Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Report on Use of eBooks in Libraries

An interesting set of research data from Primary Research Group on the penetration and use of eBooks in libraries. The sample size is small and also not focused on one library segment. According to OCLC (hat tip) the study queried corporate, public, academic and government libraries both in the US and overseas.  A total of 68 libraries. 

There is a sample of the data (here) to look at which does throw up some interesting results non-the-less. I am sure the full report provides more information but I noticed in many instances a wide disparity between the median and the mean in some of the results for example:

"What is the spending on eBooks in 2013?: Mean $130K and median $15K.

There are other results like this in the sample. (Again, the full report, which I have not read, may elucidate these results). One other set of data I thought interesting was the amount of duplication of e and p formats. It happens a little in public libraries but hardly at all in academic libraries. Where e is purchased there is not a corresponding print version purchased as well.

The report is $89 and here is more information:
This report looks closely at how libraries use eBooks. It is based on a survey of 68 academic, public, corporate, legal and other special libraries and covers licensing, collection planning, use of consortiums for purchasing, number and type of suppliers used, spending levels, spending plans, use of tablets, eReaders and other technologies, use of eTextbooks, eDirectories and related spending plans, preferences for licenses from individual publishers or aggregators, and plans for license renewals. The study gives details of use of and spending on a broad range of vendors and distributors including Amazon and Barnes & Noble, among many others.

The study also covers: use of eBooks for course reserves, eBook issues in interlibrary loan, and the emergence of dedicated endowments for eBook purchases. The study also covers the types of eBook models preferred by libraries of different types, and how librarians view likely developments in the eBook industry.

Primary Research Group has published Library Use of eBooks, 2013 Edition, ISBN 978-1-57440-223-0.

This 103-page study is based on data from 68 public, academic, corporate, legal and government libraries, with data broken out by type of library, size of library and other criteria. The study paints a portrait of how libraries are using eBooks and covers spending, budgets, contracts, licensing, number of licenses maintained, and aggregator and publisher preferences and aggregator vs publisher sales as a percentage of total eBook spending. The report also presents detailed data on library spending on particular retail vendors such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all other online book vendors. The report also presents data on e-audio books, use of consortium purchasing arrangements for eBooks, the impact of eBooks on interlibrary loan, range of titles typically available for eBook rental at libraries, the impact of tablets and other eBook reading devices, the impact of eBooks on course reserves for higher education libraries, the evolving state of dedicated endowments for eBooks, use of and spending on eDirectories, trends in eBook pricing as experienced by libraries, trends in eBook collection planning, use of eTextbooks and more.

Just a few of the report's many findings are that:
  • Spending on e-textbooks will increase from a mean of $1,042 in 2012 to approximately $1,528 in 2013 for the libraries in the sample
  • Public libraries have spent a mean of $8,750 on electronic and internet versions of directories
  • Libraries in the sample spent a mean of $118,676 on e-books in 2012
  • 32.86 percent of libraries in the sample have a contract with Ebrary, including 19.23 percent of libraries with a total budget of less than $500,000
  • Libraries in the sample expect to renew almost 75 percent of their current e=book contracts upon completion
  • 37.13 percent of e-book orders made by libraries in the sample are placed with e-book divisions of traditional book jobbers or distributors
  • On average, libraries in the sample have experienced a mean increase of 17.93 percent in the price of e-books in the last year

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