Data & Research

A selection of books and other research concerning Ebooks and Digital Content in libraries.

 

icon representing digital content issuesEbook Studies

Circulation/Usage Data

Library Purchasing Power

Library Marketing Power

Library as Publisher/Repository

Collection Development

 

Ebook Studies

  • 2014 eLending Background Paper, IFLA. (August 2014) IFLA acknowledges the differing interpretations of what is an eBook, reflected in the vastly differing holdings and use statistics reported by libraries, and proposes definitions of “eBook” and “eLending” are proposed. Also, the paper looks at recent trends in the publishing and distribution of ebooks, describes library advocacy efforts with publishers and governments, and analyzes relevant court rulings on digital exhaustion governing how libraries can acquire and deploy eBooks.

  • E-book Task Force White Paper, Connecticut State Library Advisory Council for Library Planning and Development. (October 2012) The task force examined and reported on library practices and license agreements, exploring issues of ebook compliance with statewide reciprocity regulations, the possibility of a statewide ebook cooperative, and best practice recommendations for Connecticut libraries looking to purchase ebook content.

  • Libraries, patrons, and e-books (6/22/2012). This report, produced by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, found that 12% of readers of e-books borrowed an e-book from the library in the past year. But a majority of Americans do not know that this service is provided by their local library.

  • The rise of e-reading (4/4/2012) This report, produced by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, found that 21% of Americans have read an e-book, and that the increasing availability of e-content is prompting some to read more than in the past and to prefer buying books to borrowing them.

  • Tablet and e-Reader Ownership Nearly Doubles over 2011 Holiday Season  (1/23/2012) The share of adults in the United States who own tablet computers nearly doubled from 10% to 19% between mid-December and early January and the same surge in growth also applied to e-book readers, which also jumped from 10% to 19% over the same time period.The number of Americans owning at least one of these digital reading devices jumped from 18% in December to 29% in January.

  • Library Journal and School Library Journal‘s 2011 Ebook Penetration and Use survey (available for purchase). These survey reports present data on how libraries are adopting ebooks and the driving factors behind purchasing and circulation activity in the public, academic, and school (K-12) markets.

  • Chief Officers of State Libraries Association (COSLA), “COSLA: eBook Feasibility Study for Public Libraries,” (6/30/2010) Final Report. The COSLA eReader Task Force worked with consultants to learn from knowledgeable librarians and industry experts about the direction of the eReader and eBook marketplace, and more generally, what public libraries need to do to continue to grow and improve their downloadable eBook services.  

Circulation/Usage Data

  1. Public Libraries in the United States: 2009 (10/2011) National and state summary data, based on data from the Public Libraries Survey for fiscal year 2009, includes information on visitation, circulation, the availability and use of library computing resources, staffing, library collections and services, and fiscal information such as operating revenue and expenditures. The report includes several key findings: Nationwide, visits to public libraries totaled 1.59 billion, or 5.4 library visits per capita. There were 2.41 billion circulations of library materials (8.1 per capita) and 1.4 uses of Internet PCs per capita during fiscal year 2009. Published 10/2011. For a complete list of earlier years, please see here.

  2. Library Use of Ebooks, 2011 edition. (10/2011) The report presents 145 pages of data and commentary on a broad range of eBook issues, including: spending on eBooks in 2010 and anticipated spending for 2011; use levels of various kinds of eBooks; market penetration by various specific eBook publishers; extent of use of aggregators vs offering by specific publishers; purchasing of individual titles; use of various channels of distribution such as traditional book jobbers and leading retail/internet based booksellers; use of eBooks in course reserves and interlibrary loan; impact of eBooks on print book spending; use of eBooks in integrated search; price increases for eBooks; contract renewal rates for eBooks; use of special eBook platforms for smartphones and tablet computers; spending plans and current use of eBook reader such as Nook, Reader and Kindle; the role played by library consortia in eBooks.

  3. OCLC: "How Libraries Stack Up: 2010" (2010) This one page set of graphics is very telling. Libraries move a similar number of  items as Federal Express.  Library visits are higher than movie and sports attendance added together, etc.

  4. Survey of Ebook Penetration and Use in U.S. Academic Libraries. (11/ 2010)

  5. Off the Shelf: trends in the purchase and use of electronic reference books. Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship, 21: 263-278, Copyright 2009 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC (2009) What is the future direction of reference books? What types of policies are libraries implementing regarding the purchase of electronic reference books? Are libraries still buying hard copy reference items when an electronic equivalent is available? This paper discusses a national survey of libraries regarding the purchase and use of electronic reference books by information professionals and patrons.

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Library Purchasing Power

  1. ALA: Library Fact Sheets ALA has over 30 fact sheets which cover miscellaneous statistics from how many libraries of all kinds exist in the US to library use, to marketing data. Fact Sheet 5 reports that according to Book Industry TRENDS 2007, over $4.8 billion worth of books and other materials were purchased by libraries in 2006, with over $1.8 billion spent on book purchases alone. More than one-tenth of publishers' net book sales are to libraries.

