July 13, 2010
One undergraduate library makes big shift to e-books
With the acquisition of a new e-book database, 53 percent of the library’s collection will consist of online material. Students are able to download e-books to their computers, smartphones, and iPads.
“To me, this is the way all universities will need to go,” said Brent Short, director of library services.
Mr. Short says the biggest benefit of e-books is that they are accessible anywhere and anytime. Expanding online material is particularly important at Saint Leo, where the majority of the student body is based off the campus, he said.
“We have people in the military that are on station in Iraq, so obviously, online resources are crucial for them,” he added.
Saint Leo’s library contains 116,000 e-books and 106,000 print titles. Although the library continues to add to its print collection, Mr. Short said that more money is going toward ordering e-books.
Since the library has made certain reference resources available online, he said, he has observed a sharp decline in student use of print equivalents.
Is this truly the wave of the future? Who knows. But my personal guess based on what I've read in the blogosphere over the past year is that the library of the not-too-distant future is going to consist of a mix of p-books and e-books. How that mix will be calibrated is something that will vary from school to school depending on the needs of faculty and students. In other words, p-books will continue to be an important part of the picture.
July 13, 2010 | Permalink