A new white paper recently released by Springer, in partnership with Publishers Communication Group (PCG), entitled Scholarly eBooks: Understanding the Return on Investment for Libraries, explores how libraries might determine the value of eBooks, and why it is important to do so. The paper provides a broad view of the current state of eBook valuation, the implications of this measurement for the library community and the challenges that face those who are tracking these metrics.
While return on investment (RoI) for library resources may seem to be a simple question of money in vs. money out, the real difficulty in determining this value lies in the need to consider a number of factors, including savings in staff time, ease of access to eBooks, the effect on research and the space saved in the physical libraries. However challenging, the paper insists that it is still critical to determine eBook RoI as it could have profound effects on libraries where the allocation and prioritization of resources is concerned. The piece also states that it is important for librarians to stay up-to-date on developments from new and ongoing research into the value of eBooks. These studies provide support to librarians when challenged over how libraries contribute to a university, its students, researchers and reputations.
Wouter van der Velde, eBooks eProduct Manager at Springer stated, “This paper is a thorough exploration of how libraries might measure their investments now and in the future. It also describes why it is important to find a way of appraising these important resources in the context of 21st century library services.”
The paper is posted at www.springer.com/eBooks and will be available at upcoming meetings in hardcopy as well. For more information, please stop by the Springer booth #2108 at the American Library Association (ALA) annual meeting in Anaheim, June 21st to 25th, or contact your Springer representative at www.springer.com/salescontacts