  2. "Conneticut Library Resources - eBooks" - Connecticut Library Consortium This page focuses on eBooks and eBook readers in Connecticut libraries.  There is useful, general information here on the way one consortium addresses eBook issues.

  3. "Libraries' Digital Direction," - Inside Higher Ed (4/4/2011) Most college library directors would order print books removed from the library if there was a robust and trustworthy way to provide access to electronic versions, according to a new study released today by the nonprofit Ithaka S+R.

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Library Marketing Power

7 Harris Interactive Poll (6/26/2007) A letter from Harris sent to ALA showed that in 2007, two in five adults and 36% of youth purchased a book (hard cover or soft cover) after checking it out from the local library. One in five adults and youth (22% and 20% respectively) purchased CDs after checking them out and 22% of adults and one-quarter (25%) of youth purchased DVDs.

Library as Publisher/Repository

  1. Digital Public Library of America Project (Wikipedia page), Digital Public Library of America (Official website) “Leaders from research libraries, foundations, and a variety of cultural institutions gathered in a workshop at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study on October 1-2 in order to discuss how to work together toward the creation of a Digital Public Library of America -- that is an open, distributed network of comprehensive online resources that would draw on the nation’s living heritage from libraries, universities, archives, and museums in order to educate, inform and empower everyone in the current and future generations.”

  2. Library Journal:  “Two University Press E-Book Initiatives Merge” (3/16/2011) Project MUSE Editions (PME) and the University Press ebook Consortium (UPeC) have formed a new partnership called the University Press Content Consortium (UPCC), which will launch January 1, 2012

  3. Inside Higher Ed – “Pays to Share" (3/16/2011) Hathi Trust, a cooperative based at the University of Michigan, has taken steps to make sure that Google is not the only one putting together a comprehensive digital archive of academic library content. After only two and a half years, HathiTrust now counts more than 50 member libraries and a collection of 8.2 million digitized works, including 4.5 million books. According to a new study, by 2014 HathiTrust’s digital archive will mirror 60 percent of works currently held in print by the major U.S. research libraries.

  4. "Reinventing the Research Library: The MIT Libraries in the 21st Century" (video) (2/28/2011) It's a seminal moment in the history of research libraries. The MIT libraries are trying to be wherever their students are.

  5. Schonfeld, Roger C. and Ross Housewright. What to Withdraw? Print Collections Management in the Wake of Digitization. (9/29/2009) The large-scale digitization of print journal collections has led to most access needs being met via digital surrogates. Numerous libraries would therefore like to reassign the space occupied by print collections towards higher-value uses. To aid their planning, this report addresses two key questions: which types of print journals can libraries withdraw responsibly today, and how can that set of materials be expanded to allow libraries the maximum possible flexibility?

  6. “University Publishing in a Digital Age,” (7/26/2007) This report, sponsored by Ithaka and JSTOR recommends, among other things that universities  “develop a shared electronic publishing infrastructure across universities to save costs, create scale, leverage expertise, innovate, extend the brand of U.S. higher education, create an interlinked environment of information, and provide a robust alternative to commercial competitors.”

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Collection Development

  1. Vasileious, Magdalini, Rowley, Jennifer and Hartley, Richard. "The e-book management framework: The management of e-books in academic libraries and its challenges." Library & Information Science Research, v.34, issue 4, p. 282-291. (10/2012) E-book management in academic libraries is examined, and a framework of the stages in the e-book management process is generated; the framework summarizes the key activities and associated issues and challenges for each stage.

  2. Breitbach, William and Joy E. Lambert. “Patron-Driven EBook Acquisition.” Computers in Libraries (8/2011) This article should be read for a better understanding of a lending model which has worked in academic libraries.  The model leads to perpetual access, but not ownership of eBooks; however, the costs savings associated with this model are an incentive for using eBooks over print materials – see above for more details on the lending model.  It is foreseeable that this model could be expanded to public libraries, as well.

  3. “Ebook Team Progress Report 6 9 10.” OrbisCascade. Orbis Cascade Alliance, (1/4/2011) This webpage outlines the EBook team’s progress as of June 10, 2010.  The bullet points near the bottom of the page summarize both what the Alliance is looking for from eBook vendors, as well as the difficulty they are encountering in having their needs met.  This resource is a useful guide for determining issues most important to libraries when negotiating with eBook vendors.

  4. Orbis Cascade Alliance’s Ebook Team. Vendor Information from Cambridge. (6/10/2010) The Orbis Cascade Alliance has been working to implement ebook sharing among their member libraries.  The attached document contains questions from the Alliance and answers from Cambridge, one vender that submitted a proposal to the Ebook team.  You will see that Cambridge is not yet prepared to offer services such as, a patron driven purchasing model or perpetual ownership of ebooks. 

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