Facing Faculty Fears about Embracing the E-Book: Communication Strategies for Liaison Librarians

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Presentation delivered March 14, 2014 with Ellen Daugman at the 23rd North Carolina Serials Conference. A slightly different version of this presentation was also delivered on November 8, 2013 at the Charleston Conference.

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Facing Faculty Fears about Embracing the E-Book: Communication Strategies for Liaison Librarians

  1. 1. 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
  2. 2. E-book Purchase Options • Single Title • Collection Purchases • Subscription Access • Demand-Driven (Patron-Driven) Acquisition a.k.a. “DDA” or “PDA”
  3. 3. 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.
  4. 4. It all started with Philosophy...
  5. 5. Fear #1 Lots of e-books in the catalog... Ergo… OMG the library isn’t buying print anymore!! Q.E.D.
  6. 6. Fear #2: E-books are fluff
  7. 7. German & Russian Invited to departmental meeting Explained pros & cons of e-books and our DDA plan Emphasized use abroad, e.g. Vienna program
  8. 8. Addressing Fear #1 • We load over 170,000records 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 $26,507vs. $554,631 spent on 15,316 print books. ($77K so far in FY13) • Paid for by centralized ZSR funding.
  9. 9. 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)
  10. 10. Results: Too Positive For Vienna, they want books that the current e-books program cannot provide!
  11. 11. Classical Languages: Clash of the Titans Two core values in conflict: 1. Print is important 2. Our library collection must be expanded
  12. 12. Strategy: One-on-one session with Chair • Explain how our e-books work • Sit back and wait • Send usage reports to Chair (filtered to relevant call numbers)
  13. 13. 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 fund.” Expanded access wins! Use of PA (Latin/Greek lit) heavy compared to dept. size
  14. 14. Social Sciences Communication and Psychology: each overwhelmed with DDA choices and e-friendly One dept. voluntarily gave back funding; the other is considering it.
  15. 15. The Constituency English Department: 39 faculty members, of whom nearly half are lecturers, visiting or assistant professors
  16. 16. 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, rush?”
  17. 17. 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”
  18. 18. Fealty to the Printed Book Traditional vehicle of scholarly communication AND Embodiment of works of the imagination and intellect
  19. 19. Look What Happened to Print Journals 2008 vs. 2014 2008 2014
  20. 20. Role of the Liaison: To Walk the Fine Line • Support and advocate for faculty’s preferences • Cognizant of library’s perspectives and pressures • Aware of students’ research crises
  21. 21. 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
  22. 22. 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
  23. 23. 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 articles
  24. 24. Reiterate Reassurances: Compassionate Policies • 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 cut
  25. 25. “Do You Use the EBook Library Offerings in the ZSR Library Catalog?” I have not noticed the EBL DDA listings Never Sometimes, but for browsing, not reading Sometimes, for browsing and reading Often 5 (25%) 0 (0%) 8 (40%) 6 (30%) 1 (5%)
  26. 26. ““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%)
  27. 27. “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%)
  28. 28. 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.”
  29. 29. 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 me”) • Citation (cite as E or P “as though I had the physical book in hand?”) • Tech: Adobe vs Corel for annotation of PDFs
  30. 30. After-Effects: The Glitches that Corroborate “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.”
  31. 31. 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.”
  32. 32. 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 faculty
  33. 33. 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)
  34. 34. Photo Credits Creative Commons Licensed • Philosophers: Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. flickr.com/photos/paullew/2640312948 • Cotton Candy: Nadia Prigoda-Lee flickr.com/photos/the_girl/4280042/ • Greek Vase: Dan Diffendale flickr.com/photos/dandiffendale/3388342523 • Victorian Jewelry, Identity, and the Novel: Prisms of Culture. find.zsr.wfu.edu/Record/2641186 Others: Steve Cramer and Carol Cramer or courtesy Z. Smith Reynolds Library, Wake Forest University
  35. 35. Contact Us Ellen Daugman daugman@wfu.edu Carol Cramer cramercj@wfu.edu

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