Thursday, May 22, 2008

Library use of ebooks

Data in the report is based on a survey of 75 academic, public and special libraries. Librarians detail their plans on how they plan to develop their e-book collections, what they think of e-book readers and software, and which e-book aggregators and publishers appeal to them most and why. Other issues covered include: library production of e-books and collection digitization, e-book collection information literacy efforts, use of e-books in course reserves and inter-library loan, e-book pricing and inflation issues, acquisition sources and strategies for e-books and other issues of concern to libraries and book publishers.

Some of the report's findings are that:

Well over 81% of the sample cataloged their e-book collection and listed it in their online library catalog.
For the most part, librarians in the sample felt that their patrons were less skilled in using e-book collections than they were in using databases of magazine, newspaper and journal articles.
The libraries in the sample had MARC records for a mean of approximately 74% of the e-books in their collections.
Many libraries reported significant use of electronic directories. 12.5% reported extensive use and 30% said that use was significant. The larger libraries reported the heaviest use.
Use of e-books in the hard sciences was particularly high. More than 30% of participants said that use of e-books in the hard sciences (defined as chemistry, physics and biology) was quite extensive and another 26% noted significant use.
Libraries in the sample maintained a print version for a mean of 24% of the e-books in their e-book collections.
Nearly 21% of the libraries in our sample have digitized out-of-copyright books in their collections in order to make their contents more available to their patrons.
Libraries in the sample expect to renew a mean of 77% of their current e-book contract.
E-book spending grew rapidly in 2008 but slowed significantly from 2007 growth rates.
E-books account for only about 3.9% of the books on course reserve, with a minimum of 0 to a maximum of 30%.
Nearly 70% of the sample's total spending on e-books was with aggregators, while just over 24.6% of the total spending was spent with individual publishers.

Primary Research Group. (2008). Library Use of E-books. New York: Author.

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