Ebooks: Are we there yet?

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In the Horizon Report, electronic books are suggested to take off in academia within 2-3 years.  Over the past year, over a half-dozen Libraries have been involved in college pilots of electronic books with mixed results.  Library staff certainly are excited over ebook readers, illustrated by the hovering crowd around the prize drawing for the Nook at this year's Library Technology Conference. 

Two primary obstacles outlined in the Report are availability and quality of illustrations.  Though Amazon has over 30,000 ebooks in the education catalog, that by far does not include all texts that faculty require.  Students would still be carrying around some texts and an ebook reader/ mobile device in the near term.  Where we can play a big role is in course pack reduction.  Informing faculty of the journals we already are paying for and how to properly put the links online for students to access articles to supplement their learning. 

Questions to consider:

  • How do Libraries balance patrons' wants with the proprietary nature of some of the ebook systems? 
  • What are libraries' role in the debate over ebook licenses?  Users cannot resell their material like you can with a physical book.  Or, the fact that Amazon has retracted books from Kindle owners in the past.  
  • Will ebook readers catch on, or will that technology die off as more mobile devices are ebook friendly?

A sample of the ebook articles over the past year:

  • Barsky, E., et. al., Comparing Safari Tech Books Online and Books24x7 E-book Collections: A Case Study from the University of British Columbia Library. Issues in Science & Technology Librarianship no. 56 (Winter 2009)
  • Behler, A. E-Readers in Action. American Libraries v. 40 no. 10 (October 2009) p. 56-9

  • Clark, D. T. Lending Kindle e-book readers: first results from the Texas A&M University project. Collection Building v. 28 no. 4 (2009) p. 146-9

  • Shelburne, W. A. E-book usage in an academic library: User attitudes and behaviors. Library Collections, Acquisitions, and Technical Services v. 33 no. 2/3 (2009) p. 59-72

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This page contains a single entry by meye0539 published on March 28, 2010 9:50 AM.

Teaching and Learning in 2015 was the previous entry in this blog.

2010 Horizon Report: Faculty preparedness for integrating digital media literacy is the next entry in this blog.

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