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The Brisbane Case Study: Patron and Library Perspectives on E-books and E-book Readers Linda Wilkins, Michael Coburn, Daria Loi, Peter Burrows. ‘It was just to give them a flavour’. fgs. fgs. Why should libraries get into this new format? Wouldn't libraries be better off

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The Brisbane Case Study:

Patron and Library Perspectives on

E-books and E-book Readers

Linda Wilkins, Michael Coburn,

Daria Loi, Peter Burrows





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Why should libraries get into this new format?

Wouldn't libraries be better off

just sticking with regular books?


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  • Advantages of E-books

  • Usability

  • Functionality

  • ‘Bringing dead books back to life’

  • Providing the complete list of works by an author

  • And more….


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  • Problems with E-books (1)

  • Nature Of The Content

  • Lack Of Choice In The Content

  • Bulk Purchases for Library?

  • Standard Library Operating Methods?

  • Usage on a Lending Basis


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  • Problems with E-books (2)

  • Library Circulation Models

  • Cost

  • Displaying E-book titles

  • An unstable technology

  • The future role of the public library



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  • Brisbane Librarians’ Dream List

  • All books are available in electronic form

  • Books never go out of print

  • Eliminate short print runs and ‘not available in Australia’ notices


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  • Brisbane Librarians’ Dream List

  • 4. Books less expensive but viable for publishers and authors

  • 5. Books returned by ‘magic’ when the loan period expires

  • 6. Book theft and defacement no longer an issue


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  • Brisbane Librarians’ Dream List

  • 7. Batches of new books sent out according to customer’s personal profile

  • 8. Chapters for loan - not only whole books or series

  • 9. Interactive books available that talk to you and have video and hyperlinks




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A Repeated Observation:

the positive response of patrons

who trialled the e-book readers


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What Patrons Enjoyed

The backlight - its convenience

Increased control over lighting, contrast and font size

A customized reading environment

Ease of use of eReaders


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For many of the users

e-book technology did not emerge as

a substitute

for paper-based texts


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Instead e-books and the e-book readers were seen to be adding value and variety

to the reading experiences of borrowers


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Libraries offer

A community-based circulation model cushioning the financial and personal risk-taking of individuals who might hesitate at becoming early adopters of technology


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Libraries offer

A unique and trusted forum for sharing and collecting information about the pros and cons of a new technology such as the ebook reader.


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Libraries of the Future

Transaction Portals (controlled sharing) http://www.windsorpubliclibrary.com/ebook/

Information Portals (an information commons) Campbell, 2000


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The Brisbane Case Study:

Patron and Library Perspectives on

E-books and E-book Readers

Linda Wilkins, Michael Coburn,

Daria Loi, Peter Burrows


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