The current situation of e-books in academic and public libraries in Sweden

The current situation of e-books in academic and public libraries in Sweden

Elena Macevičiūtė and Martin Borg

University of Borås, Sweden

Libellarium, VI, 1 – 2 (2013).

Proceeding of the International conference Publishing – trends and contents, Pula, Croatia, 6-7 December, 2013

Summary

Introducing e-books into Swedish libraries has been influenced by the idea of equal access to all media for all Swedish citizens as well as by librarians’ wish to provide the best possible service to their users. Libraries perceived this new resource and service as a way of fulfilling their specific function in a democratic society, which is usually described as mediation (or transfer) of knowledge and culture to all. This is a common basis for the incorporation of new media and information resources (including e-books) into Swedish academic and public libraries. Apart from this common platform, we see other similarities in working with e-books in both types of libraries, but also a number of differences. Most of them relate to the position of libraries within their respective context and in relation to their specific role. Academic libraries are quite influential players in the global scholarly communication and supporters of both research and study processes. As such they are embedded in a mainly international market of scientific information and scholarly materials. They have significant resources provided by their parent universities for the acquisition of scholarly material and a wide choice of commercially available material from different providers. They are also incorporated into a national library consortium with great negotiation power. Thus, they have more freedom to experiment with a variety of business and pricing models offered on the international market. They also have a high competence in publishing and are often publishers themselves. Their involvement in research processes and in open access initiatives puts them in a position to provide expertise to researchers in the areas of publishing and intellectual property protection. Public libraries are part of the local cultural and educational landscape. As such, they depend on the production of media and content in national languages which helps cater to the needs and demands of the local population. They are also customers on the limited market of publishing, entertainment and education-related materials which help fulfil their function as educators. As public libraries offer open and free access to their resources to the entire population of a certain area, eventually covering the whole country, they are regarded as a disruptive element in the market economy. This perceived threat from public libraries was reborn with the emergence of e-books. Despite their differences, both academic and public libraries face similar challenges and problems relating to the management of their collections, creating metadata, and providing access to their content. So far, there haven’t been any mutually satisfactory solutions.

Keywords: e-books, academic libraries, public libraries, e-books distribution, Sweden.

Introduction

Although the arrival of e-books is relatively recent and the distribution of this innovation is in a very early phase, researchers have shown an increasing interest in this new medium and the impact it will have on the entire book sector. It is not surprising that libraries are among the most interested parties, since they can already feel the impact on their activities. The issues of e-book acquisition and usage in academic libraries have been investigated quite extensively (see Vasileiou et al. 2012; Cassidy et al. 2012; Zimmerman 2011, Mincic-Obradovic 2011). Public libraries have not received a lot of attention from researchers despite heated debates in the media, the controversy surrounding e-books in public libraries, as well as the conflicting interests of publishers and public service providers. Christopher Gibson, who presented a paper on the methodology of investigation of e-book lending in UK public libraries in TPDL in 2011 (Gibson 2011), stated he had found only eight similar studies published since 2001. Kumbhar (2012) provided a general review on e-books research carried out in 2010, and presented two research articles on e-books in public libraries. These studies were conducted mainly in the US and UK, which means the situation in other countries is virtually unknown outside their own borders. The research on e-books mainly relates to publishing, market, and changes in reading habits or technological advancements.

Sweden is usually among the top countries with regard to broadband, internet and mobile technology usage in global surveys. The Statistics Sweden stated that 93% of Swedish population aged 16-74 had internet access at home in 2011 (CBS 2012: 247). According to International Telecommunication Union data, internet usage in Sweden is at 92.9% (third place in the world after Iceland and Norway) and the literacy rate is 99% (Internet World Stats 2011). However, the picture is different if we look at e-book production and usage in Sweden. According to Bohlund (2012) e-books accounted for only 1% of book production in Sweden in 2011, while Nordicom figures show that only 0.5% of Swedish readers use an e-book on a daily basis (Facht 2012). It is important to note that all the data mentioned refers only to e-books published for commercial purposes. Those e-books are also under copyright. Most of them have printed equivalents, but some are available only in digital form. There are other types of e-books, like digitized books or digital copies of out-of-copyright texts or those that are under copyright but distributed freely by authors or producers. This paper deals only with the first category, i.e., commercially distributed e-books and their availability in libraries. The increase in e-book usage in Sweden shows a very specific context where “libraries, not booksellers, are at the forefront of the trend, as they account for about 85 percent of the e-book market today” (Wischenbart 2013: 42) and readers prefer to download a book through a library (63,807 loans by March 2012), rather than buy it (7,786 sales same period) (Facht 2013: 235).

