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Ebooks and Collections

Virtual Conference


In a period of constrained budgets, how will institutional libraries build and sustain access to the latest book titles for their communities — whether in digital or print forms? Libraries exist to serve the needs of their researchers, not the other way around. If humanists prefer print for their activities, then both content providers and librarians must ensure that this research need is met. The conversation has already begun of how best to manage the new collective collection. How should the community adapt? This virtual conference will kickstart the conversation, providing an opportunity for a wide group of stakeholders to highlight their community’s needs and share their views on how to meet them.

Confirmed speakers include Tom Bruno, Director of Access Services, University of Pennsylvania; Robert Cartolano, Assoc. VP, Technology and Preservation, Columbia University Libraries; Binaebi Akah Collins, Manager, User Experience Design, OCLC; Christina Drummond, Data Trust Program Officer, OAeBU Data Trust; Steve Fallon, Vice President, Americas and Strategic Partnerships, De Gruyter; Jennie Rose Halperin, Executive Director, Library Futures; and Jay Holloway, Senior Product Manager, End User Services, OCLC.

Event Sessions

12:00 Noon - 12:15 pm Welcome


12:15pm - 12:45pm Learning from Users and Readers


After providing an overview of the OA eBook usage data ecosystem, Ms. Drummond will describe the distinct and overlapping uses for OA eBook usage data that stakeholders have identified related to reporting, analytics, and strategic planning. After describing the current challenges faced by libraries and by publishing and analytics platforms, she will reflect on opportunities for collective impact, as documented in the specific work packages emerging from the 2020-2021 OA eBook Usage Data Trust pilot.  Ms. Drummond will close by summarizing the potential for scholarly communications to unlock community-governed, multi-party data sharing, processing, and stewardship through data collaboratives.

The OA eBook Usage Data Trust ( is a global effort working to foster the secure, multi-party exchange, aggregation and benchmarking of data related to eBook usage. The project team and its community network span five continents, representing libraries, eBook publishers, aggregators, repositories, publishing and analytics platforms and services, and standards efforts. Supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the effort is actively planning its transition from the current proof-of-concept research effort into a community-governed international data space pilot, with an RFP process planned for September to identify an administrative and fiscal host for its Secretariat.

12:45pm - 1:15pm Creation and Dissemination From The Publisher Perspective


Steve Fallon

Vice President, Americas and Strategic Partnerships
De Gruyter

De Gruyter has a unique perspective on the creation and dissemination of eBooks as both a scholarly publisher and distributor for seventeen university presses.   This session will share what we have in common, as well as the challenges to doing both!


1:15pm - 1:45pm Ebooks, ETAS, and Beyond: Managing Ebook discovery and access in a fractured resource sharing ecosystem


Tom Bruno

Director of Access Services
University of Pennsylvania Libraries

Ebooks were already a disruptive technology presenting a unique set of discovery and access challenges to the library world before COVID-19, but with libraries and their patrons spending the past year and a half operating in a mostly-virtual paradigm many of the assumptions we have made about the relationship of library users to Ebooks and other digital library resources have been put to the test. This discussion will attempt to describe the current state of Ebook access and sharing in academic libraries, highlighting some recent innovative attempts to borrow and lend Ebooks through interlibrary loan and identifying the outstanding legal, licensing, and logistical obstacles to Ebook resource sharing. We will also look at the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS), Controlled Digital Lending (CDL), the PDF “Gray Market” and how these forces are actively shaping patron expectations about Ebooks, collections, and library services. 

1:45pm - 2:15pm Comfort Break

2:15 pm - 2:45 pm Engage and Process (Discussion)

Resources shared during the discussion by speakers/attendees:

Design Principles for Data Spaces – Position Paper

EPUB 3.2 Standard

2:45 pm - 3:30 pm Case Studies on Licensing & Accessibility


Jay Holloway and Binaebi Akah, both of OCLC, offer the following as their presentation abstract:

OCLC is committed to inclusive design and as part of that, accessible products for all.” Join Binaebi and Jay to learn how accessibility is a core tenet of web application design and construction. They’ll discuss the varying preferences that users have for different content types, how discovery systems can help users meet those preferences, and the accessibility-related complications that accompany a complex ecosystem of discovery and delivery services.

Jennie Rose Halperin of Library Futures offers the following as indicative of what she will cover in her presentation:

  • Why ownership of digital library content is important for library equity and collections diversity
  • CDL as a mechanism for sharing materials
  • What is Library Futures and how to get involved

Policy Paper by Kyle K. Courtney - Controlled Digital Lending: Unlocking the Library's Full Potential

Workshop from Library Futures and Open Library Foundation: Implementation & Integration: CDL For All Libraries

3:30pm - 4:00 Vision Interview with Rob Cartolano


Robert Cartolano

Assoc. Vice President, Technology and Preservation
Columbia University Libraries

Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO closes out the afternoon as he interviews Rob Cartolano, Associate Vice President, Technology and Preservation, Columbia University Libraries.

Additional Information

NISO assumes organizations register as a group. The model assumes that an unlimited number of staff will be watching the live broadcast in a single location, but also includes access to an archived recording of the event for those who may have timing conflicts. 

NISO understands that, during the current pandemic, staff at a number of organizations may be practicing safe social distancing or working remotely. To accommodate those workers, we are allowing registrants to share the sign-on instructions with all colleagues so that they may join the broadcast directly, irrespective of their geographical location. 

Registrants receive sign-on instructions via email on the Friday prior to the virtual event. If you have not received your instructions by the day before an event, please contact NISO headquarters for assistance via email ( 

Registrants for an event may cancel participation and receive a refund (less $35.00) if the notice of cancellation is received at NISO HQ ( one full week prior to the event date. If received less than 7 days before, no refund will be provided. 

Links to the archived recording of the broadcast are distributed to registrants 24-48 hours following the close of the live event. Access to that recording is intended for internal use of fellow staff at the registrant’s organization or institution. Speaker presentations are posted to the NISO event page.

Broadcast Platform

NISO uses the Zoom platform for purposes of broadcasting our live events. Zoom provides apps for a variety of computing devices (tablets, laptops, etc.) To view the broadcast, you will need a device that supports the Zoom app. Attendees may also choose to listen just to audio on their phones. Sign-on credentials include the necessary dial-in numbers, if that is your preference. Once notified of their availability, recordings may be downloaded from the Zoom platform to your machine for local viewing.