Scholarly eBooks: Understanding RoI for Libraries is a white paper from Springer and the Publishers Communication Group that deals with “return on investment” for libraries when purchasing ebooks. It brings up the issues and challenges involved in computing RoI and provides useful insights for libraries trying to make make such justifications. “In this report, Publishers Communication Group and Springer present a broad overview of the current state of eBooks valuation in academic and special libraries along with its trends and dominant challenges. In addition,this report addresses some ways in which the scholarly eBook landscape is likely to change in the future and the anticipated impact on measuring the RoI (Return on Investment) of eBooks throughout the library community.”
Some of the issues covered include:
- Calculating direct expenses to the library for eBooks
- The limited purchasing options currently available
- A significant lack of consistency in usage statistics across vendors
- The evolving role of librarians
Another article that we thought important to bring to your attention is “2012 top ten trends in academic libraries: A review of the trends and issues affecting academic libraries in higher education.” These “top ten” trends were compiled by the ACRL Research Planning and Review and appear in the June 2012, College & Research Libraries News (vol. 73 no. 6) 311-320.
The usual suspects are included like data curation, digital preservation, mobile devices and information technology but there is also mention of broad trends within higher education like online education and globalization as well as new scholarly communication and publishing models that are impacting libraries. Even more mundane concerns like staffing and user behaviors and expectations get top billing in this list. And for those interested in really getting into it, there is an excellent bibliography well worth exploring.
You won’t regret putting both of these items on your reading list.
Tom is originally from Brooklyn N.Y but has spent his entire professional career in South Carolina, most recently as Head of Reference Services at the College of Charleston. As part of the Against the Grain and Charleston Conference team, he serves as the associate editor of the print ATG as well as the co-editor of the webpage. Tom’s conference duties include coordinating the Penthouse Suite interviews as well as the conference poster sessions.
He received his MLS from the University of Buffalo, SUNY and a second master’s in public administration from the College of Charleston and the Univ. of South Carolina. His wife Carol and he live in downtown Charleston and she is an artist and a tour guide offering historic walking tours of the city.