Ebook Collection Development in Academic Libraries: Examining Preference, Management, and Purchasing Patterns

peter.suber's bookmarks 2021-01-22


"Key findings: • Electronic books are now an established part of academic library collections, and many libraries report planned future expenditures in this format. On average, ebooks constitute approximately one-third of a library’s monograph collection. • Patron convenience and need are the main motivators for libraries’ investment in ebooks. The top four advantages of ebooks identified by institutions are all user-related: anywhere access, anytime access, enhancement of distance/online education, and allowance for multi-user access. As this survey was conducted during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many respondents emphasized the benefits of access. Typical responses included “perfect for COVID-19,” “these are the only books our students can access right now because of COVID-19,” and “serving college programs and courses now being taught remotely due to pandemic.” • Librarians believe that patrons are increasingly format agnostic when it comes to monographs, and as a result they are purchasing a mix of print and electronic books dictated by availability, cost, and collecting scope rather than assumptions about patron preferences. • The ebook acquisition landscape is complex with multiple vendors, platforms, and purchase models to navigate. Despite this complexity and the inherent frustrations that it brings, libraries are effectively handling the challenges and do not see them as insurmountable barriers to acquiring ebook content. • The ebook format has not transformed the collecting scopes and strategies of academic libraries. Libraries are purchasing the same types of content in ebook format as they purchase in print, focusing on the relevance of the content and not the format....

Saving money is an oft-cited benefit of ebooks for patrons as well. The push for libraries to invest in etextbooks and open educational resources are movements to help offset the growing expense of higher education for students. When libraries invest in these options, they save students thousands of dollars. Ebooks also avoid punitive late fees and fines for books, since they are never overdue or damaged; ebooks are either downloaded and stored on a patron’s computer or access to the content expires....

Nearly all academic libraries and their home institutions instituted stay-at-home orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With campuses closed, access to physical books through a library’s holdings or interlibrary loan was limited to non-existent. Libraries and their patrons looked to digital research objects such as ebooks to support research and instructional needs from a distance. In addition to using a library’s existing ebook collections, patrons also utilized open access ebooks, ebooks from the Internet Archive, and ebooks from the Hathi Trust Emergency Temporary Access Service (for participating libraries). ..."



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Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » peter.suber's bookmarks


oa.new oa.books oa.oer oa.textbooks oa.growth oa.surveys oa.libraries oa.humanitarian

Date tagged:

01/22/2021, 09:08

Date published:

01/22/2021, 04:09