Librarians’ views on five years of ebooks

To celebrate its first five years in ebook production, Springer has consulted with a number of stakeholders to produce the report STM eBooks: Librarian Perspectives on the First 5 years.  The report outlines the challenges and opportunities that ebooks present to key stakeholders.

Key findings – end users

  • Technology innovations including interactive video and the ability to make notes are highly valued by users
  • Lack of standardisation across platforms confuses users
  • Complex sign-on processes are a barrier to use
  • Some technical books are difficult to read on certain devices

Key findings – librarians

  • Concern about long term availability of ebooks
  • Need to develop ROI measures for ebooks
  • New roles may develop for librarians – as information literacy experts or as one participant outlined ‘as the interface between patron and the publisher’
  • Improved metadata from publishers will help improve discoverability

Conclusions

  • Ebooks will continue to develop more elements that the print work cannot feature, including supplementary materials and interactive content
  • Increased emphasis on usage statistics to help manage collections and anticipate user needs
  • Development of more flexible access and pricing models
  • Standardisation of metadata
  • Mobile devices will continue to inform the way ebooks are developed
  • Demands of users who will expect easy 24-hour access to high quality content will shape developments

The report is free to download from the Springer website.

About Val Skelton

I am the editor of Information Today, Europe. On the main site, we cover news and publish feature articles by information, research and knoweldge practitioners and thought leaders. On this blog, we aim to cover other topics of interest to our readers.

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