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E-books and academic libraries

This study contributes to knowledge and practice in the area of e-book management in academic libraries. The thesis is a three part study, two preliminary studies and the main study, with each part making a distinct contribution. As practitioners and researchers embark on a more extensive engagement with e-books and while the e-book market is developing rapidly, it is increasingly important that some agreement is reached regarding the definition of the term 'e-book'. Hence, the first study reported a content analysis of 36 e-book defmitions in order to determine a valid and representative definition of 'e-book'. The study proposed a two-part definition of the term reflecting both the persistent characteristics of e-books, and their dynamic and developing nature, driven largely by the changing technologies. Despite the growth in the e-book market, the e-book industry has been researched much less than the e-journal market. An overview of the e-book marketplace is a valuable starting point for academic library decision making about the management of e-book collections. Hence, the second study provided an overview of key e-book marketplace players and their services, by analysing the web sites of nine publishers and eleven aggregators as a basis for profiling their main services. The findings showed that the e-book market is changing. The majority of ebook vendors market typically to libraries, and publishers are increasingly using e-aggregators to distribute their titles. Collections of e-books are expanding gradually and e-book business models are complex and range considerably. Academic libraries are changing and e-books have been incorporated into their collections. The demand for e-books by library users is increasing and academic librarians are planning expansion of their e-book holdings. E-books are an exciting and controversial area for librarians but they pose various challenges to academic libraries. Nevertheless, the impact of ebooks on collection management practices is under-documented. Furthermore, the future of ebooks in academic libraries is a topic that has not been extensively investigated in the current literature. Therefore, the main study of this thesis provided in-depth insights into e-book management activities and what are the associated issues and challenges faced by the librarians. In addition, the study identified and validated the main stages of the e-book management process in academic libraries. Moreover, the main study gathered opinions on the factors that will affect the future and adoption of e-books in academic libraries. The survey approach was employed for the main study. Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with 32 librarians working in seven UK academic libraries, each with different sizes and with different levels of engagement with providing e-book services. The card-game method was incorporated into the interview process mainly in order to test and establish the process of e-book management in academic libraries. Overall, the findings confirmed past and recent studies on the management of e-books, whilst offering additional insights into specific practices and challenges. The central and most significant part of the study is the proposed e-book management framework of activities and the associated issues and challenges in academic libraries. The e-book management process is complex and practice needs further development at all the stages of the process
Date January 2011
CreatorsVasileiou, Magdalini
PublisherManchester Metropolitan University
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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