Sunday, April 20, 2014

Short Term Loaning of eBooks- A Case Study

While searching for some quick ideas about how librarians can promote eBook circulation, I came across a citation for a post from the "No Shelf Required" blog. Entitled "Financial Importance of Short-term loaning eBooks, a Case Study," this piece by Sue Polanka reviews data provided by an academic library about the benefits of offering patrons short term eBook loans over traditional monographs.

The academic library in the case study provided its customers access to eBooks through EBL, which essentially charges $10 per use. While this may seem like a lot if customers only need one piece of information, the study concluded that offering eBooks actually provided more content for their users, with significant savings to the library. I'll let the authors of the study do the heavy lifting:

"In four months from September through December 2009, Grand Valley State University (GVSU) had 2,269 transactions with EBL.  All but 160 were short-term loans.  The 160 were purchases.
Let’s do the numbers:
  • Had GVSU bought 2,269 books at an average price of $74 US (which was the average price of the books that attracted transactions):                                 2269 X $74 = $167,906
  • Actually, GVSU bought 160 Books:                                           160 X $74= $11,840
The remaining 2,109 transactions (2,269 – 160 = 2,109) were short-term loans in which EBL charges 5 to 10 percent of the list price of the book.
  • Total cost of short-term loans                    =                             $20,382
  • Total spent by GVSU:                                                                     $11,840 + $20,382= $32,322
Savings by GVSU on its transactions with EBL -  $167,906 – $32,322 = $135,584"

While it's unlikely to think all those books would've been purchased, this post does point out that most collections go about 40% unused. In this case, "renting" books actually helped the GVSU Library offer more resources to students.

Polanka, Sue. 2010. Financial Importance of Short-term loaning eBooks, a Case Study. No Shelf Required. Online article, June 23.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.