Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New Modes of Information Delivery In Higher Education

I'm heading out to Denver on Sunday to participate in a two day ACRL/ EDUCAUSE/ National Association of College Stores forum on new modes of information delivery in higher education. The forum will focus on discussion about how librarians/IT/ bookstores can collaborate on new modes of information delivery like e-reserves, online textbooks, copyright, the role of emerging technologies (which I guess is where I come in) and the like.

I'm not really in the league of thinkers as some other people who are attending like Roy Tennant and Alane Wilson and am actually a little nervous about it, so I'd love a little input or discussion before I go on these issues. Any thoughts about the following questions or issues?

1. What do you see as the future of e-books, e-book readers, e-reserve systems?

2. What are the barriers to making digital textbooks more commercially viable? Do you think the barriers will be overcome?

3. What concerns do you have about the increasing digitization of content (Google etc) and what are the greatest opportunites available in those areas?

4. Is there any specific advice you would give to higher education leaders regarding preparing fo a future with more digital content?

I plan on spending some time this week pondering these myself and any input would be greatly appreciated!

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At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Ab said...

We (Binghamton University) dropped our e-reserve system in favor of using Blackboard and it's gone over well with faculty and students. My colleagues wrote an article about it:

McManus, Alesia, Brown, Elizabeth A., Hulbert, Debbie, Maximiek, Sarah, and Erin Rushton. 2006. "Implementing Electronic Reserves Using the Blackboard Content System." Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve 16, no. 4: 85-92.

At 11:15 AM, Blogger David said...

Great! Thanks for the tip on the article.

At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Paul R. Pival said...

I too would like to thank you for the tip on the article - we're considering doing exactly the same thing at my institution.

David, copyright is obviously a concern and barrier for etexts of any sort. Here in Canada we seem even more restrictive, but I doubt you'll be discussing our laws :-( I think the users want more more more full text, including books and reserves materials, so the publishers/vendors/whoever need to be aware, though I'm sure they are.

An interesting one I ran in to last month - sight-disabled users unable to use Ebrary because they could only copy/paste a limited amount of text from Ebrary into their reading software. Ebrary seems to be on the case, but apparently ADA doesn't seem to completely cover this area, and it should. Etexts really need to be fully accessible.

The stuff has to be easy to use, and not limited to a specific platform, or it won't take off, IMHO.

That's all I've got for today!

At 4:47 PM, Blogger David said...

Thanks for the ideas Paul! Copyright and fair use are definitely biggies in all of this. It will be interesting to hear some different perspectives on those issues, especially related to e-books linked from course reserves or courseware.

I really like the idea from the McManus et al article about forgoing a library based e-reserve system and putting materials directly in courseware. Student and faculty are already in that environment, so bring the readings into the course. And students will need to login to their online course areas, which takes care of the use and authentication issues.

I hadn't considered the disability/ ADA issues with e-texts and readers. Definitely something very important to address.


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