraries, and the Value Chain
The Scholarly Kitchen [blog], Apr 18, 2011; by Joseph Esposito

The author delivered this speech at the Allen Press Emerging Trends Conference in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 2011. Library bypass is a form of disintermediation where a publisher sells directly to individuals the same content that they used to distribute through libraries. One reason for publishers doing this is the decreasing library budgets for purchasing content. Some universities have proposed a publisher bypass strategy where their research output would be deposited in institutional repositories. Both bypass models have received pushback from the entities being removed as middle man. In actuality libraries still provide 85% of revenue for academic journals and libraries are still considered the primary customer for such publishers. And while most universities have an institutional repository sales, researchers are still publishing in journals. With the changes seen in digital content and internet distribution, the surprise is that disintermediation hasn't more widespread. Both publishers and libraries still provide many types of value at many stages in the supply chain that would be destroyed (and missed) with disintermediation. But some changes could destroy a link in the chain that may not be missed. For example, if all journals were open access, libraries wouldn't need a subscription agent to manage renewals and payments. Originally institutional repositories and open access journals were expected to eliminate the publishers, but instead publishers, such as SAGE, are learning how to go open access themselves. With books, there are some examples of authors disintermediating the publisher by self-publishing. But in some cases the publishers have re-inserted themselves by signing up a successful self-publisher. Nonetheless, publishers and libraries need to consider that their long-term strategies may not involve each other; publishing growth will be outside of libraries. Professional society publishers need to look beyond their current membership. What is in some ways disintermediation needs to be approached as "the creation of a new value chain." (Link to Web Source)

Cloud Standard Could Unlock Vendor Lock-In
Internet Evolution, 4/20/2011; by Alexander Wolfe

The IEEE has initiated a new cloud computing standards initiative that could help users more easily port their data and applications from one cloud service provider to another. One working group on Cloud Profiles will develop standard related to portability, file formats, applications, and interfaces. The second working group, Intercloud, will address interoperability, data exchange, governance issues, name spaces, and messaging between clouds. There are already other cloud standard projects underway by the Open Grid Forum and the Open Cloud Consortium. The European Commission is also encouraging vendors to develop international cloud-related standards. The IEEE initiative is likely to be the most successful due to its existing communications standards, the organization's influence, and the individual chairing the initiative (Stephen Diamond, general manager of industry standards at EMC) and the leader of the two working groups (David Bernstein, special CTO and vice president of software and application at Huawei). With all the new cloud services in the marketplace, the customers are much more interested in standards now than they were a year ago. There is concern that cloud vendors' proprietary applications lock the customer into a solution and standards will allow them more mobility. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: The IEEE is a NISO voting member.

5 Myths About the 'Information Age'
The Chronicle Review, April 17, 2011; by Robert Darnton

Five particular misconceptions about the Information Age are notable. 1) The book is dead. Actually, every year there are more print books publishes than in the year previous. Over a million new book titles are expected in 2011 and that doesn't include self-publishing authors and print-on-demand. 2) We have entered the information age. Change in media and communications have occurred in every age. 3) All information is now available online. Not yet online are the majority of: archival materials, state and federal legislation and judicial decisions, public body regulations and reports, and over 80% of published books, not to mention things that are now gone in any format, e.g. 50% of films before 1940. 4) Libraries are obsolete. Many libraries report more patrons than ever and libraries are also providing many more services than the traditional print materials circulation. 5) The future is digital. Yes, there will be more and more electronic information, but print will still exist. History shows that a new communication method does not replace old ones for a long time, if at all. These myths present current information changes as being too drastic and position new technologies as enemies of older ones. While e-book sales are predicted to be as much as 20% of the book market, print book sales are also increasing as the whole market has expanded. While declines in "deep reading" are reported, studies show that discontinuous reading is nothing new. Print materials can now be supplemented with online multimedia, which couldn't be done before. These are just some examples of how "new technology is reinforcing old modes of communication rather than undermining them."
(Link to Web Source)

What are Libraries For?
In the Library with a Lead Pipe [blog], April 20, 2011; by Hugh McGuire

If the future transition to e-books virtually eliminates a prime mission of libraries, book circulation, how do libraries ensure they will continue to be relevant? This question is based on the false proposition that how you do something defines why you exist. In an information abundant and theoretically free distribution environment, we need to focus on why we do things and then redefine how based on the changes that are occurring. Efforts to continue charging analog prices for digital content will fail due to the supply of content increasing exponentially while demand is somewhat static and incremental cost of digital distribution is near zero. Just as users are obtaining their music and their movies inexpensively over the Internet, so will they likely choose to do the same with e-books, rather than going to the library. Getting information free or low-priced will no longer be a library's major advantage. Unnecessary constraints placed on libraries by publishers for e-book lending (one user at a time; "returning" by due date) only serve to make libraries even more uncompetitive. A library's former mission to provide free access to and archive information, provide a community information interaction space, and give people information management tools requires some rethinking. "Libraries are at the core of our understanding of civilization, and if we are to keep them healthy, we'll have to make sure that they continue to answer deep needs in our society, rather than provide particular services because they've always done so." (Link to Web Source)

Developing a Dublin Core Application Profile for the Knowledge Organization Systems (KOS) Resources
Bulletin of ASIS&T, vol. 37, no. 4, April/May 2011; by Marcia Lei Zeng and Gail Hodge

Knowledge organization systems (KOS), for example thesauri, classification schemes, or taxonomies, are developed to organize information and promote knowledge management. The Networked Knowledge Organization Systems/Services (NKOS) teamed up with the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) to form a task group to create a Dublin Core Application Profile (DCAP) for KOS resources. A DCAP is a metadata profile for use in a particular application. A strawman use case was created from research on existing controlled vocabulary registries that identified required properties in five major groups. FRBR was used as the basis of the domain model, with some additions to address specific KOS relationships. The metadata element set uses Dublin Core plus additional elements to describe components of a KOS scheme, e.g. entity type and relationships. A KOS Types vocabulary initially uses three basic groups: term lists (authority files, glossaries, dictionaries and gazetteers), categorization and classification (subject headings, classification systems, taxonomies and categorization systems) and relationship groups (thesauri, semantic networks and ontologies), and has since added additional types. Each type is characterized by the degree of control of the vocabulary and the strength of the semantic structure. Currently the use cases were limited to registries but other use cases need to be collected and analyzed. The domain model needs further tailoring, the metadata terms require further revision, and the KOS typology further harmonized before the full application profile will be completed. (Link to Web Source)

Kindle Library Lending Announcement Raises Questions
Information Today Newsbreaks, April 28, 2011; by Theresa Cramer

Kindle e-books have absent from library electronic collections. That should change with the recent Amazon announcement of a partnership with OverDrive to include Kindle-formatted books in its offerings. Kindle Library Lending, which will support all versions and platforms of Kindle apps, will allow library customers of OverDrive to loan Kindle versions of the books titles in the collection; no extra purchase required. An additional feature that Kindle versions will offer is that a user's notes and highlighting in a book will be retained if the same user checks out the book again. OverDrive clarified in its blog that Kindle Lending will comply with publishers' differing lending models and the libraries will set the lending period. OverDrive has two main lending policies in force: one copy/one user and always available for simultaneous use. OverDrive currently includes some self-published authors but whether these are available will depend on what a particular library purchases. (Link to Web Source)