Push Pop Press Redefines the Ebook

One of the cool things I learned last week at the Canadian Association of Law Libraries annual conference was that there are ebooks and also EBOOKS. Wendy Reynolds, Manager, Library Client Services, Legislative Library of Ontario, Helen Clarke, Associate Vice-Provost Collections, Libraries and Cultural Resources, University of Calgary, and Jeffrey Miller, President, Irwin Law spoke to attendees at a session titled “If eBooks are the Medium, What’s the Message?”.

Connie Crosby moderated this panel which included a discussion of various ereader devices – along with a show and tell of some favourite gadgets. Some themes that emerged from the session:

  • knowing what you own when you rely on a vendor’s list of what you bought when you change hardware
  • users of ebooks at libraries want Content to put on their Own devices
  • individuals have a personal relationship with their hardware, perhaps because the functionality of the text and the device can inter-relate
  • eBooks need to be device agnostic
  • Standards for epublishing would be a good idea
  • users have a different perception of value for an ebook vs a print book

The session started with a really cool TED video (embedded here) about All Gore’s Our Choice an eBook by Push Pop Press.


  1. Hi Shaunna:

    I found it interesting that session attendees mostly wanted to discuss personal use of ebooks, so we did not really delve into issues specific to lawyer/law student use of legal textbooks in ebook form, nor library-specific issues such as business models and loaning of ebooks.

    We barely scratched the surface with the issues we were hoping to discuss, and I’ve had additional feedback from those who were in attendance as to additional issues.

    I hope this is something we can continue to discuss–either here on Slaw or perhaps via the new CALL website when we launch it. And I’m hoping we can discuss it further at the next CALL conference, when presumably we will see additional developments.

    My feeling is we (law libraries and legal vendors) are going to sort this out gradually until the point we see wide adoption in our law-related organizations.

  2. Connie, it really does seem like we’re a long way from figuring out how law libraries like mine are going to get hold of ebooks that our clients can use for professional purposes on their own devices – but I’m eager to discuss!

    It was great to hear at CALL about law librarians helping their ereader loving clients with their recreational ebook reading (how to find content they want, borrow from their public library, buy online, download to their devices). Sounds like a smart way for us and our clients to get ready for ebooks to enter our professional lives.

  3. Susannah Tredwell

    I found it really useful to hear about the challenges that eBooks posed for publishers.

    What I got from the session was that law librarians (outside of universities, at least) are all in the same situation at the moment regards to eBooks: we are waiting for eBooks that reflect how our clients use our library materials, and which a) do not have overly restrictive licensing, b) are not horrendously expensive and c) are reasonably easy for clients to use.

  4. Wendy Reynolds

    At the risk of repeating points raised here, I’m not terribly surprised that we didn’t get into the “big” issues of ebooks. The marketplace is still turbulent. Librarians need to play with the technology and be prepared to help publishers understand how the content and the platforms can best be married to fit the way that our clients access and use information. Remember the anthropological research done by the University of Rochester, as we learned at CALL 2010? It’s time to release our inner Margaret Mead.

  5. I loved that talk. :)

    I was particularly surprised at how many at the CALL conference session said they are using ereaders on a personal base. That bodes well for helping us to understand the issues, I think.