Nationally, there is a slow but growing trend in electronic book usage. A Pew Research poll found that the amount of eBook readers ages 16 and older has grown from 16 percent to 23 percent in the last year.
Jeffrey Bullington, coordinator of college liaisons at the CSU Morgan Library, is very aware of this trend.
“These have changed everything,” Bullington said, pointing at his iPad.
The campus library presently has over 350,000 academic eBooks available to CSU students. However, many more options have been added for university students because of a new partnership between the CSU library and the Poudre River Libraries.
Through the partnership, students can go to the CSU library to acquire library cards for the Poudre Library. Students can then access a wide arrange of popular eBooks, music and popular magazines through the Pudre River Library website.
The partnership came about after the University Technology Fee Advisory Board (UTFAB) displayed interest in providing more eBooks to students two years ago.
Since then, the university library has tried figured out how best to provide these options for CSU.
Initial attempts to acquire certain eBook providers were very cost prohibitive for the library, according to CSU Librarian Michelle Wilde. However, after striking a partnership with Poudre River Libraries, eBooks became much more cost effective for the CSU library.
“It provides a much greater array of materials without us having to expand a great amount of resources,” Bullington said.
The process of renting eBooks varies depending on the publisher. Sometimes they allow free access to an eBook anytime for any amount of people who would like to access it. However, other publishers limit who can see digital texts and also how long you are able to keep the eBook.
According to Wilde, the most common rent system used by publishers is Adobe Digital Rights, a program that automatically deletes an eBook from your computer after an extended period of time.
There is no way to know for certain how many students are utilizing eBooks from the CSU library as of now. Bullington said that it is a librarian value not to keep track of what people read. This has transferred over to what students download as well.
Bullington said the library has to be mindful of what new technology brings for the future.
“A print book technology was very stable — eBooks have already three to four waves in the past 15 or 20 years,” Bullington said.
CSU librarians such as Louise Mort Feldmann have an interest in providing the best information possible to students, regardless of what new technology future may hold, she said.
“We have to balance the needs of our patrons,” Feldmann said. “Librarians are really cognizant of serving their patrons as best they can.”
Collegian Writer Skyler Leonard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.