Academic librarians who are planning for the future need to be knowledgeable about the short‐ and long‐range outlook for print. They must also consider what will happen if libraries abolish most or all of their books. This paper aims to explore current and future academic e‐book usage, and to suggest ideas for response to collection changes.
This article examines a wide range of studies and comments on this timely topic.
The disparity between the reception of e‐books in the general population and the adoption of them in the academic world suggests that print is still important to faculty and students. Given the advances in e‐book technology, the increasing popularity of online/distance education courses, the adoption of the new EPUB 3 format, and the ubiquity of mobile devices, e‐books are expected increasingly to replace print volumes in academic libraries.
What has received little attention in the literature is the complexity of the issue of e‐book reception in the academic world. This article looks at current and future e‐book usage from the perspective of several large studies on diverse aspects of academic life, including students' perceptions of libraries, their information‐seeking behaviors, faculty research habits and information needs, students' reading habits, and the impact of emerging technologies on teaching and learning. Providing insight into current and future academic e‐book trends, this article suggests practical ways to respond to these trends.
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