At March 13, 2005 Michael Mandelartz from Meiji University Tokyo referred in the Mailing List INETBIB to Austrian Literature Online, which digitalizes each book, which cannot be traced or purchased in any bookstore at Innsbruck.
In summer last year during a conference organized by ICR (International Resource Centre of the US Embassy Berlin) the library director of Harvard reported that in one or one year and a half the total collection will be digitalized. Already today college and university libraries in the United States are using these collections if certain items in their own collection are lent out or are as part of the reference collection not supposed to leave the library building. The user from other institutions may chose now to receive a bound copy (with a charge of around 20 dollars) or the electronic form which is less costing.
These examples are mostly digitalized formats of printed books but
not electronic books which are offering quite different possibilities
for searches, linking and forms of depiction
As in most cases being observed the introduction of a new media is followed by problems which have to be solved. This refers not only to the technique in this case the reading devices but also the format and the transmission of the E-Book. But also the organisation and the place of the E-Book in the collection have to be taken into consideration. The definition of the
E-Book by Daniela Zivkovic, Professor at the faculty of philosophy, department of library and information sciences in Zagreb, Croatia and having worked for a long time with the international ISBN Agency will create a base for this topic. She is joined by Mr. Peter Just, who just completed his Master Thesis at the Institute or Library Science and the Humboldt University about the electronic book and continues to be engaged in this topic.
The electronic book is really not an academic topic but a new media, which is going to conquer the market in the USA already. It will enlarge information work of the libraries and will enable new possibilities for libraries, e.g. the access to special collections. Voluminous handbooks which often cannot be lent out should not be carried any more and this will delight not only lawyers. But also sick and weak patients will profit by them e.g. in the bibliotherapy. Lending to other libraries will change and E-Learning as well privately, on the site of the campus and during different continuing education procedures.
LIBREAS is delighted to present hereby some examples for further discussion of this new media, which is going to influence in time the collection development and the information work of libraries.
For further literature on the topic “electronic book” we refer to the elaborate bibliography from Chennupati K. Ramaiah, which was published in „The Electronic Library“ earlier this year (Volume 23, Number 1, 2005, pp. 17-44).
Additionally you will find in LIBREAS’ current issue a short report on “INFODATA-eDepot”, a project at Potsdam in LIBREAS, which collects and provides electronic texts. Therefore it is no surprise to find i.e. Achim Oßwalds interesting essay about the electronic book: E-Book-Angebotskonzepte von Aggregatoren für Bibliotheken (2004).
Because of Creative Commons the piece is distributed quite freely on the web – a topic which refers to the crucial point of electronic books: Digital Rights Management. Dörte Böhner and Doreen Lutze put some thoughts on this subject and we put those thoughts in the journal.
A big unsolved question is yet the impact of electronic books and publications on library architecture. A very ambitious approach is definitely Herzog & De Meuron’s “Informations-, Kommunikations- und Medienzentrum” (IKMZ) in Cottbus. It’s hard to answer to which extent they succeeded in being a representation of environment shifting increasingly into a sphere of electronic information, communication and multi media, so we just apply to some – more or less personal – impressions.
We very hope, you enjoy our second just – which of course is quite a challenge for all not-german-speaking readers. If you like to contribute something written in English please feel free to contact us.
Anyway we look forward to receive your ideas, advices and suggestions and remain with best regards from Berlin’s Institute of Library Science.