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