The Eternal To-Do List: Making E-books Work in Libraries

Virtual Conference

About the Virtual Conference

Sponsored by: Today's virtual conference is generously sponsored by IET, The Institution of Engineering and Technology Publishing. 

From scholarly monographs to textbooks, the range of e-book formats and use cases is rapidly expanding. Libraries are on the front lines of this issue, actively evolving their approach to offering e-books to meet patron needs and expectations. The webinar The Eternal To-Do List: Making E-books Work in Libraries will probe the key issues surrounding e-books from a variety of library, technology, and end-user viewpoints and share experiences of how some libraries have met these challenges.

Participate in the community discussion for advancing e-book distribution and understanding their use, as speakers examine issues such as:

  • How the four stakeholder communities—librarians, publishers, suppliers, faculty and students—are affected by e-book acquisition, usage, and technology changes
  • E-book business models, including various demand driven acquisition (DDA) options, and the impact on collection development, consortial selection
  • Evolving standards and best practices for e-book management
  • Assessment and gauging the value of e-books through benchmarking and case studies
  • The reactions, engagement, and usage trends from student feedback on e-books
  • How e-textbooks are challenging libraries
  • Creating e-book library “wish lists”
  • Roundtable Discussion around the e-book “ecosystem” and perspectives on the e-book supply chain, including acquisition, usage, and technological hurdles for accessibility and discoverability.

Event Sessions



11:00 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.

Keynote Address: E-Books: Promise into Practice


Suzanne M. Ward

Professor and Head of Collection Management
Purdue University Libraries

11:10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

E-books are as revolutionary a change as the one from scroll to codex two thousand years ago. Now, as then, the transformation is not occurring overnight. While we do not expect several hundred years to elapse before the older format is obsolete, the transition sometimes seems slow and rocky. Ward’s keynote presentation emphasizes that librarians need to understand the pluses and minuses of traditional print-based collection development in order to manage the present transition to e-books successfully. Only then can we shape a future in which library-supplied e-books play a bigger role in our users’ lives. Ward suggests that patron-driven acquisitions (PDA), in concert with other e-book strategies, provides a major avenue for supplying the right e-books at reasonable costs for each library’s user population. She will share the highlights of an analysis of the first three years of Purdue University’s e-book PDA plan. Finally, the presentation looks at the future of collection development in an e-book world and at the changing roles for collection librarians.

Evaluating Academic Ebook Platforms from a User Perspective


12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m. 

The continuing growth of ebook purchases through librarian selection and demand driven acquisitions (DDA) has resulted in an explosion of ebook usage in academic libraries. To support informed ebook purchasing decisions at the California State University system an analysis of ebook usability and accessibility features was performed in 2014, called the Ebook Accessibility Project. Using over 25 criteria, 16 major academic ebook platforms were evaluated including ebrary, EBL, EBSCO, Safari, Springer, and Wiley. The evaluation was conducted across platforms (iOS, Windows, Android) and included testing with a variety of the most prominent accessible technologies. This presentation provides a brief overview of the method and the results of this evaluation.

Making e-books discoverable at Multnomah County Library


Sandy Macke

Catalog and Metadata Administrator
Multnomah County Library

12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. 

See what Multnomah County Library is doing to make e-books more discoverable. Learn about some of the ways that MCL evaluates and enhances vendor records before adding them to the local catalog. Get tips on Bibliocommons settings and integrations that improve the user experience with e-books in your catalog.

Lunch Break

1:00 p.m. - 1:35 p.m.

Sponsor Spotlight: The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Publishing


Hannah Baldwin

Head of Marketing, Knowledge Services
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Publishing

1:35 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.


E-book Workflows: The Ongoing Challenges of Managing Materials and Improving Discoverability


Molly Beisler

MA, MLS, Head, Discovery Services, Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
University of Nevada

1:45 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. 

Managing e-book workflows is an ongoing challenge, an exercise in adaptation and flexibility to keep a library’s organizational structure and workflows in sync with changing publishing and acquisitions models as well as discovery options. This presentation will look at some of the changes the University of Nevada, Reno, has made within technical services to manage new tools and services such as patron-driven acquisition, increasingly large e-book subscription packages, discovery service platforms, and cloud-based services. This will be accompanied by a discussion of the challenges created by these new tools and services, challenges that illustrate the pressing need for greater standardization in e-book metadata and improved communication among vendors and service providers. Topics discussed will include: How does a library track owned versus leased titles? What complications are caused by poor-quality metadata? How can a library minimize duplication of holdings, both from an acquisitions and a discovery perspective? If a library has a discovery service, how much e-book access can be (reliably) handled through it and what should still be in the library catalog?

eBooks and the future of libraries


Micah May

Director of Strategy & Business Development
New York Public Library

2:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. 

