In the last of our literature review reports, we’re looking towards the future.
With the increasing popularity of online and distance learning courses, the ubiquity of mobile devices and the adoption of new e-book formats, e-books are expected increasingly to replace print volumes in academic libraries. E-books will continue to meet students’ needs since studies of information-seeking habits conclude that what is most important to them is speed, efficiency and convenience. The growing importance of e-books will have a number of consequences for academic libraries, in areas such as the technologies they make available to users, the use of library space, user education and support, and pricing and licensing models and arrangements. Development of new e-book features should include, among other things, annotative and sharing capabilities. Challenges in the context of e-book preservation and sustainability include perpetual access and preservation licensing issues. Problems of long-term digital storage and the devices that display them quickly becoming obsolete were also highlighted as issues.