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.
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.
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