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HighWire released the E-Book survey 2010 this week and while some of the findings are not entirely new (simplicity and ease of use are ebook features that are valued by librarians, over and above more sophisticated end‐user features) it really includes some interesting stuff.
Here are a few of the highlights:
  • Traditional sources of book discovery continue to be important for ebooks as well. Librarians find and learn about ebooks from book vendors and by inclusion in content bundles. They believe that users discover ebooks through the library catalog and through Internet search engines.
  • Participants indicated that users prefer ebooks in PDF format, but as one participant stated, format preference will change as technology changes.
  • Digital rights management is the single most important factor that hinders ebook use for library patrons.
  • Purchase with perpetual access is the most acceptable business model for ebooks, with 83% of participants indicating that this model is very acceptable. However, significant numbers of participants indicated that other very different models are also acceptable.
Survey responses indicate that librarians learn about ebooks in a variety of ways, but that actions by publishers and book vendors are very important in the process. Book vendors and inclusion in content packages were most frequently marked as very significant methods for learning about ebooks. However, these methods were also frequently marked as significant or very significant: request from patron (54), colleagues (57), reference in the research literature (56), inclusion in content package (74), book vendor (77), and publisher marketing material (68).
Users discover ebooks through the library catalog and through Internet search engines
It really is worth reading!