NEWS RELEASE: RMG Consultants, Inc., 8 January 2013, Chicago

Town Hall e-Book Discussions at RMG’s Annual Presidents' Seminar:
The View from the Top
Friday January 25, 2013, 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
ALA Midwinter Conference, Seattle
Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) Room 606-607

In this e-reading transformational time, RMG invites librarians and Content, Discovery, and library automation vendors to big tent Town Hall discussions on cross-industry partnerships to advance services to public library readers and improve libraries' ROI in content and technology.

The Town Hall is open to everyone -- 
registration not required.

Rob McGee will moderate the Town Hall with assistance from Marshall Breeding and RMG's Geoff Payne (Melbourne Office).

Specifically invited library industry Content, Discovery, and integrated library system and library services platform vendors include: Auto-Graphics, Baker&Taylor, BiblioCommons, Bilbary, Brodart, ByWater, Dzanc, EBL, ebrary, EBSCO, Equinox, Ex Libris, Follett, Freading, Gale Cengage, Infor, Ingram, Innovative Interfaces, OCLC, Overdrive, Polaris, PTFS/LibLime, Serials Solutions, SirsiDynix, The Library Corporation, 3M Cloud Library, VTLS.

RMG’s industry challenges are:
• To Public Libraries, in the form of e-book strategic planning questions
• To Library industry Content,ILS, Discovery, and  library automation vendors, to fulfill vision statements for radically improved delivery of e- and p- content (including demand-driven acquisitions) to public libraries and their customers.

Vision Statements for Public Library Customer Services and Content Delivery

The Library provides its readers, viewers, listeners, gamers, and tactile users with the content they want in the languages and formats they prefer: print, electronic, audio, multimedia, interactive, tactile.

1. Single-search discovery of relevant content in all formats (print, electronic, audio, multimedia, interactive, tactile) and languages to granular levels, e.g. article - chapter - quotation - verse - image
1.1 Library-owned, licensed, rented, and borrowed content
1.2 State-library provided databases and other e-resources
1.3 Government documents
1.4 Open e-content from curated sources, including: curated web sites,Digital Public Library of America, Internet Archive,Project Gutenberg, others
1.5 Commercially provided content available through pay-on-demand arrangements between suppliers and libraries for purchase and rental of
• e- and p- books available through arrangements for Patron Driven Acquisitions (PDA) and Demand Driven Acquisitions (DDA)
• Articles and chapters available through PDA/DDA
2. Fulfillment of Customer’s one-click request to
2.1 Hold p- and other physical items for pick-up at the Library, or delivery
2.2 Download e-content to customer’s designated devices
• Including Library owned and rented content acquired and delivered on demand (PDA/DDA)
2.3 Schedule reading, viewing, listening, and customer support sessions with needed devices, facilities, and staff at the Library
2.4 Request fulfillment through Interlibrary Loan
3. Options for Customers’ demand-purchase/rental and download/delivery of e- and p- resources not otherwise available from the Library
4. Customer relations management and services that maintain profiles and alert users about new resources, library events and programs, etc.; and seamlessly manage customers’ use, borrowing, purchase, and rental of content.

RMG e-Book Strategic Planning Questions for Public Libraries*
download in questionnaire format)

(1) Do you believe that digital textbooks are coming to your local schools, colleges, and universities?
(2) Do you believe they will provide e-readers (e-reading devices) to students?
(3) Do you believe digital textbooks in your local schools will impact the expectations of public library users?
(4) Do you know how many of your registered library users have smartphones, e-readers, tablets, or laptops?
(5) Do you know how many households in your area of service have smartphones, e-readers, tablets, or laptops?
(6) Do you believe that smartphones, e-readers, tablets, or other portable devices that can read e-books will be as common in homes as PCs or TVs?
(7) Do you believe that most of your registered users – or households in your area of service -- someday will have portable devices that can read e-books?
(8) Do you believe that e-reading of e-books, e-newspapers, and e-magazines will become as common as today’s reading of printed books, newspapers, and magazines?
(9) Do you believe that people who use their smartphones, e-readers, tablets, or laptops every day will want to read e-books and other publications in digital form?
(10) Does your library have enough WiFi capacity (bandwidth) for users to connect their portable devices (smartphones, laptops, tablets, e-readers) to the Internet, to browse the web, and download e-books?
(11) Does each of your library buildings have enough WiFi access points and bandwidth to accommodate the connection of at least one portable device per occupant?
(12) Do you know how many occupants with portable devices the WiFi service in each library facility can accommodate?
(13) Do you know how many of your users’ interlibrary loan borrowing requests could be filled by downloading e-books?
(14) Do you believe your customers might like the option of downloading e-books to fill their interlibrary loan requests -- to their smartphones, e-readers, tablets, and laptops, or to e-readers loaned to them by the library?
(15) Do you believe the arrival of digital textbooks might present opportunities for strategic partnerships among schools and libraries that would benefit library patrons and students, and the community at large?
(16) Do you believe the library should be concerned about the “e-Reader Have-Nots” who don’t have e-readers, tablets, or laptops?
(17) Do you believe the library should lend e-readers, tablets, or laptops to users – for library use or check-out?
(18) How much would it cost to provide an e-reader for every seat in your library, and enough WiFi and Internet bandwidth to connect users for downloading e-books and searching the Web?
(19) Imagine how your library would look with happy readers in comfortable chairs and sofas, enjoying e- and p- books, newspapers, and journals – more library-like than a Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, with staff roaming to help them with e-devices.
Would your library be more inviting if those crowded tables and desktop PCs were replaced with really comfortable and private reading spaces – with handy power sources for readers using personal and library-loaned e-readers, tablets, and laptops?
Is it time to replace those open shelves in prime locations, packed with reference books and telephone directories, with inviting reading spaces?
(20) The ALA Washington Office on November 15, 2012, reported the results from 75,000 respondents to a survey of U.S. public library OverDrive websites sponsored by e-book distributor OverDrive with the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy.

