ER&L 2014 Nevermind I'll Just Buy It: Why Library Users Won't Jump Through Your Hoops

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Information about ER&L 2014 Nevermind I'll Just Buy It: Why Library Users Won't Jump...

Published on March 4, 2014

Author: gchilton



Via an entertaining compare and contrast, the presenters explore disconnects between e-books and streaming video available via library resources compared to “real world” resources such as Netflix and Kindle e-books. The purpose is to illustrate how library resources and commercial resources aim to meet user needs in radically different ways.

Never Mind, I'll Just Buy It Why Library Users Won't Jump Through Your Hoops

Netflix vs. Library Streaming

3 Steps!* *Maybe 4 if plugin required.

Oh Dear.

Kindle vs. Library eBooks

Bless your heart.

Inflicting Pain / The Absurd Movie Time

“You thus find yourself more often than not saying to a patron, ‘Well, yes, that device might work with our ebooks, and there might be some ebooks available for you to check out.’ But mostly you spend a lot of time attempting to explain the publishing industry to them, and file formats, and software requirements…. No, you can’t get ebooks from the library even though you have a card here, because you don’t actually live in our city limits. No, you can’t get that ebook from the library on your Kindle because it’s not available in Kindle format. No, you won’t be able to get that book from the library till probably next year some time, after it moves to the publisher’s backlist. No, you can’t get that as an ebook through the library at all, because that publisher won’t sell to us. Yes, I know it says right there on Amazon that it’s available, but we can’t actually buy it and loan it to people. It’s depressing. It’s discouraging. It’s not why I became a librarian, and I doubt it’s why any of you became librarians, either.” Laura Crossett Adult Services Coordinator Coralville Public Library

"Ebook is a horrible word for the ‘online books available through browsers’ that we actually offer." Stephanie Willen Brown Director, Park Library University of North Carolina

Google Images vs. ARTstor

How low will we go?

Assumptions Dissonance

What Users Expect (for Christmas)

And What We Seem to Want Them to Expect

Complexity Is Not an Excuse "The major cause of complicated, confusing, frustrating systems is not complexity: It is poor design." -Don Norman, Living with Complexity

Choice Paralysis [Defaults matter. Steering matters. Just because you can cram something into the interface doesn't mean you should.]

“12% of readers of e-books borrowed an e-book from the library in the past year. But a majority of Americans do not know that this service is provided by their local library.” Pew Internet & American Life Project: Libraries, Patrons, and E-books

“E-book borrowers appreciate the selection of e-books at their local library, but they often encounter wait lists, unavailable titles, or incompatible file formats.” Pew Internet & American Life Project: Libraries, Patrons, and E-books

FACT: The greatest offerings in the world don't matter if no one knows that you're offering them.

"Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem. [...] Our goal is to create greater service value than pirates, and this has been successful enough for us that piracy is basically a non-issue for our company.“ -Gabe Newell

[O]f the 30% of Americans who have copied or downloaded digital music files for free, 46% indicated that they now do so less because of the emergence of these services. [...] The comparable figure for video—the so-called Netflix effect—is 40%. Among American P2P users, who represent most of the high-volume file sharers, the number is still higher: 66% say they download music less because of the emergence of these services[...].

“In certain instances, we find that eliminating DRM restrictions can lead to an increase in sales of legal downloads, a decrease in sales of traditional CDs, and a decrease in piracy.” “Although we focus on the music industry, we also note that our conclusions are general and apply more broadly to the digital world of books, movies, video games, etc.” Vernik, D. A., Purohit, D., & Desai, P. S. (2011)

“In the current environment, most people do not have time to spend searching for information or learning how to use a new information source or access method. In order to be one of the first choices for information, library systems and interfaces need to look familiar to people by resembling popular Web interfaces, and library services need to be easily accessible and require little or no training to use. Convenience is a critical factor for users across all demographic categories, and is liable to remain so going forward.” Connaway, L. S., Dickey, T. J., & Radford, M. L. (2011).

Less affluent students should not have to put up with crap; libraries should not perpetuate the information and digital divide by providing inferior access: “African-Americans, Hispanics, and those who live in lower-income households are more likely than others to say they would be interested in borrowing pre-loaded e-reading devices and take classes about how to use the devices and download books.” Pew Internet & American Life Project: Libraries, Patrons, and E-books

"Google-Like" Discovery Systems

[ Joelle Thomas ] [ Galadriel Chilton ] @gchilton

Connaway, L. S., Dickey, T. J., & Radford, M. L. (2011). “If it is too inconvenient I’m not going after it:” Convenience as a critical factor in information-seeking behaviors. Library & Information Science Research, 33(3), 179–190. doi:10.1016/j.lisr.2010.12.002 Duggan, M. (2012, December 27). E-book reading jumps; print book reading declines. Pew Internet Libraries. Retrieved from Karaganis, J. & Renkema, L. (2013). Copy culture in the US and Germany. The American Assembly. Retrieved from Nekola, A. (2013, June 25). Americans’ reading habits over time. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from Vernik, D. A., Purohit, D., & Desai, P. S. (2011). Music downloads and the flip side of digital rights management. Marketing Science, 30(6), 1011-1027. doi:10.1287/mksc.1110.0668 Zickuhr, K., Rainie, L., Purcell, K., Madden, M., & Brenner, J. (2012, June 22). Libraries, patrons, and e-books. Pew Internet Libraries. Retrieved from

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