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The acquisition of e-books in the libraries of the Swedish higher education institutions

Maceviciute, E., Borg, M., Kuzminiene R., Konrad, K. (2014). The acquisition of e-books in the libraries of the Swedish higher education institutions. Information Research, 19(2) paper 620.

Introduction. Our aim is to compare the advantages and problems of e-book acquisition identified in research literature to those experienced by two Swedish university libraries.
Method. A literature review was used to identify the main issues related to acquisition of e-books by academic libraries. The data for comparison were collected through case studies in two Swedish universities. Document analysis, interviews and personal experience were used for data collection.
Results. The main drivers of e-book acquisition by Swedish academic libraries are the perceived needs of the users. E-books are regarded as potentially useful for solving some of the problems of library service. A number of challenges and problems identified by the participants in the case studies coincide with those that were derived from the literature review.
Conclusions. The problems of e-book acquisition in academic libraries seem to be common to the economically strong Western countries. University librarians see certain advantages of e-books for their users and libraries. Publishers and academic librarians expect that e-books would not lose the advantages that printed books offered to them. Hence, publishers restrict the usage of e-books to ensure revenues as if from selling individual copies. Librarians try to regain the same level of control over e-book collections as for printed materials.

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