SPEC Kit 313: E-book Collections  ·  73
The demand for remote access as expressed in the university curriculum (especially the growth of distance education)
forces the library to pursue the use of e-books, although frankly at this time the available offerings or platforms are
not yet fully reliable, and do not cover enough content.
The key points is that the vendors need to make their content readable on handhelds and publishers need to grant
rational licensing terms so people can use these services. That’s the only way forward. Print publishing is a declining
industry so sense in being ungracious about it, they should accept it and move on.
The subject area distribution shown in Q. 7 is exclusive of most US government documents. Approximately 68% of
our e-book collection consists of government documents for which subject analysis is not readily available.
There is still some concern about secure archiving of the purchased content. Downloads to portable devices are in the
future especially if technology makes it easy to do and easy for the user to read from the device.
We are about to embark on a purchase on demand e-book buying trial. With titles matching a profile we will load
MARC records into the catalog. The only other comment is that we chose to not load MARC records for our Safari
titles because we were swapping titles so often the result was extremely low usage as so limited discovery. Big
increase when we added Serials Solution e-book option to our A-Z list. Way better if titles are in OPAC.
We are currently evaluating print approval plans regarding which publishers and subjects might move towards
patron-driven purchase options.
We are relatively new in acquiring individual e-book titles.
We are still working on the workflow for processing e-books with the increase in their availability and the various
options for acquiring them.
We spend anywhere from $600,000 to a million dollars a year on e-books and have been heavy purchasers for
years. Our goal is to pay a fee for the content, and then pay another small fee every time that content is rendered into
existence whether on a computer screen, mobile device, or print on demand. We believe this provides sustainable
revenue for suppliers and would help reduce the overall cost of e-books. We would like to go entirely to a variation of
a patron-driven rent-to-own model where the library pays every time a user clicks on a book until the purchase price
is reached and that the purchase price allows for multiple users though we would be willing to reward publishers
for books that are constantly used (via the rendering fee) as long as the initial content fees are substantially lower
than current printed book purchase prices.
Well, good luck with all of this. It seems libraries are all over place with e-books and some are very aggressively
trying to acquire while others appear to be sticking their heads in the sand and pretending it doesn’t exist. Libraries,
librarians, and publishers should all be working harder in this place to help shape the model and the future of all of
this. Honestly it makes my skin crawl when libraries suggest that e-books should be purchased and/or operate like
print models. If we are just trying to recreate the print model here, then I’m not sure I understand the point. The
reality is that nothing in academic libraries is going to be what it used to be, and so many libraries are clinging to that
without realizing that the war has already been lost.
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