BiblioCommons teams up with Penguin Random House

On October 14, BiblioCommons announced it would expand its ebook collection through an agreement with one of the world’s biggest publishers, Penguin Random House. BiblioCommons, based in Toronto, is a company that develops an interactive catalogue and web services for libraries. One of their products that works with BiblioCore, the interactive catalogue, is BiblioDigital, an ebook platform that enables libraries to deliver ebooks through BiblioCore and can work with any ebook vendor. This new agreement will add more than 38,000 ebooks, including titles from Penguin Random House, Penguin Random House imprints and publishers distributed by them, including new titles and bestsellers.

I found this piece of news interesting namely because I never heard of BiblioCommons or any service like it. I don’t go to libraries very often these days, so I had no idea at least some of them are now offering ebooks (though, of course, it makes a lot of sense that they are). I’m wondering how long this has been going on; I read that BiblioDigital has been around since 2013. I’m also wondering at how popular this method is among library-goers, or if most of them still checking out books the old-fashioned way. I’ve rented books through Amazon before, and that might be more popular because it’s more well-known.



Scholarly Publishing and More

This is a recent blog post on the website for “The Bookseller,” a magazine based in London devoted to the publishing industry. The title for the post, “Do you need a PhD to work in scholarly publishing?,” is a little misleading. It should be something like “What are scholarly publishers looking for?” because it reports on a session at the London Book Fair earlier this year that answered not only the question from the blog title, but a number of other questions about getting into academic publishing. The session featured a panel made up of contributors from different academic publishers and was organized by the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers.

Even though this event took place in London and probably featured mostly British panelists, the insights given in this particular session cuts across the entire publishing industry. One of the most surprising to me was that academic publishers look at your social media profile(s) not just to check for anything nefarious, but also to see how active you are in relation to the publishing industry. I knew some media companies looked for active social profiles, but it was surprising to learn academic publishers did, too.