The Ebooks 2015 conference was held at University College London (UCL) in May 2015 and featured talks from academic libraries, JISC and publishers, with case studies from both the UK and USA.
A number of speakers addressed the issue of universities and libraries producing their own e-textbooks,some of which came about through JISC-funded projects. Roger Tritton, interim Head of Projects at JISC Collections, outlined the advantages that e-books bring to universities in helping to address the key issues of reusability, accessibility, interoperability and durability.
Sarah Lippincott, Program Manager of the Library Publishing Coalition in the States, has been tracking similar developments in the USA, while Kate Pitcher from the State University of New York at Geneseo presented a case study for Open SUNY Textbooks.
Other interesting examples of e-book developments included the partnership between Proquest and Cengage Australia, in which the initial pilot made seven e-textbooks available and was so successful that Cengage released another 20 titles in 2015, including many first runs.
Andrejs Alferovs, Managing Director of Kortext, presented on “Widening Access to Digital Textbooks”, looking at how teachers and learners are using digital textbooks online or via download. He showed how various tools can enhance the experience of reading to note-taking and how the creative use of content and platforms will evolve to enhance interaction. He also demonstrated the ways in which e-book usage data can help understand learning processes and inform teaching practice.
Slides from all of the presentations are available on the UCL website.
Lisa Wood, University of Manchester Library