Micah will discuss trends in library eBooks and his work on Library Simplified , a new open source eBook reader under development at NYPL, ReadersFirst, a movement of libraries advocating for better eBook access for patrons especially by advancing standards based interoperability between systems, and the Library Econtent Access Project (LEAP), an emerging initiative to build great self reliance amongst libraries sourcing eBooks.

Afternoon Break

2:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Technology Evaluation and Meeting the Needs of People with Disabilities


Sue Cullen

M.S., Assistant Director, Accessible Technology Initiative
CSU Office of the Chancellor

Dawn Futrell

MA, Accessible Technology Specialist, CSU Accessible Technology Network (CSU ATN), Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI)
California State University Chancellor’s Office

3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is ever changing. In higher education, new applications are continually introduced with a commitment to assure that the technologies work for individuals with physical and learning processing differences and function on mobile devices. The CSU Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) was established to address accessibility barriers, with a focus on web-based resources and materials, instructional materials, and procurement. Most products are not designed with compliance standards in mind therefore accessibility considerations become part of the product review before or during the process of acquisition. The CSU has created a multi-tier review process that utilizes campus impact to determine the depth of the review needed. The CSU requests, reviews and utilizes the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template from the vendor. An Accessibility Roadmap is developed to address any known accessibility barriers. An Equally Effective Alternate Access Plan (EEAAP) is developed to provide alterative access for individuals with disabilities. The topics for discussion will be a high level overview of what it means to have an accessible product, what a VPAT is and the relationship to the Accessibility Roadmap.


DDA: How best practices lead to a healthy bottom line


Steve Bosch

Materials Budget, Procurement, and Licensing Librarian
University of Arizona Libraries

3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

DDA programs have been implemented in many places in a wide variety of approaches achieving a wide variety of outcomes. NISO’s NISO RP-20-2014, Demand Driven Acquisition of Monographs (recommended practices) outlines the best ways to implement DDA programs. The University of Arizona has implemented a broad DDA program and their approach is in keeping with the NISO recommended practices. This is a case study of how best practices led to excellent results.

Academic Libraries and the Scholarly Book Marketplace: Death by 1,000 [paper]cuts?


Michael Zeoli

Vice President, Content Development & Partner Relations
YBP Library Services

4:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

The role of the academic library seems to be at high sea (e.g. Clash in the Stacks by Carl Straumsheim, It Takes a University to Build a Library by Dane Ward). Libraries are not alone. Publishers are struggling to navigate the same high seas and for many the outcome is uncertain. Year after year, library budgets are cut and journal prices rise, marginalizing space for the book. In its role as a print and ebook vendor, YBP Library Services is a sort of ‘storm-chaser’ with a privileged view of the ecosystem for scholarly books. YBP will share images of how cuts in paper book acquisitions and new models for ebook collecting have affected our shared marketplace. The litigious atmosphere that has begun to develop between academic libraries and scholarly book publishers over the past several years is a distraction from the real causes of the storm, which lie in our culture and in the revolution in technology. Is the scholarly information system, for books at least, dying a death by 1,000 cuts?

Roundtable Discussion 

4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Moderated by: Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO

Additional Information

  • Cancellations made by Wednesday, June 10, 2015 will receive a refund, less a $35 cancellation. After that date, there are no refunds.
  • Registrants will receive detailed instructions about accessing the virtual conference via e-mail the Friday prior to the event. (Anyone registering between Monday and the close of registration will receive the message shortly after the registration is received, within normal business hours.) Due to the widespread use of spam blockers, filters, out of office messages, etc., it is your responsibility to contact the NISO office if you do not receive login instructions before the start of the webinar.
  • If you have not received your Login Instruction email by 10AM (ET) on the Tuesday before the webinar, please contact the NISO office or email Juliana Wood, Educational Programs Manager at for immediate assistance.
  • Registration is per site (access for one computer) and includes access to the online recorded archive of the conference. You may have as many people as you like from the registrant's organization view the conference from that one connection. If you need additional connections, you will need to enter a separate registration for each connection needed.
  • If you are registering someone else from your organization, either use that person's e-mail address when registering or contact Juliana Wood to provide alternate contact information.
  • Conference presentation slides and Q&A will be posted to this event webpage following the live conference.
  • Registrants will receive an e-mail message containing access information to the archived conference recording within 48 hours after the event. This recording access is only to be used by the registrant's organization.