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Thursday, November 5 • 2:25pm - 3:10pm
Tough Love: Guiding Student Researchers Toward a Better Future for E-Books

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EPUB has emerged as the standard format for e-books due to its numerous advantages over PDF, including superior accessibility, enhanced navigation, lighter file sizes, and optimization for mobile devices. Both trade and academic publishers desire an EPUB output to meet the evolving usability needs of their customers and to streamline their workflows. However, there is little understanding of EPUB’s advantages among end-users and little appreciation for EPUB’s potential in academic libraries. Research has shown that most users don’t recognize the EPUB format, and prefer PDF due to its corporate branding and familiarity. This puts publishers and vendors in a difficult situation: continue to deliver PDF content at a rapidly increasing cost, both financial and in terms of usability, or risk turning users away by forcing them into an unfamiliar format?

This session will summarize how the various stakeholders view this evolving technology, and the extent to which they might take an active role in shaping it. It will present the reasons for EPUB’s ascendance among academic publishers, explain how PDF e-books present barriers to innovation and problems for accessibility, and give librarians ideas on how to integrate EPUB into research instruction.

Attendees can expect to learn about the EPUB and PDF formats from the perspective of publishers, vendors and users. Publishers should gain a deeper understanding of the challenges libraries face in terms of technological evolution. Librarians should come away with opinions about the extent to which they want to be involved in the transition to new, more accessible formats.

avatar for Melissa Fulkerson

Melissa Fulkerson

Director, Vendor Relations, Elsevier
Melissa Fulkerson has responsibility for strategic partnerships and third party distribution of Elsevier's Reference Solutions portfolio. She envisions a future where researchers and professionals can make meaningful change in the world through seamless content and technology acc... Read More →
avatar for Emily OConnor

Emily OConnor

Adult Services Coordinator, Hennepin County Library
Emily is the Adult Services Coordinator of Hennepin County Library, with 20 years of experience in public and academic librarianship. She earned her MLIS from Florida State University and is completing her Master's in Leadership at Creighton University. Emily also serves as a consultant... Read More →

Thursday November 5, 2015 2:25pm - 3:10pm EST
Salon 2, Gaillard Center