Curation-challenges-return on investment
Key RETURN ON INVESTMENT themes: (from infographic)
- Determining cost per use
- [ROI] judged on access or ownership?
References to support themes
Students and staff study and work in an internet age with expectations of continuous connectivity and immediate online access to information. This has conditioned student expectations of book availability. Whilst the days of visiting the library to use or borrow a printed book have not disappeared, at the University of Hertfordshire the use of printed books continues to decline significantly year on year. Given the anywhere, anytime immediacy of availability of the ebook combined with multi-user simultaneous access and improved search facilities, this is unsurprising. The opportunity to use the sources you need when you need them as part of your studies or work is surely the goal libraries have always tried to deliver on. It is certainly one the University of Hertfordshire aspires to for an excellent quality of student experience.
Ebooks currently represent about 40% of the total book titles in the University’s book collections. Hertfordshire have approx. 500,000 print book titles, and 340,000 ebook titles.
Determining cost per use
Aggregator collections: Such collections are just leased for a year. In this sense the library outsources its curatorial role to achieve a trade off in terms of the benefits of a low cost per use compared to other approaches.
Ebook usage is analysed at the end of the academic year to see if subscribed content is earning its keep. E-book metrics are still a work in progress, and there is still some variation in what is reported. Some publishers are better than others at producing COUNTER compliant statistics, and the library is very wary of purchasing products where good usage statistics are not available. There is really no excuse for not providing them.