Washington DC—The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has published E-book Collections, SPEC Kit 313, which examines the current use of e-books in ARL member libraries; their plans for implementing, increasing, or decreasing access to e-books; purchasing, cataloging, and collection management issues; and issues in marketing to and in usage by library clientele.
According to survey responses, most institutions entered the e-book arena as part of a consortium which purchased an e-book package. [snip]. Purchasing at the collection level allowed libraries to acquire a mass of titles with a common interface, reducing some of the transition pains to the new format. [snip]
Those libraries reporting success with individually selected e-book titles cope with other problems: lag time between print and electronic publication (with electronic the lagging format), restrictive digital rights management, loss of access by ILL, and limited printing top the list of concerns. However, responses indicate a preference for title-by-title selection as a more efficient use of funds.
This SPEC Kit includes documentation from respondents in the form of collection development policies, e-book collection Web pages, e-book promotional materials, training materials for staff and users, and e-book reader loan policies.
The table of contents and executive summary from this SPEC Kit are available online at
SPEC Kit 313, E-book Collections / Catherine Anson and Ruth R. Connell / October 2009 / ISBN 1-59407-825-4 / 184 pp. / $45 ($35 ARL members)