Since the situation is changing rapidly within a relatively short period, it is necessary to get a more precise picture of the e-books situation in Swedish university and public libraries. Public libraries are the most affected by the situation on the Swedish book market, since their users are local inhabitants who mainly use public libraries to satisfy their educational and leisure time needs. In spite of a relatively high number of e-books available in English, there is still a lot of demand for them, especially in academic libraries. However, the accessibility of such materials is not as clearly regulated and supported by law as the production and distribution of educational materials. Therefore, educational institutions have to build relationships with providers of reading materials in local languages. Academic libraries experience a changing situation as they face readers upset by DRM limitations as well as an increasing number of e-book platforms. Thus a team from the Swedish School of Library and Information Science has conducted a survey including all Swedish public libraries in order to investigate their work with e-books and the problems arising from this novel activity. The Library and Learning Resources unit of the University of Borås has published an overview of the situation relating to e-books in a middle-sized Swedish university.

The aims of this short paper are:

  • To offer an overview of the situation in e-books‘ delivery to users in Swedish university and public libraries (as seen at the end of 2012).
  • To compare the situation between e-books delivery to university and public libraries in Sweden and identify their similarities and differences.

The presentation is based on the following sources and research methods:

  1. Analysis of statistical data provided by Statistics Sweden and the National Library of Sweden.
  2. Analysis of the situation in the University of Borås Library and Learning Resources based on their experience with models of e-book usage.
  3. A survey of all public libraries in Sweden carried out in October, 2012. This survey has been an original empirical study supported by the grant from Swedish Library Association; therefore, it is described in more detail.

A total of 291 questionnaires were issued and 225 or 77.3% began to complete the questionnaire. However, only 185 (63.6 %) fully completed it after three follow-up messages. The SurveyMonkey online survey service was used for the study. The percentages reported below represent the number of people responding to a specific question. The questionnaire was composed of 35 mainly closed questions in Swedish, with some open questions or follow-up questions which allowed for open responses. The questions were grouped into following categories: “Policy for handling e-books”, “Access to e-books”, “License agreements with suppliers”, “Inclusion of e-books in the library catalogue”, “User training”, “How does e-book delivery affect the relationship with the existing book suppliers”, “Assessment of user demand and satisfaction”, “The need for a library consortium for e-book purchases”, “Delivery of e-books in Swedish” (Macevičiūtė and Wilson 2013: 30). The results of the survey were presented in a report (Wilson and Macevičiūtė 2012) and at the Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries conference in September, 2013 (Macevičiūtė and Wilson 2013).

E-books in Swedish university libraries

General overview

In 2011, the National Library of Sweden produced a report mapping the problems relating to the introduction of e-books into Swedish library activities (Kungliga Biblioteket 2011). The report stated there were no problems with the acquisition and delivery of e-books to academic libraries: by then most university libraries in Sweden had already accepted the policy of giving e-books precedence over printed books (especially when it comes to scholarly materials) (Gustaf 2011).

In spite of this, e-books are so far significantly outnumbered by the volumes of printed books in Swedish university libraries. But when it comes to newly bought books in 2012, the situation is completely different throughout the country (see Figure 1) and in separate universities: 70% (overall) to 88% (in some of the universities) of all new acquisitions consist of e-books.

E-books in academic library collections and acquisition in 2012 (source: National Library Figure 1: E-books in academic library collections and acquisition in 2012 (source: National Library, see http://www.kb.se/bibliotek/Statistik-kvalitet/biblioteksstatistik/Bibliotek-2012/)

The loans of printed books (see Figure 2a) and materials from libraries are decreasing rapidly, while the usage of e-books has increased by one third since 2009 (see Figure 2b).

Lending of printed materials in Swedish academic libraries: 2009-2012 (source: National Library Figure 2a: Lending of printed materials in Swedish academic libraries: 2009-2012 (source: National Library, see http://www.kb.se/bibliotek/Statistik-kvalitet/biblioteksstatistik/Bibliotek-2012/)

Usage of e-books in Swedish academic libraries: 2009-2012 (source: National Library Figure 2b: Usage of e-books in Swedish academic libraries: 2009-2012 (source: National Library, see http://www.kb.se/bibliotek/Statistik-kvalitet/biblioteksstatistik/Bibliotek-2012/)

Thus, overall book usage in Swedish academic libraries is increasing as shown in Figure 3. This trend seems to be reversing the trend of diminishing use of library resources, and e-book borrowing exceeds that of printed books.

Total usage of books in Swedish academic libraries: 2009-2012 (source: National Library Fig 3: Total usage of books in Swedish academic libraries: 2009-2012 (source: National Library, see http://www.kb.se/bibliotek/Statistik-kvalitet/biblioteksstatistik/Bibliotek-2012/)

The trend also coincides with recent investments made by Swedish academic libraries according to the accepted policy.

Situation in a middle-sized university

One of the universities which invested in the acquisition of e-books is the University of Borås. At present, their collection of e-books is bigger than their stock of printed editions. The borrowing of e-books will most likely exceed that of printed books.

With regard to the acquisition policy approved by the Library and Learning Resources at the University of Borås, e-books take precedence over printed ones. Eighty percent of the total media budget is intended for electronic materials: e-books, electronic journals, and databases. Many different models of providing access to e-books are available to university libraries. The University of Borås has decided to be open to most of the models during this first stage of development. The university will be able to choose one or several optimal models. The following text describes those the library has tested so far.

In order to get quick access to a large number of e-books without spending too much money, a library can use a subscription model. The University of Borås has chosen two big subscription packages: Ebrary Academic complete with over 80,000 titles and Safari Tech Books online (Current file) with almost 7,000 titles. These systems impose copying and printing limitations on the material due to copyright issues. The DRM systems used by each of the vendors ensure this limiting function. Most of the books can be downloaded for offline reading on e-readers or tablet computers. There are additional limitations on how long a reader can hold a book. However, books have been known to disappear from collections without notice, which is the biggest shortcoming of all subscription models.

Another important model is the Pick-and-choose, which is convenient for purchase requests. The library has several aggregators, such as Ebrary, Dawson and Ebsco, which enable this purchase model. In this case, the library owns the book, but there are still certain limitations regarding the number of printouts and copies available. Limitations on the number of users who can use the book at the same time vary significantly: from one user per book to an unlimited number of users. The unlimited number of users is always the best option for a library, but sometimes the issue has to be regulated with regards to costs. Very often an e-book costs approximately 1.5 times more than an equivalent printed book. Dawson’s system, instead of limiting the number of concurrent readers, limits the number of times a book can be used within a year. The numbers can also be very different – from 125 up to 400 times a year. Sometimes this model also permits the library unlimited use. In the end, the publisher always defines the conditions. These books are also available for download and offline reading.

One of the alternatives to subscription is a PDA model (Patron Driven Acquisition). The University of Borås has tested this model, providing access to a certain number of books, which are either purchased after the first use or loaned to the library for a certain sum. Standards are set at the start of a PDA-project. Most international suppliers offer some type of the PDA-model. The University of Borås has chosen a version whereby the Library pays the provider Ebrary a fixed sum of money. The library selects a number of e-book collections, the system then provides a short term loan (seven days) for the first use of a book. Once the book has been used for the second time, it is purchased by the Library. A short-term loan costs 10% of the price of user’s licence. As soon as the book is used, the Library gets a message and can decide if the book should stay in the PDA collection. Presently, the University of Borås has a PDA collection with approximately 3000 titles and roughly 2% of them were used at least once during the last year.

The model providing a library with the highest degree of freedom when dealing with e-books is direct purchase from a publisher. Some publishers the University of Borås selected by for this purpose are Springer, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Royal Society of Chemistry and Woodhead Publishing. In certain cases the Library can buy individual titles, but they usually select a complete package (collection) divided according to the publishing date or discipline. The advantage of e-books is that they are mainly free from DRM (Digital Rights Management) systems and can be used by an unlimited number of users, freely printed or copied. The downside is that prices are often higher than when purchasing the same books from aggregators. However, discounts some publishers offer for the purchase of several collections can diminish this shortcoming. All the suppliers mentioned above provide books in English. As it is the dominant language for academic communication, the needs of university library users are readily satisfied with regard to content. However, there are some complications. The providers of e-books set their terms of use, giving librarians less management authority than they have with printed books. There are significant barriers to cataloguing e-books and marketing them efficiently. The discovery tools have to be specifically designed for e-book collections. The Library has to train a number of librarians as experts in particular e-book platforms since each provider has their own system. Librarians have to organize workshops and training for readers of e-books for the same reason. There is never enough content in Swedish.

To overcome this last problem, the University of Borås Library is using the Elib service for the supply of Swedish books (see further section for description). Most academic libraries do not consider it a promising option, since the costs are difficult to plan and the amount of non-fiction is very limited. The University of Borås uses the service to supply Swedish textbooks in digital format, although there are few of those available. Another reason they use Elib to entice students and the staff to reading fiction in their free time and to familiarize them with e-books.

E-books in Swedish public libraries

The dominant provider of e-books (to libraries and the general public) in Sweden is Elib, owing their monopoly to the fact they were established by a consortium of the country’s four major publishers. The model Elib offers libraries includes a fixed sum for each loan of an e-book (20 SEK= approx. €2.4). The books are always loaned for 28 days and for offline reading only. This is a favourable option for less popular books, especially compared to more restricted models, since it does not limit the use of e-books. Parts of the collection are available with watermarks instead of restrictive DRM. However,Elib is becoming very expensive when it comes to popular titles, and it prevents libraries from managing their collections effectively since they cannot access the actual platform (apart from marking books they do not want for their readers). Since April 2013, the company also offers a streaming service ElibU for school libraries. During the last year, several new players, such as, Publit (distributor) and Axiell (digital service developer for libraries – with their platform Atingo), Adlibris, and Bokus (internet book shop) with Dito for e-books, have entered the e-book market and started providing books to libraries. Atingo_ offers a differentiated price for older vs. newer editions, but so far only a few libraries have adopted their services (Stockholm City Library taking a leading initiative).

The number of e-book loans from Swedish public libraries has grown rather rapidly within a three-year period. Figure 4 shows the growth of the e-book collection and loans in relation to printed books. In 2013 the number of e-books in Swedish public libraries had not reached 3% of the total collection and the loans of e-books are only over 8% of the total collection. The increase in loanswithin a four-year period is significantly above the growth of the actual stock.

Swedish language e-books in Swedish public libraries in 2010 and 2013 Figure 4: Swedish language e-books in Swedish public libraries in 2010 and 2013 (Kungliga Biblioteket 2012: 30)_

Despite the fact that the latest statistics show that in 2012 e-book loans from public libraries have increased by 65% in comparison with 2011 and by 289% in comparison with 2009, the National Library report suggests that the number of Swedish language e-book loans could be higher, but for economic reasons (KungligaBiblioteket 2011: 27). The dissatisfaction with limitations on e-book loans can be readily understood from the steep increase in the number of e-book loans in comparison with the steadily declining loan level from public libraries as shown in Figures 5a and 5b.

Growth of Swedish language e-books loans from _public libraries Fig 5a: Growth of Swedish language e-books loans from public libraries (source: http://www.kb.se/bibliotek/Statistik-kvalitet/biblioteksstatistik/Bibliotek-2012/)_

Though the portion of borrowed e-books does not reach one tenth of the whole, it contributes to the improvement of the overall trend of decline in borrowing from Swedish public libraries.

Trend of borrowing books from Swedish public libraries Figure 5b: Trend of borrowing books from Swedish public libraries (source: http://www.kb.se/bibliotek/Statistik-kvalitet/biblioteksstatistik/Bibliotek-2012/)

If we look at the amount of e-book borrowing from academic libraries, and the portion it constitutes in the total number of their book loans, we might expect similar trends in public libraries, if the financial restraints were removed. On the other hand, there is a clear indication of anxiety among producers regarding the dominance of libraries in the e-books market and their increasing market orientation (Svedjedal 2012: 41-43).

