eBooks As a Collection and a Service: Developing a Public Library Instruction Program to Support eBook Use

May 27, 2013

A majority of United States public libraries now offer eBooks to their patrons. While much focus in library literature has been given to how public libraries license digital content and the various disputes with publishers that this has entailed, much less attention has been paid to users. This article addresses this gap in library literature by providing a case study of Chatham Community Library’s adoption of eBooks from a user services perspective. Chatham Community Library is a dual-use public and community college library in central North Carolina. The authors describe the development and evolution of eBook instruction sessions that are now regularly offered at the library and how the staff serves patrons, especially older adults, who use eBooks. The authors also discuss the implications of eBooks for public libraries, how eBooks complement the library’s existing print collections, and how eBooks promote transliteracy. Particular attention is given to decision-making and to details that might benefit other librarians developing similar instruction programs.

Journal of Library Innovation

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