January 22, 2022

Academic Librarians on “Navigating the eBook Maze”

Two info pros from the College of Charleston Libraries discuss a few of the challenges with ebook adoption and usage in libraries focusing on what ebrary and EBSCO offer.

This column appears in the April 2013 issue of the The Charleston Advisor. The full text is accessible to non-subscribers.


Navigating the E-book Maze


Yolanda-Pieta van Arnhem
College of Charleston 

Burton Callicott
College of Charleston 


The Charleston Advisor (April 2013)
Volume 14, Issue 4


This article addresses some of the challenges of library e-book lending and compares major vendor options. EBSCO and ProQuest ebrary are juxtaposed with regard to formats, titles, access, and support.

From the Column

If you have ever tried to search, access, and navigate e-books via a library catalog or database, you know it can be difficult and often times extremely frustrating. The variety of formats and readers is confusing enough, but formats and devices alone cannot explain the complexity of e-book lending issues. The real quagmire is in the systems enabling access to those different formats and devices. Library Journal’s “E-book Usage in the U.S.” reports that “complex downloading process” has risen to 41% in 2012 and that this has caused significant “barriers to user e-book access.” Other user barriers include lack of awareness, print preferences, limited titles, and difficulty reading texts on screen. Clearly, e-book vendors have work to do in order to make e-book content more user-friendly and easier to access if they expect college and university patrons to make substantial use of this content.

Direct to Full Text Article

Note:  Although this column focuses on academic libraries, much of what’s being regarding access and ease of use also apply to what public, school, and special libraries provide.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.