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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Library looks to expand e-book offerings

The UA Main Library prefers e-books to paper when it comes to adopting more resources for students.

After receiving feedback from students and conducting loophole assessments at the end of each school year, the library staff has seen requests for more electronic material. As a result, a policy was created to encourage the purchasing of electronic books before paper.

“The library can’t afford to buy things in multiple formats generally,” said Doug Jones, the library’s circulation coordinator. “When we are acquiring materials, the preferred format is electronic and that is based on a lot of feedback from most users.”

One aspect of the policy regards the replacement of library books on the shelf that appear to be damaged or outdated. If the same content is available through e-book or other online databases, the library will not replace the paper book on the shelf.

“If they are not usable anymore, like if the book is ripped out or too fragile, we take that into account and do an assessment,” Jones said. “A variety of factors come into play if we’re going to replace it, then the same general guidelines would be in place, and, if we feel if it is important to replace that title, then the first thing that we will see is if it is available electronically.”

Joshua Indani, an economics freshman, said he thinks the move to have more of the library’s books online is better than replacing existing books on the shelf because it will make the resources more readily available to the student.

“Getting your books online is better because it is a lot easier to use.” Indani said. “There is really no point to replace any books on the shelf if you can get it online.”

While some students might see the move to more online material as beneficial, others think it may limit resources and the way students get information.

“I find more of my information online, but I think that books are better,” said Melissa Woznicki, a freshman studying family studies and human development. “Obviously, having information online is more convenient and easy. Books tend to be more accurate because anyone can post anything online. Not everyone who uses the library is educated with computers and some people still like to use books. If the library limits their books on the shelf, people might not be able to use them as a resource.”

Zack Yaqoobi, a pre-computer science junior, said he thinks paper books help students focus and stay on task, as opposed to online content.

“I think that we need both books and online resources,” Yaqoobi said. “Because I learn better if I have a book in my hand, and I am less distracted by things like Facebook or emails.”

According to Robyn Huff-Eibl, the team leader of materials access for the library, there is not a great need to replace damaged or worn-out paper books because the library buys or accepts materials that are made to withstand heavy use.

“We have very few books that end up in that condition because of normal use. If you notice, most of collection that come in are usually hardback cover,” Huff-Eibl said. “We generally don’t have books that are too worn out to use.”

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