Facing Faculty Fears about Embracing the
E-Book: Communication Strategies for
Liaison Librarians
23rd North Carolina Serials Conference
Ellen Daugman & Carol Cramer
March 14, 2014
E-book Purchase Options
Single Title
Collection Purchases
Subscription Access
Demand-Driven (Patron-Driven)
Acquisition a.k.a. “DDA” or “PDA”
E-books at WFU
• Collection/Single Title: ~2,500 e-books purchased
one-by-one or in small collections
• Subscription: Oxford Reference Online Premium is only
subscription e-book service (~200 titles)
• Over 215,000 DDA e-books (provider: EBL)
• [Over 300,000 e-books from historical primary source
collections (EEBO, ECCO, etc.)]
• Excepting historical research, DDA is the typical
e-book experience for WFU patrons.
It all started
Fear #1
Lots of e-books in the
OMG the library isn’t
buying print anymore!!
Fear #2: E-books are fluff
German & Russian
Invited to departmental
Explained pros & cons
of e-books and our
DDA plan
Emphasized use
abroad, e.g. Vienna
Addressing Fear #1
• We load over
records for e-books that we
haven’t paid for into the catalog.
• The first 5 minutes of use are free.
• After the free period, we pay a rental fee for the first 3 uses.
• Upon the fourth use, we buy the book.
• In FY12, this program cost
vs. $554,631
spent on 15,316 print books. ($77K so far in FY13)
• Paid for by centralized ZSR funding.
Addressing Fear #2
Some titles that have been used:
• Late-Medieval German Women's Poetry: Secular and
Religious Songs (ZSR has print, too)
• Middlebrow Literature and the Making of German-Jewish
Identity (ZSR has print)
• German: A Linguistic Introduction (e-only)
• Dostoevsky and the Russian People (ZSR has print)
• Czech: An Essential Grammar (e-only)
• Italo-Celtic Origins and Prehistoric Development of the
Irish Language (e-only)
Results: Too Positive
For Vienna, they
want books that
the current
program cannot
Classical Languages: Clash of the Titans
Two core values in
1. Print is
2. Our library
collection must
be expanded
Strategy: One-on-one session with Chair
• Explain how our e-books
• Sit back and wait
• Send usage reports to Chair
(filtered to relevant call
Results: One Year Later
“I like the "on demand" purchases – where we
have the electronic availability for monographs and
then the library purchases when use gets to a
certain level. That seems an efficient set-up and it
has been beneficial to Classics in managing its
Expanded access wins!
Use of PA (Latin/Greek lit) heavy compared to
dept. size
Social Sciences
Communication and Psychology:
each overwhelmed with DDA
choices and e-friendly
One dept. voluntarily gave back
funding; the other is considering it.
The Constituency
English Department: 39 faculty
members, of whom nearly half
are lecturers, visiting or
assistant professors
Impetus for Action: Fires of Alarm in the Inbox
“I'm surprised to see that we only have
this book – an Oxford University press
book! – in ebook form….
When did we stop getting OUP US
books in hard copy?....
Can we order a hardcover copy for me,
Selection Quandaries
When a record for an
EBL DDA book is
already in the
catalog, should I
simply move on to
the next title? When
should I order print
books that duplicate
electronic books?
Victorian Jewelry, Identity,
and the Novel: Prisms of
Culture (Ashgate)
“alt-ed EBL manual DDA record sent”
Fealty to the Printed Book
Traditional vehicle of
Embodiment of works
of the imagination and
Look What Happened to Print Journals
2008 vs. 2014
Role of the Liaison: To Walk the Fine Line
• Support and advocate for faculty’s
• Cognizant of library’s perspectives
and pressures
• Aware of students’ research crises
Face the Negatives
• Not print! Print lends itself better to close,
analytical scholarly reading
• Automatic purchase trigger is for electronic
format only; no format query
• Potential for duplication
• Cumbersome use: e-books can load
slowly or one page at a time
But Consider All Aspects
(Even the Positive)
Faculty concerns:
• Access to books far beyond what our
limited budgets could purchase (including
titles from top academic presses)
• No expense incurred if titles are not used
(50% non-use statistics for print)
• E-books may assist with grading papers
And (An Appeal) on Behalf of the Students
• Immediate access to books for students operating in
very constrained time frames; book recall and ILL are
NOT options
• Simultaneous use (appeal to consider e-books where
there’s high student-per-book pressure, e.g. course
reserves and study abroad)
• Easing of space issues in the stacks; may create
opportunities for more multi-use spaces
• Exposed to larger expanse of scholarly monographs
than would encounter in print-limited catalog
• Reference books and edited titles analogous to journal
Reiterate Reassurances: Compassionate
• Will purchase print on request
even if the library has the e-book
• ILL will request print even if the
library has the e-book
• Departmental fund is not being
“Do You Use the EBook Library Offerings
in the ZSR Library Catalog?”
