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Friday, November 6 • 3:30pm - 4:15pm
Does Format Matter? Reader Preferences in an Academic Library Context

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Although many academic libraries have dramatically increased their ebook acquisitions in recent years, questions linger about format preferences. When a scholarly monograph is made available in both print and electronic formats, which format will users prefer? Does format even matter? At the University of Toronto Libraries we analyzed usage data for scholarly monographs from three key university presses, covering thousands of titles over several years of publication. By comparing print and ebook usage patterns of identical titles, our goal was to examine format preferences, investigate whether use of one format is linked to the other, and determine if there are differences in usage across subject disciplines or publishers. Through this analysis, our aim is to question whether continued acquisition of the same content in multiple formats is necessary and desirable, especially in an era of rapid technological change, increased pressure on library acquisitions budgets, and diminishing physical storage space. By sharing the empirical data from our large-scale study and exploring the interconnections among the various factors that may affect the use of scholarly books, we hope the gathered evidence can assist libraries in making better informed collection building decisions. Our discussion will engage librarians and content providers alike in contemplating where to focus energy and resources to better meet the needs of our users in an ever-changing information environment.

avatar for Marlene van Ballegooie

Marlene van Ballegooie

Metadata Technologies Manager, University of Toronto
Marlene van Ballegooie is the Metadata Technologies Manager at the University of Toronto Libraries. She received her MISt degree from the Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto. At the University of Toronto Libraries, Marlene is responsible for managing the Metadata... Read More →

Jen Robertson

Liaison & Education Librarian, University of Toronto
Jen Robertson is the EResource & Mathematics Web and Scholarly Communications Librarian at the University of Toronto Libraries where she manages electronic resource holdings and works with the Mathematical Sciences Library on web and scholarly communications projects.

Weijing Yuan

Head, Licensing and e-Resource Acquisitions, University of Toronto Libraries

Friday November 6, 2015 3:30pm - 4:15pm EST
Rutledge Room, Francis Marion Hotel