The purpose of this paper is to study model(s) of acquiring e‐books to support: effective support of learning and teaching; and efficient use of collection budget.
The research was based on: five years of usage data from two e‐book packages: Net Library and Safari; two methods of acquisition: NetLibrary was a one‐time purchase; Safari was purchased on a subscription; usage difference or lack of difference over time between packages; and controlled for content subjects in both packages.
The research found that: Safari (with updates) showed increased usage over time; NetLibrary (without updates) showed generally declining usage over time; and controlling NetLibrary subject content showed that usage in the science and technology area declined noticeably over the years; while education, history, social sciences, literature and language usage decline was steady.
Title counts in both packages were similar; however, after isolating for matching subject areas the numbers of titles in NetLibrary were small. Therefore, one or two titles in a small population may have skewed the pattern, making the results less accurate.
Understanding whether and in which subject areas students and faculty use e‐books means effective selection decision and good use of shrinking budgets.
Usage data over five years provided evidence on which to base subscription/purchase decisions to effectively support learning and teaching and use collection funds wisely. Analyzing the usage figures will inform selection of e‐books to support learning and teaching.
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