I have not noticed the EBL DDA listings
5 (25%)
0 (0%)
Sometimes, but for browsing, not reading 8 (40%)
Sometimes, for browsing and reading
6 (30%)
1 (5%)
““For which of the Following Uses do you
Prefer Print Books to E-books?”
Reading single-author scholarly monographs
Consulting Reference books
Reading selected essays from edited collections
Course Reserves
Classroom/Student Use
Reading books published by “top” presses (e.g., CUP, OUP)
Reading books published by less prestigious presses
Books I recommend to students for their research
Books I use in study abroad houses
Books I would like to use while on leave
Other (please specify):
17 (85%)
6 (30%)
16 (80%)
5 (25%)
11 (55%)
15 (75%)
13 (65%)
12 (60%)
2 (10%)
9 (45%)
1 (5%)
“For which of the Following Uses do you
Prefer E-books to Print Books?”
Reading single-author scholarly monographs
Consulting Reference books
Reading selected essays from edited collections
Course Reserves
Classroom/Student Use
Reading books published by “top” presses (e.g., CUP, OUP)
Reading books published by less prestigious presses
Books I recommend to students for their research
Books I use in study abroad houses
Books I would like to use while on leave
Other (please specify):
2 (12%)
11 (65%)
3 (18%)
8 (47%)
3 (18%)
0 (0%)
1 (6%)
4 (24%)
6 (35%)
3 (18%)
2 (12%)
Additional Questions or Comments?
1. “ebooks are impossible to work with and u may as well shut down
the library if u are going that route”
2. “To some degree my answers completely depend on the interface.
I love having ebooks when it means that I can search them. It’s
also nice to be able to read them on my Kindle. I was at [xxx] until
this year, though, and I hated their ebooks because I had to click
and wait through a slow loading process on every page, I couldn’t
read anywhere but a computer iPad screen…and there wasn’t a
helpful search function or an easy way to navigate to particular
chapters. Those are things that make a huge difference!”
3. “For teaching purposes, hard copies provide greater opportunities
for close-textual analysis. I like the convenience of the ebooks, but
they are less effective for my research and teaching.”
Follow-up Questions
• Economics of E vs P (cost to library)
• Specifics of simultaneous use (number of
students in course)
• Ubiquity (are most books now e-available?)
• Generational acceptance (“younger users like
• Citation (cite as E or P “as though I had the
physical book in hand?”)
• Tech: Adobe vs Corel for annotation of PDFs
After-Effects: The Glitches that
“Here's another argument against eBooks....
The library does not have it in hard copy – once
upon a time we would have….
I can't express my frustration....I can't remember a
single time in my life that I've pulled a book down
off the shelf to discover that the wrong cover had
been put on a different book.”
Love in an Ambivalent Climate
“I've gotten used to using Ebooks and like them just fine. It
would be great if you could acquire ebooks for early
modern/Shakespeare, but does that mean we won't see
them in print form?”
“I really use them a lot and “keep” them in my favorites. It's
like having them in my office, only better because they're
better organized.”
And a few months later: “By the way, I LOVE the electronic
book holdings! I use them all the time.”
Resolution of Sorts
• Order print for all titles
recommended by the library rep
in GOBI alerts (multi-disciplinary)
• Note publisher
• Note subject areas of e-averse
Modest Proselytizing
Incrementally reach captive faculty audience in
bibliographic instruction sessions, specifically
addressing e-books:
• Show how to use
• Ask how students feel about e-books;
acknowledge ambivalence
• Note advantages to students (without pressuring
to use e-books)
Photo Credits
Creative Commons Licensed
• Philosophers: Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P.
• Cotton Candy: Nadia Prigoda-Lee
• Greek Vase: Dan Diffendale
• Victorian Jewelry, Identity, and the Novel: Prisms of Culture.
Others: Steve Cramer and Carol Cramer or courtesy Z. Smith Reynolds
Library, Wake Forest University
Contact Us
Ellen Daugman [email protected]
Carol Cramer [email protected]

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