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Digital books get Library’s thumbs up

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2 May 2012

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In line with trends in publishing and society in general, the Library is moving towards purchasing electronic versions of books (ebooks) in preference to print.

This has the advantages of maximising access for staff (and students), and also providing users with new titles more quickly than would be the case with printed versions.

The Library’s Collection Management Librarian, Robert Stafford, said that many of the titles the Library buys are available electronically within weeks of print publication.

“However some books are only released in electronic format long after publication in print, or may not be published as ebooks at all,” Mr Stafford said.

“This is particularly the case for most textbooks.

“For that reason, and for subject areas where print books remain in demand, we still acquire print books when requested.”

As part of the ebook-preferred policy, the Library is also expanding its user-driven ebook program. Under the program, a wide selection of ebooks is made available which can be browsed and used for free for up to ten minutes by any student or staff member. Titles that are used for longer than this are then automatically purchased by the Library.

The program provides staff and students with access to a broad collection of material in many disciplines and ensures that selections made are immediately available. The Library has acquired more than 10,000 ebooks in this way since the program began in 2007.

The Library has over 400,000 ebooks, all of which can be accessed through Search.