Google is taking a big new step in bringing all of its content arms under one roof — and that new entity is called Google Play. Starting today, Google will begin a rebranding of the Android Market, Google Music, Google Books, and its video offerings. Until now, all of those content hubs had more or less resided under the banner of the Android Market, and it seems like the company is interested in making users understand those disparate pockets of content as a unified whole. A company spokesman called Play “an evolution of Android Market.”
From Amazon’s press release:
The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library continues to grow rapidly, now offering more than 100,000 books that Amazon Prime members with Kindles can borrow for free—including over 100 New York Times Best Sellers like The Hunger Games trilogy—as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates.
Three months of library drama are coming to a climax this evening as big-six publisher Penguin announced that it is ending its relationship with digital library distributor OverDrive. Starting [February 10], it will stop offering e-books and digital audiobooks to libraries—at least until it finds a new partner.
With this move, Random House becomes the only big-six publisher to allow unrestricted access to its e-books in libraries—though it will raise prices beginning in March.
After an “upbeat and productive” meeting with leaders of the American Library Association on Tuesday, Random House reaffirmed its commitment to library lending of the company’s entire portfolio of ebook titles.
At the same time, the company has announced that effective March 1 it is raising ebook prices that it charges library wholesalers such as OverDrive, 3M, and Ingram, which set the ultimate price libraries will pay to lease ebooks.
[ via paidContent: Random House Will Keep All Its E-Books In Libraries, With A Price Increase ]
Best Small Library in America 2012: The Independence Public Library, KS - Library Journal
“The library was dying!” says Julie Hildebrand, recalling her feelings when she was promoted to the directorship of the Independence Public Library (IPL), KS, in 2009. “I knew we didn’t have enough money to keep our doors open. We had to make some drastic cuts and hard decisions, and we kept the library open. We did it with support from the city commission and our own Friends of the Library. We really worked hard to build relationships within the community and with local legislators as well.”
After just two years, IPL, which was founded in 1882, has been reborn. It has won awards, garnered grants and increased tax millage, and built programs and services that are “packing ’em in” to 220 Maple Street from all over Independence. So dramatic was the transformation that IPL, whose service district has a population of 13,420, is the winner of the 2012 Best Small Library in America Award, cosponsored by LJ and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
If you haven’t made plans to attend the Tools of Change Conference, which is coming up in another few weeks, be prepared to drool with envy. O’Reilly will be having an eReader petting zoo on the last day of the conference, and we already have a couple dozen devices waiting to go on display.
The critter list covers most of the major US eReader makers (Sony, Amazon, B&N, Kobo), as well as Apple, and several smaller tablet manufacturers. We also have commitments for some lesser known devices including the new Ectaco Jetbook Color, Kyobo Mirasol eReader, iriver Story HD. And there’s going to be an Endangered Species table (space permitting) with an HP TouchPad, RIM Playbook, and eReaders as old as the Sony Data Discman.
As Goodreads Ends Sourcing From Amazon, Users Fear Lost Books- paidContent.org
Book-centered social networking site Goodreads, which allows users to keep records of the books they read and share the information with others, has long sourced most of its basic book data from Amazon. Now, saying Amazon’s API terms have become “more and more restrictive,” Goodreads is switching data providers and entering an agreement with book wholesaler Ingram—alarming some users who fear their reading records will be lost.
The changes take place January 30. Goodreads’ new data source is book wholesaler Ingram. Goodreads will pay to license data from Ingram, and will supplement it with book records from the Library of Congress and other sources.
Goodreads stresses that most book records will be safe: “Not a single review, comment, shelving, or rating will be lost in this transition. That’s the most important thing—your data is 100% safe.” It’s calling on “Goodreads librarians”—users who’ve applied for and received permission to edit data in the catalog—to help verify data for some titles that may be deleted otherwise. Here are the books that need to be “rescued”—including many foreign-language titles.
Books that are only available through Amazon, like Kindle editions ands self-published Kindle books, have no alternative data sources. “We anticipate keeping these, and will bend over backwards for all our authors who publish via Kindle to make sure their readers on Goodreads have a smooth transition,” the company says.
An effort by college leaders to shake up the textbook industry got a boost this week, as five universities announced plans to try bulk purchasing of e-textbooks. The news comes just one day before an Apple news conference that is expected to feature that company’s entrance into the e-textbook space, and it highlights steps that colleges themselves are taking to rein in textbook prices rather than wait for the market to reshape itself.
Stats from David Karp’s talk at the DLD conference in Munich this morning, as tweeted by Bill Gross and Jeff Jarvis, via Business Insider.