Last summer, Library Journal and School Library Journal conducted an eBook survey for libraries. The survey was designed to measure current and projected ebook availability in libraries, user preferences in terms of access and subjects, and library purchasing terms and influences. They included an academic, public, and school library version of the survey. Hundreds of questions were asked and hundreds of libraries responded. The results of those surveys were published in November, 2010 in three separate reports. The executive summaries of each are available on the Library Journal site (and linked below), and full reports are available for purchase. There were 1,842 respondents, broken down to 364 academic, 781 public, and 697 school libraries. I’ve captured some of the data to share with you, but the reports are full of additional information on budgets, marketing, barriers to adoption, patron preference, and much, much more. A primer on ebook readers and formats is in the appendix of each full report. Thanks to Josh Hadro at Library Journal for sharing the reports with me and allowing me to publish some of the data here on No Shelf Required.Here are a few of the results from the surveys:
Does your library offer ebooks?
- 94% of academic libraries offer ebooks
- 33% of school libraries offer ebooks
- 72% of public libraries offer ebooks
Do you circulate ereader devices?
- 12% of academic libraries circulate preloaded ereading devices, while 26% are considering it. Kindle topped the device chart at 81%, followed by SONY at 34%, iPad at 28% and nook at 22%
- 6% of school libraries circulate preloaded ereading devices, while 36% are considering it. The SONY Reader was the top device at 64%, Kindle followed at 47% , nook at15% , and iPad at 4%.
- 5% of public libraries circulate preloaded ereading devices, while 24% are considering it. Kindle was the top device.
Academic Libraries – For which disciplines are you most likely to offer ebooks? What is the preferred purchase term?
- Social Sciences narrowly topped the chart at 83%, followed by science at 82%, technology at 80%, humanities at 77%, medicine at 69% and law at 51%
- Perpetual access and subscription purchases were nearly even in the typical purchasing terms amongst academic libraries, perpetual at 74% and subscription at 71%
School Libraries – What categories of ebooks do you offer? How do you license content?
- Children’s fiction topped the charts at 51%, followed by reference at 42%, children’s nonfiction at 39%, children’s picture books at 34%, and young adult nonfiction 24% and fiction 23%
- The vendors typically determine the use license and different vendors have different models. But, of those who responded, one book/one user was 40%, unlimited access 35%, and both 23%
Public Libraries – What categories of ebooks do you offer? How to you license the content?
- adult nonfiction 86%, adult fiction 84%, bestsellers 76%, young adult fiction 69%, children’s fiction 56%, young adult nonfiction 46%, children’s nonfiction 38%, reference 35%, and children’s picture books 26%
- The vendors typically determine the use license and different vendors have different models. But, of those who responded, one book/one user was 41%, unlimited access 12%, and both 39%