For immediate release | September 12, 2014

E-Books: What librarians need to know now and for the future

CHICAGO — ALA Editions announces a new iteration of its popular eCourse, E-Books: What Librarians Need to Know Now and for the Future. Mirela Roncevic will serve as the instructor for this four-week facilitated eCourse starting on Oct. 13, 2014.

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 & E-readers
  • Definition & context
  • History of e-books/major milestones
  • Basic features of e-books
  • Advantages/challenges of e-books
  • Digital Rights Management (DRM)
  • E-book softwares & formats
  • Dedicated e-readers and other portable devices
  • Dominant brands in the e-book market
Week 2: Availability & Publishing of E-books
  • Types of e-books (free, low cost, open access)
  • 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 (, iBooks, etc.)
  • Online e-book repositories (e.g., Project Gutenberg, HathiTrust, Google Books)
  • Google Books Settlement
  • Online reading communities (GoodReads, Shelfari, weRead)
  • E-textbooks
Week 3: E-books in Libraries: Products & Purchasing
  • E-book platforms in libraries (aggregators, distributors, publishers, etc.)
  • E-book lending services (e.g., OverDrive, 3M, etc.)
  • University Press consortia platforms
  • E-book issues in academic, research, public, and K-12 libraries
  • Criteria for purchasing e-book platforms
Week 4: Current Trends & Future Prospects
  • E-book controversies
  • Ethics of e-books
  • E-book trends in 2013
  • Future predictions for e-books
  • Review/discussion

About the Instructor

Mirela Roncevic is an independent writer, editor and content developer recognized for spearheading a number of initiatives in the LIS field, including the overhaul of reference coverage in Library Journal. She has also managed publications of LIS books and newsletters and developed free online resources for librarians, including The Library Grants Center. At the forefront of the e-book revolution since its infancy, she managed Library Journal's first e-book reviews column in 1999 and is a consultant for e-content producers, advising them on positioning their products in libraries while working closely with librarians. Editor of The Library Journal Guide to E-Reference Resources, she authored a recent issue of ALA TechSource’s Library Technology Reports on e-book platforms in libraries and is co-editor of ALA Editions' new journal eContent Quarterly.

Registration for this ALA Editions facilitated eCourse, which begins on Oct. 13, 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 Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433, ext. 5843 or

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


Dan Freeman

eLearning Manager

ALA Publishing

ALA Publishing