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Tuesday, 29th April 2008

Highlights Only (Findings): PRG Releases New Report on the Use of E-Books in Libraries

The Primary Research Group just released a new report on the use of E-books in libraries. The full text report is fee-based but several highlights/stats are available at no charge.

E-book spending by libraries grew rapidly in 2008 but by significantly less than in 2007, according to Library Use of E-books, 2008-09 Edition, (ISBN 1-57440-101-7) just published by Primary Research Group, Inc. Data in the report is based on a survey of 75 academic, public and special libraries. Librarians detail their plans on how they plan to develop their e-book collections, what they think of e-book readers and software, and which e-book aggregators and publishers appeal to them most and why. Other issues covered include: library production of e-books and collection digitization, e-book collection information literacy efforts, use of e-books in course reserves and inter-library loan, e-book pricing and inflation issues, acquisition sources and strategies for e-books and other issues of concern to libraries and book publishers.

Some of the findings of the 110 page report are:
* Libraries in the sample expected to renew over 77% of their current contracts.
* Well over 81% of the sample cataloged their e-book collection and listed it in their online library catalog.
* For the most part, librarians in the sample felt that their patrons were less skilled in using e-book collections than they were in using
databases of magazine, newspaper and journal articles.
* The libraries in the sample had MARC records for a mean of approximately 74% of the e-books in their collections.
* Many libraries reported significant use of electronic directories. 12.5% reported extensive use and 30% said that use was significant. The larger libraries reported the heaviest use.
* Use of e-books in the hard sciences was particularly high. More than 30% of participants said that use of e-books in the hard sciences (defined as chemistry, physics and biology) was quite extensive and another 26% noted significant use.
* Libraries in the sample maintained a print version for a mean of 24% of the e-books in their e-book collections.
* Nearly 21% of the libraries in our sample have digitized out-of-copyright books in their collections in order to make their contents more
available to their patrons.

Source: PRG


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