eBooks Literature Review

Our new web pages can be found at – http://www.jisc-collections.ac.uk/KnowledgeBasePlus/Related-Services-and-Projects/jisc-co-design-programme/eBooks-recommendations/

This research was undertaken to provide background for the SCONUL and Jisc eBook Co-Design Project. Since the 1980’s, when e-books first appeared on the consumer market, libraries, including academic libraries, have slowly begun to incorporate them into their holdings. This uptake has accelerated over the last decade and a recent survey suggested that between 94% and 97% of American University Libraries now hold e-books as part of their collections.

Despite this apparent universal acceptance of e-books as suitable resources for academic libraries there are some indications that libraries are still unsure about committing significant proportions of their budgets to e-books. Conversely feedback from the users suggests that the availability of e-books at anytime from anywhere has made them an important resource. If users are increasingly turning to e-books in their studies why are libraries not correspondingly increasing their acquisition of e-books?

By examining the existing literature on e-books and reflecting on experience the literature review aims to define the existing problem spaces for e-books. It begins by pulling out the issues identified in published literature, which are mainly issues reported by librarians or library researchers rather than by the users themselves. It then examines the issues that arise from the acquisition, management, delivery and evaluation of e-books on a daily basis and operational level before concluding with an overview of the problems and irritations that arise for users around e-books.

It is hoped that this research combined with the consultations being held with University libraries in the UK will allow the project to identify a number of common issues for which it can begin to look for resolutions – whether local or above-campus.

Full literature review

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