Panel 13: Paisajes editoriales: De la imprenta del siglo XIX al libro electrónico (2016)


SALALM 61, Panel 13, May 13, 2016, 9:00am-10:30am
Moderator: Matthew Hill (Brigham Young University)
Rapporteur: Daniel Arbino (University of Arizona)

Presenters: Lourdes Quiroa Herrera (Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas, El Colegio de México), Maria Pizarro Prada (Iberoamericana Editorial Verbuert), Pura Fernandez (Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, Madrid)

Matthew Hill, Latin American and Iberian Area Studies Librarian at Brigham Young University, introduced and moderated the panel of three presenters from three institutions, who focused on the increasing interest in ebooks and electronic resources in the Spanish-speaking world.

Lourdes Quiroa Herrera, on behalf of José Manuel Morales del Castillo and Micaela Chávez Villa (Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas, El Colegio de México), presented on El ABC de la ABD: usuarios y desarrollo de colecciones en la Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas (henceforth the BDCV).

Quiroa Herrera explains that at the BDCV acquisition-on-demand has emerged as a viable strategy of collection development. At this moment, they are currently trying to optimize the processes of selection and acquisition of e-books in order to quickly attend to the information needs of the academic community in the Colegio de México. Increases in electronic acquisitions have been made via ILL and patron recommendations for purchases among other outlets.

Thus Quiora Herrera offers a possible solution to continue collection development: further implementation of on-demand-acquisition program based on market offerings.

Adquisición Bajo Demanda (ABD) is a model of selection and acquisition of titles that permits the user to discover them in the catalog and use them. The characteristic of this model is that the works do not belong to the library, it acquires them after analyzing the user stats.

The BDCV offers the following models of ABD: patron-driven acquisition; evidence-based acquisition; interlibrary loan purchase on demand; and pay-per-view.

Quiroa Herrera explains that there are both benefits and risks with this model. The benefits include rapid access and use of the work that the user requires. There is also less dependency on interlibrary loan and the acquisition of titles that the users are using. Furthermore, staff can focus their time on other activities and there is less administrative work focused on acquisition processes. However, there are risks as well: not every text is available in electronic format, those texts that are available fall prey to changing models of business that the supplier may implement, and finally, there may not be enough budget to attend to the demand.

From there, Herrera discussed the process of implementing the program at the BDCV, from creating a committee to analyze the selections to interviewing and evaluating the suppliers. She concludes that ABD systems are a strong alternative to the development of traditional collections with more user agency and that they could be a worthwhile and good solution for collection development at BDCV.

Maria Pizarro Prada, Iberoamericana editorial Verbuert followed with her presentation “Plataformas de préstamo y venta de ebooks: el punto de vista del editor”

Pizarro Prada’s presentation discussed the difficulties that arise for editors when dealing with ebooks, such as why they cannot be sold chapter by chapter, why are they not available in this format, etc. Pizarro Prada’s main argument was to challenge the notion that ebooks are considerably cheaper to produce than paper copies.

In fact, the presenter showed a series of statistics to suggest that the price differential is not as stark as one might assume.  Ebooks cost 400 euros for proofreading, editing, and corrections – the same as paperback. Cover design, like paperback, are around 300 euro. Typesetting is 75 cents per page to convert it into Epub, a contrast from the 600 euro in paperback. Only paperback has to deal with print, 1000 euros. There is financial difference here that favors ebooks, but other factors play a role. For instance, compared to the number of hours and editor invests on a book, ebook takes more time: files have to be prepared for each platform, keep track of modifications, updates, metadata, etc. quality filters explains here too (if amazon suddenly decides to move isbn to above copyright, this must be changed by the editor throughout their ebooks to meet those needs, some sites require isbn with dashes, others no.) All of these different platforms and revisions take time. Of course, metadata and all of the required elements must also be changed.

Pura Fernandez, Profesora de investigacion, Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, CSIC, Madrid then presented on “El mapa de la edición literaria en las lenguas ibéricas: el proyecto internacional EDI-RED y la colaboracion de los bibliotecarios.”

Fernandez presented a summary on the collaborative labor between research groups and librarians focused on digital platforms to foster their projects.

Fernandez talks about the increasing interest in cartoneras which were born out of economic and systemic crises in Latin America (and also Europe). Thus there is an interest in how these editions come to be and circulate and how they reveal these crises. These editions, considered ephemera, are becoming wildly popular in library collections and as art objects for their uniqueness (often hand-painted or artistically designed).

The EDI-RED is a project that encompasses countries from all over the world dedicated to recovering cultural heritage, documenting it and putting it on the internet to show how this cultural heritage, such as cartoneras, are produced so that other others can access it. Their main focus is on all languages emanating from the Iberian Peninsula.

They collect ephemera from all time periods using electronic formats. They also interview the publishers of the ephemera. This is creating a new focus to study literature and culture by considering innovative ways in which the editor and publisher are impacting and forming the canon.

This concluded the three presentations and the moderator opened it up for questions and answers.

Pura Fernandez began the session commenting on the costs of e-publishing and her surprises at just how expensive it is. And asked if the ebook is considered the same value as a paper back to which second presented no specifically due to the ephemeral aspect of it and expanded on the costs of ebooks and the fact that a lot of people still buy paper books which means that the editor in fact has two costs – one cost to produce the book and one to produce the ebook.

Matt Hill, BYU asked Lourdes Quiroa Herrera if at what level she has implemented ABD at her library. Quiroa Herrera replied that they are nearly ready to completely implement using the 4 top candidates that she showed in the presentation, an analysis remains. Her colleague, Michaela Chavez, Colegio de México, chimed in to support Lourdes, that they’re still negotiating costs and that they don’t have a predecessor in Mexico to really follow and so that is holding it up a bit. Also, it is the library that must provide the equipment to achieve some of the work and this also complicates issues.

Lief Adleson, Books from Mexico, asked Lourdes Quiroa Herrera about the criterion that they used when working with suppliers and specifically a sort of guide that they consulted.

Quiroa Herrera (and later Michaela Chavez) discussed that they rely on the users and the statistics emanating from the amount of times users consult a work and how they also try to work with suppliers to discuss the best conditions for purchase so that the suppliers meet the conditions that they have in mind to facilitate integration

Lief Adleson then turned to Maria Pizarro Prada and asked her if his understanding of her presentation, that she is not enamored of the process of digital production, is correct and how she views the future of publishing then.

Pizarro Prada answered that currently about 3% of the publishers sales come through ebook sales but that if these books aren’t available online, it is still also hard for her to sell it in paper. So there is a need to keep collections online for point of visibility and she also believes that young scholars continue to show interest in ebooks, even if it is just to confirm that they want the paper book. Again, more visibility. Also the need to manage folders of excel sheets with all of this information – the profession needs academic librarians who can dedicate more time to this field.

Lief Adleson then responded that he had another question – he has the impression that there are winners, people/companies making money, that are using the systems for financial benefit and that will continue to shape the future. Could Maria Pizarro Prada identify some of these groups that may see it that way.

Pizarro Prada suggested that the companies making money include the suppliers of platforms and those providing storage. The editor also loses money with ebooks because with paperbooks, they eventually fall apart and the library has to buy a new copy, which is good for the editor.

Moderator Matthew Hill closed the session by thanking the panelists.