The following post is the third in a series from Leslie Lees, VP of Content Development from ebrary. Academic E-books – The Shifting Landscape discusses changes that are occurring with ebooks and implications for libraries and their users. –Mike
I recently attended a UNESCO conference in Milan The Future of the Written Word that gathered together a group of fascinating and thoughtful people to discuss a set of questions about the impact of e-books on our experiences of reading and writing. I was struck there by how difficult it really is to identify practical answers to the questions that beset our complex and rapidly changing world. As the request for directions was so famously answered by Yogi Berra “you can’t get there from here!”
For all their manifest problems, library collections have provided a yardstick of quality that might act as a proxy for coaching users about information literacy. However, as we have seen, such a form of gatekeeping is increasingly rejected by the new generation of users. So how can libraries best make the shift from supporting learning and research by directing patrons to a librarian-selected collection of ‘authoritative’ books to the application of limited funds to building a better information delivery service as needs arise? Both All You Can Eat packages and Patron Driven Acquisition seem, on the surface, to offer a solution to this problem of how to meet more demand with fewer resources…but both are still only partial and problematic solutions.
Leah was appointed Executive Director of the Charleston Conference in 2017, and has served in various roles with the Charleston Information Group, LLC, since 2004. Prior to working for the conference, she was Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions for the College of Charleston for four years. She lives in a small town near Columbia, SC, with her husband and two kids where they raise a menagerie of farm animals.