November 21, 2011
The Labyrinth of Library eBook Acquisitions
When interviewed for being recognized as a 2011 Mover & Shaker, Sue Polanka, Head of Reference/Instruction at Wright State University Libraries, was quoted in the LJ profile article:
"As much as people call me an expert, I'm not," Polanka says. "I just keep track of things, know where to find the information, and have an amazing network of people whom I can contact for information and advice."
Well, those are all avenues that eventually produce expertise. Folks may remember Polanka's No Shelf Required: E-books in Libraries (editor) (ALA Editions, 2010). No Shelf Required: 2: Use and Management of Electronic Books (editor) will be published by ALA in 2012. She is also moderator the must-read blog, No Shelf Required.
In a recent American Libraries "Dispatches from the Field" column, titled A Guide to Ebook Purchasing, Polanka offers an overview of the factors that must be considered by libraries contemplating the integration eBooks into collection development planning including the variety of eBook publisher business models and acquisitions by way of individual libraries and through consortia. "It’s a complex labyrinth. But one day, it will be easy [for libraries looking to acquire eBooks]," writes Polanka.
In general, law libraries are further behind the curve in eBook acquisitions compared to other types of libraries. That's largely because we are only now starting to see a substantial number of eBooks in sales catalogs and law e-commerce sites. We can, in my opinion, acquire a lot of professional intelligence from public and general academic librarians from librarians outside our community. In this case, one may want to note that Polanka's American Libraries article in taken from the introduction to the November/December issue of Library Technology Reports (watch for its release here). [JH]