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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ebook Collection Development

Everyone has been so interested in figuring out the best ways to use eBooks in public libraries that we have neglected to have a serious conversation about our eBook collections.

Collection Development of these collections is crucial.  Not only are eBooks in high demand, but also, our budgets are limited.  We are stretched so thin these days, yet we need to buy more.

The other day a patron was asking me about our eBook collection and he thought we automatically got a free copy of every book we owned in an electronic version.  Wouldn't that be nice.

But no, as most of you already know, those of us who make purchasing decisions need to actually select and pay separately for the eBooks we add to our virtual collections independent from whether or not we own a physical copy of the title.

Well over on this month's issue of the Booklist newsletter The Corner Shelf, Rebecca Vnuk has begun the conversation we should have started years ago in a public forum.

Click here for the entire issue on eBook Collection Development, but I would like to highlight the interview with Toby Greenwalt, Virtual Services Coordinator at Skokie (IL) Public Library, and MY FRIEND Anne Slaughter, Virtual Services Manager at Oak Park (IL) Public Library.   Click here to read what they have to say.

At the BPL, our fearless leader, Kathy makes all of the eBook decisions.  For now, she is trying to buy the most popular titles in eBook format, but money is limited and demand is growing.  She will also be beginning formal patron training on how to download eBooks in 2012, so demand will only continue to build.  Hopefully, a public outcry for more eBooks will lead to a higher budget line.  However, more dollars means it is more imperative that we create a formal collection development policy for our eBook collections.


Kimberly said...

Do others feel as if a change in format requires a different approach? I wonder sometimes that there is so much discussion about the way libraries approach e-books, but I find that reading them (and therefore selecting them) is based on the same appeal factors and authors name and cost imperatives that in print titles have. I would love to hear how others react to changes in format affecting how RA tools are used.

Cari said...

I agree with Kimberly - I feel my library's existing collection development policy is adequate for our e-books. The only concept I would like to address at some point is self-published/indie books, and I have ideas for that on a much broader scheme than just in my library, so I don't know if those ideas would even end up in our policy.

I do feel that collection development procedures should be evaluated on a regular basis for all formats. My colleague went to the LJ webinar that Rebecca presented, and the weeding info was eye-opening.