March 1, 2012
Although digital books may be the rage, school libraries have been slow to join the party. About two-thirds of LMCs don’t have any circulating ebooks—ranging from four-fifths of elementary schools to about half of high schools. The difference between the mean (average) and median (the half-way point) was startling: an average 1,277 ebooks, with 1,281 for elementary schools, 763 for middle schools, 1,741 for high schools, with a median of just 50 items. Nevertheless, overall spending for ebooks rose an average of 8% over the previous year, with the greatest gains (around 14%) in high school libraries and in the Northwest and Midwest. Ebook spending was pretty much flat in middle schools, the South, and the West.