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E-Books Trends, Practices, Implications & Challenges


To bring together a panel of librarians, e-book users, publishers, aggregators and archiving agencies to discuss emerging and future e-books issues.

Main issues covered

  • E-Books models and challenges
  • Access to e-books
  • Copyright issues and e-books
  • Archiving and preservation options and library trends in this field
  • copy protection of e-books, and readers’ rights to fair use
  • The growing value of e-books for libraries
  • The acceptance of e-books from a user point of view
  • The compatibility of e-books with handheld devices such as PDAs, e-readers, tablets, smart phones, etc
  • Economic impact and value of e-books in libraries
  • How best to position an organization’s collection within the rapidly changing landscape of the e-book market
  • Open-access and book-digitisation projects
  • Predictions of what might happen on the next few years


This round table will trigger discussion on the most recent and emerging issues related to e-books. The main objective is to identify a common vision of the future of e-books by facilitating a transparent discussion between key stakeholder groups,

The round table will start with a series of short talks from publishers, librarians, arching agencies, and users. The coordinator will steer the discussion through the main themes indicated above, trying to collect the different views on each theme, and will then focus on e-book issues, challenges, real-world solutions, and predictions of what might happen in the next few years.


The discussion will raise the different models emerging for e-books and the challenges faced by vendors, libraries, publishers and institutions – challenges such as textbook publishing, supporting content delivery to mobile devices, the standards conundrum, e-readers, DRM, Google Books / Editions, and more.

The role of open-access and book-digitisation projects will be discussed, such as Google’s print initiative, incorporating Book Search and Library Search. This includes worries about copyright and intellectual property infringement, and about falling revenues that publishers would otherwise be able to re-invest in ‘new talent’.

Librarians and publishers are already finding that electronic versions of reference books are being used more frequently than print versions, especially in science, technology and medicine. The expectation is that in the future references publishing will be almost entirely electronic. Although librarians are enthusiastic about the possibilities of users accessing e-books at anytime and anywhere, issues remain such as the frustration librarians face with the poor supply of textbooks in e-format; regarding the fact that many publishers produce e-books after the print version, resulting in a lag in publication times; and regarding the restrictive digital rights management conditions attached to e-books.

Publishers and libraries are working through the challenges of compatibility, digital rights management, and format types, among other issues, and are seeking creative ways to develop a model that provides an effective and legal service to users. However, the e-books environment is still not as clear as the e-journals environment; many issues represent a gray area for librarians, such as the different models of purchasing and using e-books and the effect of these models on e-book users and publishers.

In addition, there are concerns such as the loss of access to title via the inter-library loans system, by the lack of standard terms and conditions from one publisher to another, and by the prices charged. Finally, librarians usually prefer to buy title by title but have had to acquire e-nooks as part of larger collections.

Who will be involved

1. Invitations will be sent to relevant staff at key publishers – Springer, Ovid, Elsevier, EBSCO, Ebrary, Gale, MyiLibrary, etc.
2. Invitations will be sent to at least four prominent librarians from the region who have experience of working with e-books..
3. Invitations will be sent to selected users in different specialties who are interested in e-books.

Proposed duration

2-3 hours

Organizer’s details

Affra S. Al Shamsi Biography

Affra S. Al Shamsi
Medical Library and E-resources Manager
Royal Hospital and OMSB
Phone:00968 24599685
Fax: 00968 24599307
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Affra works at Royal Hospital central medical library as a library manager, since 2005. She is also the e-library and resources manager at the Oman medical speciality board (OMSB) medical information center, since March, 2011 . She also worked as member of the national virtual science library project steering committee and negotiation committee, since 2011. Affra held a degree in Information Management from the University of Sheffield, degree in Medical Librarianship from the Sultan Qaboos University, a degree in General Chemistry from United Arab Emirates University and a certificate in Leadership and Management from the Omani Institute for Management Training. She was also awarded a certificate by Yale University for participating in their Summer Fellowship Program.

Her research work has always achieved a high level of distinction. She held a research concerned ‘Technology and evidence-based decision-making: a necessary synergy for efficient knowledge management in healthcare in Oman?’ This piece of work won the Pfizer Prize for the best dissertation in the general area of scientific or business information from Sheffield University, UK-2010. She had published several articles on the IFLA Serials and Other Continuing Resources Section (SOCRS) newsletter. She have also published two notable papers - the first is “The Importance of Culture in designing e-learning environments” at EDULEARN11, the 3rd annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, and more recently, “Evidence-based medicine among Omani physicians: Awareness, knowledge and application”, a paper which was published in the 15th International Symposium on Health Information Management Research (ISHIMR 2011). The latter paper won the OCLC prize in the ISHIMR conference which took place on the 8-9 September 2011, in Zurich, Switzerland.


Justo Hidalgo

Twitter: @justohidalgo
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/justohidalgo
Web: http://www.24symbols.com
Justo Hidalgo is co-founder of 24symbols, a cloud and social reading service that uses a freemium subscription model. He also teaches Product Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Nebrija Business School in Madrid, Spain, and is a mentor at the pan-european startup accelerator Startup Bootcamp. Justo holds a PhD in Computer Science from the university of A Coruña, Spain, and has received training in Product Strategy and Innovation in the universities of Stanford and Berkeley, CA. Prior to 24symbols, Justo had was Vice President at Denodo Technologies, leading the product management and sales engineering areas worldwide.

Dr Hazel Woodward

Hazel has been University Librarian and Director of the University Press at Cranfield University for over 12 years. Prior to that she was at Loughborough University as Head of Electronic Information Services. Hazel’s research interests include electronic publishing and scholarly communication (the subject of her PhD thesis) and she has published many papers in the professional literature on digital library issues.

She is very active professionally being currently the Chair of the JISC Electronic Information Resources Working group (which oversees national negotiations for e-journal deals) and Chair of the Board of Directors of COUNTER which develops codes of practice for book and journal usage statistics. She also contributes to UKSG activities as Publications Officer and serves on the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) organising committee. In 2009 Hazel was awarded an MBE (Master of the British Empire) for “services to higher education”.

Houeida Kammourié-Charara

InfoCommons Librarian
Lebanese American University Library
Houeida has a reach academic librarianship experience , she hold a Masters degree in Management of Library and Information Services from University of Wales, Aberystwyth, England , and she has been Managing Electronic Resources at Lebanese American University Library from 2006 to present, Prior to that she was working as a Head, Information Systems Dept., Notre Dame University in Lebanon, she is very active professionally on a country and regional level, a member of Lebanese Library Association, and representing Lebanese Academic Library Consortium (LALC) at International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) from 2002 to Present.

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