News Releases

Oct.29,2013

 

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.
Nihon Unisys, Ltd.
TRC Corp.
Maruzen Co., Ltd.

Information Technology

DNP, Nihon Unisys, TRC and Maruzen Renew Cloud-Type E-Library Service with Improved Convenience for both Japanese Libraries and Individual Users

 

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP), Nihon Unisys, Ltd. (Nihon Unisys), TRC Corp. (TRC), and Maruzen Co., Ltd. (Maruzen), will jointly launch a new e-library service offered in a cloud-type format targeting Japanese libraries from April 2014.

DNP will perform planning and design functions for the e-library service while Nihon Unisys will be responsible for providing system design, development and the cloud environment. MobileBook.jp Inc., a DNP group company, will procure e-book contents for libraries. TRC will be responsible for marketing the new service to public libraries in Japan, while Maruzen will handle university libraries.

[Background to the New Service]

Since the DNP Group and Nihon Unisys launched their respective services from the year beginning April 1, 2010, our two companies have made efforts to expand the new reading genre of e-books, mainly based on sales to more than 20 public libraries in Japan. In particular, from the year beginning April 1, 2011, joint demonstration experiments have been conducted with Sapporo Municipal Central Library, and the results obtained there along with requests received from libraries that have previously adopted the system, have been used in renewing the structure of the system. From the year begun April 1 2012, our two companies commenced joint provision of the e-library service, and on this occasion have decided to jointly renew the e-library service with a view to increasing convenience for consumers, libraries and publishing companies.

Sapporo Municipal Central Library is set to be the first user of the renewed service in line with the timing of the updating of its library system planned for April 2014.

[Overview of New E-Library Service]

This service provides public and university libraries in Japan with the necessary systems to create and operate an e-library, along with usable e-books in a cloud-format. As a result, it removes the need to newly purchase or create servers and systems when adopting the service, which makes it possible to bring the system on line with just a short lead time and at low cost. It is already possible to provide in excess of 10,000 titles, mainly in the areas of Art and Literature, Business, Languages and Specialist Books, and further efforts will be made to boost the line-up.

[Features of the New E-Library Service]

  • No need to install the service, which also uses an e-book viewer that conforms to a broad variety of terminals, including PCs, tablet terminals, and smart phones. The new service can also be used with a variety of versatile formats, such as PDF and EPUB.
  • Apart from adopting a website design1 which takes consumer accessibility into consideration, the service is also mounted with a screen reader to support reading, while other compatible contents have been significantly enhanced.
  • A flexible license system is provided for the procurement and provision of e-books, which restricts loan periods and frequency of use, while consideration has been made to allow publishing companies to provide the system in a convenient manner, and for libraries to adopt it with relative ease.
  • Data links with existing Japanese library systems have been strengthened in order to facilitate centralized management of contents searches, regardless of whether the search is for hard copy or electronically based contents. Loan and usage status management has also been enhanced.
  • As a management support function for the unique materials held by each individual library (such as regionally-based materials and research papers), a function has also been added that allows libraries to register and manage their own materials, and makes it possible for them to promote the management of unique materials as well as transmit relevant information.
  • By using a resilient cloud data center, it has been possible to ensure high level security and flexible scaling properties.
  • And as the production and sales management of e-books will be performed in an integrated manner within the DNP Group, it has been made easier to provide e-books to libraries.

[Sales Outlets and Service Delivery]

TRC will be responsible for sales to public libraries in Japan, while Maruzen will handle sales to Japanese university libraries. While start-up costs for creating an e-library service, and cloud service usage fees will be levied on a monthly basis, it is also necessary to pay e-book license fees. Apart from current license purchase methods, awarded on a title-by-title basis, the range of methods by which books are marketed to libraries will be expanded, and will include options offering unlimited access to e-books during the life of the license.

[Looking Ahead]

The four companies involved in the present venture will expand functions based on requests from the individual consumers and those Japanese libraries that use the e-library service aiming for revenue of 6.0 billion yen from sales of the new system to 300 Japanese libraries over the next 5-years.

The renewed service was on display at the 15th. Library Fair and Forum, held at Pacifico Yokohama from October 29 to October 31.

 

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.
Head office: Tokyo
Company president: Mr. Yoshitoshi Kitajima
Paid-in capital: 144.4 billion yen
 
Nihon Unisys, Ltd.
Head office: Tokyo
President and CEO: Mr. Shigeru Kurokawa
Paid-in capital: 5.48 billion yen
 
TRC Corp.
Head office: Tokyo
Company president: Mr. Taro Watanabe
Paid-in capital: 266 million yen
 
Maruzen Co., Ltd.
Head office: Tokyo
Company president: Mr. Eisuke Matsuo
Paid-in capital: 100 million yen
 
MobileBook.jp Inc.
Head office: Tokyo
CEO: Mr. Ryuichi Sasaki
Paid-in capital: 97.44 million yen
 
* Product prices, specification and service contents mentioned in this news release are current as of the date of publication. They may be changed at any time without notice.