libraries and e-books

Libraries and Readers Wade Into Digital Lending

A recent article in the New York Times highlights ways that libraries are providing access to e-books and digital audio books for their patrons. E-books are certainly gaining in popularity at my institution. Most students actually seemed relieved when a book is online because that means they won’t have to brave the stacks at a large university library!


  1. I’m a big believer that textbooks are well suited for the e-book format. Additionally, web-based textbooks that are customizable to the educator’s needs, give the ability to share discrete parts, and foster a platform for synchronous & asynchronous discussion.

    I’ve seen textbooks like online versions of Art Through the Ages, but they don’t have the qualities that I listed above. I guess I’d like to see a Smarthistory version that is open to just the class members.

  2. I am a MLIS student in the distance program through LSU. I just drove 4 hours to LSU’s library on Saturday to complete an assignment. Obviously, it would have been much more convenient for me to access a book digitally than to have made that trip. In addition, I wouldn’t have been discouraged by the absence of a book on the shelf if I could have just downloaded the information I needed off my computer at home. It’s not so much a fear of braving the stacks, as simply a matter of convenience for me.

  3. As a librarian I find e-books incredibly convenient – they cannot be lost, damaged or stolen; they are available 24/7 and I can save money by not having to buy multiple textbooks. However, as an art and design librarian it’s very hard to encourage students to use e-books, they regard them as dull and too text-heavy.

    Surely the technology is already there to reproduce richly illustrated works in their full glory on-screen? ‘Turning the Pages’ at the British Library is a fantastic example of the potential of digital books
    Wouldn’t it be great if art books were more readily available in this format rather than the dull e-book formats that we are becoming used to?

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