New eCourse—Understanding E-Books: All You Need to Know Now and for the Future

For Immediate Release
Thu, 05/11/2017


Colton Ursiny

Administrative Assistant

ALA Publishing

Chicago—ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions announces a new iteration of our popular eCourse, Understanding E-Books: All You Need to Know Now and for the Future. Mirela Roncevic will serve as the instructor for a 4-week facilitated eCourse starting on July 10, 2017.

Estimated Hours of Learning: 24
Certificate of Completion available upon request

After completing this eCourse, you will understand:

  • The basics of how e-books function and their place in the current publishing marketplace
  • How e-books are currently being used in libraries, including circulation and lending policies
  • The key issues that librarians are likely to face with e-books in the future

The popularity of e-books exploded with the emergence of tablets and e-readers like the Kindle and has risen steadily ever since. For librarians, this growth has meant the development of a new area of service and content delivery. For the librarian who is new to e-books and e-readers, this can be intimidating. Where do you start? How can you learn what you need to know to provide the services that your patrons expect?

Mirela Roncevic has been involved with e-books and e-readers since their emergence, and in this new eCourse she’ll give you the foundation you need to make e-books work for your library and your career. Requiring no prior knowledge of e-books, this eCourse will sketch in their history while showing you how they function in libraries, exploring issues ranging from file formats to delivery mechanisms and lending policies and what they mean for libraries both now and in the future.

Topics include:

  • Defining e-books and understanding how they work
  • Where e-books are available and how are they delivered and distributed
  • How e-books are used in libraries—in physical branches, digital branches, library websites, and in classrooms
  • The current issues relating to e-books in libraries and what you need to know to be prepared for the future

eCourse outline

Week 1: Introduction to E-books

  • Definition, history and context
  • Basic features of e-books
  • Advantages and challenges
  • E-book formats and reading devices
  • Digital Rights Management (DRM)
  • Dominant brands in the e-book market

Week 2: Availability & Publishing of E-books

  • Types of e-books
  • Business of publishing e-books (traditional vs. e-publishing)
  • The phenomenon of digital self-publishing
  • Sources of e-books online (nonprofits vs. for-profits)
  • Online e-book stores
  • Online reading communities and e-books
  • E-textbooks for universities
  • K-12 digital resources

Week 3: E-books in Libraries: The Fast-Changing Landscape

  • E-book platforms in libraries (aggregators, distributors, publishers)
  • E-book lending services
  • University Press consortia platforms
  • E-book issues in academic, public, and school libraries
  • Business models for e-books
  • Criteria for purchasing e-book platforms

Week 4: Trends, Predictions, and Possibilities

  • E-book controversies
  • E-book trends in 2017
  • Groundbreaking initiatives
  • Future predictions
  • Review/Discussion

About the Instructor

Mirela Roncevic is a professional editor, writer, content developer, and consultant to publishers and library vendors. Over the course of her career, she has written, edited, and published countless articles, reports, magazine features, and book and product reviews. She has also spearheaded the publication of a wide range of books, book series, journals, and digital resources for libraries and developed web sites and e-resources for publishing and information professionals. She is the director of No Shelf Required, a portal on the present and future of digital content that seeks to inspire book and library professionals to be more proactive in their efforts to bring e-books to people. In 2016, Mirela launched the Free to Read initiative, which brings developers, publishers, libraries, and sponsors together to turn public and private spaces into zones (i.e., open virtual libraries) where people have free and uninterrupted access to books in digital format. Mirela is currently working on her second issue of Library Technology Reports for ALA TechSource, tied to her work on the Free to Read initiative.

Registration for this ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions facilitated eCourse, which begins on July 10, 2017, can be purchased at the ALA Store. Participants in this course will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message board participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (MP3 files), and downloading and viewing PDF and PowerPoint files.

ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions (ELS) produces high-quality professional development events and materials for the library profession. ELS events cover modern issues on a wide variety of topics in formats that include live workshops, asynchronous eCourses, and print publications. We help ensure that today’s library employees have access to the professional development opportunities they need, whether they are brushing up on the basics or expanding their horizons with cutting-edge tools. Contact us at

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide.