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Expensing e-books: how much should patron habit influence collection development?

Terrance Luther Cottrell (Academic Technology and Library Services, University of St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois, USA)
Brigitte Bell (Library, University of St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois, USA)

The Bottom Line

ISSN: 0888-045X

Article publication date: 25 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is explore the difficulties in managing print and e-book expenditures in today’s libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

The basis for this article stems from conflicting data showing patrons desiring to read more e-books versus print books at the beginning of the very e-book movement, and more recent studies showing this trend plateauing while e-book reading device purchasing increases.

Findings

Two different phenomena may be occurring in tandem or separately in this case: less people are reading while having increased capacity to read e-books; libraries are adding more e-book content while print book reading is not falling off as fast as previously anticipated.

Originality/value

E-book expense allocations are far from an exact science. Library budget managers are in need for continued research and insight to guide decision-making. This article adds to extant research in this area providing support for a “wait-and-see” approach toward spending on e-books.

Keywords

Citation

Luther Cottrell, T. and Bell, B. (2014), "Expensing e-books: how much should patron habit influence collection development?", The Bottom Line, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 142-146. https://doi.org/10.1108/BL-09-2014-0023

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited