A note about the survey:
The beauty of the SPEC survey format is that the questions provide solid quantifiable data
while the comments sections make those data real. Many of the concerns that libraries have
about the e-book industry turn up again and again in comments in the various sections of
the survey. These issues, named and nuanced in the comments, are at the heart of developing
changes in the library world.
The term e-book itself shows up in the survey responses and documents in a variety of
forms indicating a lack of standardization: e-book, e-Book, E-Book, E-book, ebook, eBook,
Ebook, electronic book. The more accepted the term, the more stable the format of the term.
For the purposes of this survey, the term e-book was defined as an electronic text publication,
excluding journal publications and textbooks, made available for any device (handheld or
desk-bound) which includes a screen.*
This SPEC Kit does not address the e-textbook movement on college campuses and only
marginally touches on library-digitized works.
*Modified from the definition proposed by Chris Armstrong, Louise Edwards, and Ray Lonsdale in “Virtually
There? E-books in UK Academic Libraries,” Program—Electronic Library and Information Systems 36, no. 4 (2002): 216–27.
E-version: http://eprints.rclis.org/5987/ p 2.
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