Friday, November 7, 2008

We Want More E-Books! Lessons Learned from Seven Years of Embedding E-Books into a UK University Collection

Katie Price, University of Surrey. Surrey is a science and technology focused research university in south-east England. Starting in 2002, the library has licensed e-books from a variety of providers and in a variety of formats. They now have about 50K e-book titles.

Challenges: developing a business model for funding e-book purchases (different from one-time print purchasing). Cataloging, as not all packages come with MARC records. Coping with updates. Troubleshooting (handled by their e-journal management people). Staff time.

Survey results: 71% of students use e-books. 56% of students were dependent on library-provided e-books. 24% used e-books via Blackboard. 80% visited the library online daily or weekly. 59% read from the screen. 7% print. 33% do a little of each, reading online and printing.

Only 3% had read an entire e-book. 59% used only individual sections or chapters. 35% had trouble reading or printing e-books.

DRM is a huge impediment to use. Students don't understand 10 pp. printing limits; they don't want to read online for hours; they just want to print the parts that they need. They definitely don't like the various platforms, but they use them anyway and only want more e-books.

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