The online poll, which focused on library e-book readers, found that patrons surveyed purchased an average of 3.2 print and e-books per month, and that the majority of respondents would consider purchasing books discovered on a library website.
• 57 percent of respondents say the public library is their primary source of book discovery
• 35 percent of patrons purchased a book (both print and e-book) after borrowing that title
• 53 percent would consider purchasing books discovered on library website
• 44 percent say digital book purchases have increased in past six months

• Do you believe your library website should link users to vendors’ websites for e-book purchase or rental?
• Do you believe your users would like the opportunity to purchase/rent personal copies of e-books for themselves or others through links from the library’s web site to e-book suppliers?
• What are some Pros and Cons?
• How would you compare this to your library’s gift shop and discarded book sales?
• Do you believe offering your users options to purchase/rent e-books through the library’s website – particularly best selling e-book titles not available through the library’s e-book plans -- would damage the tradition of free public libraries?
• Do you believe this might jeopardize public library funding?

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(21) Do you believe there might be advantages to users for your library to buy/rent p- and e-books on demand to fulfill readers’ interests?
• For example, purchasing/renting best-seller e-books through arrangements for PDA (“Patron Driven Acquisitions” or “Demand Driven Acquisitions” – DDA)?
• A way this might work would be for your e-book suppliers to provide metadata for your online public access catalog, so that users could discover and request e-book titles in addition to those available through the library’s e-book plans. Users could search the OPAC and request e-books that would be downloaded to them – so seamlessly that users might not even be aware of the behind-the-scene PDA/DDA arrangements for the library to purchase/rent requested items in real time -- of course with budget controls.
• Perhaps there could be similar arrangements for p-books not owned by the library, that could be shipped overnight for users to pick-up at the library?
• Do you feel strongly enough about this to ask your content providers to develop these kinds of PDA/DDA capabilities and arrangements with you?

(22) Do you believe these changes are ever going to happen?
(23) How best can your library prepare to offer these kinds of services? How can you acquire the skills, capabilities, and infrastructure that are required?
• Partnerships with content suppliers and other libraries?
• Other alliances?
• Staff Development?
• New Hires?
• Grow internally?
• Really good planning?
• ?
(24) What should public libraries do, in an “Age of e-Reading,” to attract citizens to the library, its e- and p- resources, and its web sites?
(25) Has your library joined the ReadersFirst initiative ( to improve e-book access and services for public library users.

RMG’s 2013 Seminar reinforces principles of the ReadersFirst initiative ( and builds on themes addressed in previous RMG seminars.
1995 -  The Digital Library
1996 -  What Business Are We In?
1997 -  Re-Engineering the Library Industry
1999 -  Will E-Books ‘Change the Game’ For Libraries?
2009 -  Starting Over: Re-Inventing the Integrated Library System and the Library Automation Industry
2012 -  Invasion of the Customer Snatchers into a Saturated and Content-Driven ILS Marketplace

RMG’s Annual Presidents’ Seminars (The View from the Top) at ALA Midwinter Conferences invite global ILS company and other library industry executives to focus on initiatives and trends that impact libraries. Rob McGee develops the topics and themes, and leads these seminars. The seminar is open to all – librarians and vendors – to encourage dialogue on topical issues and concerns.

RMG Consultants, Inc. is an information technology consulting firm specializing in team-based enterprise learning processes for IT planning and procurement projects and IT Strategic Planning for libraries and Higher Education institutions. RMG helps libraries identify and take advantage of digital opportunities to re-engineer customer services, processes, workflows, and practices.

Seminar Handouts:

Vision Statements for Public Library Customer Services and Content Delivery & RMG’s e-Book Strategic Planning Questions For Public Libraries

RMG Vision Statement for Delivery of Public Library Services and p- and e- and Multimedia Content to Mobile Users