May 26, 2022

E-Books in Libraries Roundup: Student Preferences, Hidden Costs, and an Ebooks “Freakout” at Wake Forest

1. Library increases e-book holdings, students prefer tangible copies (via The Chimes)

The story comes from the Biola University (La Mirada, CA) student newspaper.

…students said that it was easier to learn from a physical book because they are able to interact more with the text as compared to e-books.

“It’s easier for me to learn with an actual book because like with even my book I can write in it and then writing helps me learn,” said Aubrie Christensen, senior biology major.

2. The Hidden Costs of E-books at University Libraries (via The Times of San Diego)

An 1300 word op-ed by Peter C. Herman, professor of English Literature at San Diego State University.

Lured by the initial low price and the promise of convenience, university libraries are now trapped, since they cannot risk losing access to all the major journals. As prices rise and budgets either stay the same or drop, a greater and greater percentage goes toward servicing the package journal subscription, less and less toward staffing, hours, and the like.

The same thing will happen with e-book packages. In the past, once the library purchased the book, that was the end of the transaction. The library didn’t have to keep sending the publisher money to keep the book in circulation. No matter what happened, no matter how great the budget cut, the book stayed in the library, because the library owned it.


Even worse, by replacing paper books with e-book packages, university libraries will have outsourced the collection of knowledge to multinational, private corporations whose primary goal is not advancing knowledge, but profits. E-book packages are another step in transforming libraries from centers of scholarship, teaching and research into cash cows for Proquest’s bottom line.

3. Special Event: Ebooks Freakout at Wake Forest University (April 24, 2015)

Ebooks + Libraries = Freakout: “2 half-days of peace, love, and (not) freaking out about born-digital ebooks”

This event will bring together representatives from libraries engaged in (or considering) initiatives to define and address major questions and challenges related to ebook collections; to identify and document collaborative opportunities; and to strengthen and promote best practices, ebooks-wise. All librarians, vendors, publishers, and just common folk interested in the confluence of ebooks and libraries are encouraged to submit proposals and/or attend the Freakout.

Additional details here.

Including a call for proposals, tentative agenda and registration form.

This event is being facilitated by William Kane and Co-Hosted by the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest U.

See Also: Digital Publishing at Wake Website

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.