Librarians' views on five years of ebooks

To celebrate its first five years in ebook production, Springer has consulted with a number of stakeholders to produce the report STM eBooks: Librarian Perspectives on the First 5 years.  The report outlines the challenges and opportunities that ebooks present to key stakeholders.Key findings - end users

  • Technology innovations including interactive video and the ability to make notes are highly valued by users
  • Lack of standardisation across platforms confuses users
  • Complex sign-on processes are a barrier to use
  • Some technical books are difficult to read on certain devices
Key findings - librarians
  • Concern about long term availability of ebooks
  • Need to develop ROI measures for ebooks
  • New roles may develop for librarians - as information literacy experts or as one participant outlined ‘as the interface between patron and the publisher'
  • Improved metadata from publishers will help improve discoverability
Conclusions
  • Ebooks will continue to develop more elements that the print work cannot feature, including supplementary materials and interactive content
  • Increased emphasis on usage statistics to help manage collections and anticipate user needs
  • Development of more flexible access and pricing models
  • Standardisation of metadata
  • Mobile devices will continue to inform the way ebooks are developed
  • Demands of users who will expect easy 24-hour access to high quality content will shape developments
The report is free to download from the Springer website.