In a survey conducted at the end of 2012, ninety-five percent of libraries indicated that they offered an e-book service to their users. Only 19 or 9.6% of the participants (i.e., 197) claimed to have a formal policy underpinning the e-book service. Seventy percent (14) of those who had a policy declared that it was publicly available and nine respondents indicated a Website address as the location of the policy while one sent the researchers a document file . In most cases, however, the policy was simply a statement of e-book availability and the rules governing their lending (Macevičiūtė and Wilson 2013: 30-31).

When asked which factors determined the decision to offer e-books, the responses included reader’s demand, the need to develop services appropriate to the 21st century, the fact that e-books should be offered just like printed books, and the opportunity to participate in country-wide collaborations in the delivery of e-books. A number of participants also stated that the service was a way of attracting new readers to the library. A typical response was:

The library will of course provide all kinds of media formats. Complement to the printed book, allowing more borrowers to read the book at the same time, no queues. Meet borrowers' requirements that we offer new technology, new media formats. Give borrowers the opportunity to test new ways of reading. (Macevičiūtė and Wilson 2013: 31).

Despite this obvious concern about users, the efforts to promote and market e-books were quite minimal.

Marketing means Figure 6: Marketing means (source: Wilson and Macevičiūtė 2012: 3)

As Figure 6 shows, the most common way of marketing the service was through the library’s Website (99%), followed by direct contact with users, issuing brochures, bookmarks and other documentation. Only 29 % of the libraries offered courses on e-book usage.

Although Sweden is a highly computer-literate country, as stated at the beginning of this paper, for many people the e-book is a novel phenomenon. Therefore, almost half of the respondents reported offering user-education of some kind, which is not surprising.

Most commonly, users were taught how to download the e-books both in the library and remotely, and how to use library resources in general from a different location. More than half of the libraries also gave instruction on how to use the catalogue to locate e-books, how to select an appropriate e-reader, and the conditions under which e-books could be borrowed. A smaller proportion (40%) gave instruction on the use of apps such as the Kindle app for the iPad (Macevičiūtė and Wilson 2013: 32).

Only three libraries reported having carried out any reader satisfaction studies in relation to e-books and only one of these reported the results, showing that readers were highly satisfied with the service. Ninety-eight per cent of responding libraries (i.e., 179 out of 182) had carried out no survey, but 91.4% of respondents intended to do so (Wilson and Macevičiūtė 2012: 6-7).

The majority of e-book provision in Swedish public libraries is done in collaboration with Elib. This is no doubt an efficient method from the publishers’ point of view, but it presents a severe problem for librarians. They feel very strongly that this practice does not enable them to perform their normal professional responsibilities regarding the selection of material for their readers: they can only accept what the consortium chooses to make available. Furthermore, popular titles may not be available in e-book form until months after the initial release, if at all, and titles may be withdrawn from the catalogue without notice. The librarians made comments such as (Wilson and Macevičiūtė 2012: 2-3):

_We cannot decide what we want to buy, which literature we want to promote and offer to borrowers.

Depending on the vendor feels awful.

The publishers keep certain books in quarantine and remove titles randomly.

The selection of titles for adults is small, while those for children and young people are virtually non-existent.

Librarians do not have bibliographical control over the catalogue, since the user is transferred from the library’s web page to the Elib site containing all bibliographical data. 68% of the respondents attempted to deal with this by entering details of the available e-books into their own catalogues, usually simply transferring the data from Elib, but, in some cases (only 17%), by creating additional meta-data. We are faced with the emergence of a kind of hybrid digital library; one that is partly under the control of the library and partly under the control of the e-book provider (Macevičiūtė and Wilson 2013: 32-33). Librarians have expressed a great dissatisfaction with the present pricing model for e-books. Almost 86% of respondents identified the need for a library consortium meant to supply e-books. 69% felt that the means for the supply of e-books in Swedish was less than satisfactory and when asked what should be done to improve things, said, in effect, that ways should be found to overcome the limitations of the current system.

Suggestions included (Wilson and Macevičiūtė 2012: 7) the following:

_Introducing a national agreement on different pricing models, state aid.

_A wider range from the publishers' side, digitization of older titles, no waiting period for new titles...

_Abolish the waiting period for new books in Swedish. Get an agreement that enables even translated titles to be offered.

_More e-book providers would increase competition and hopefully improve the range. Another hope, also, is that the smaller publishing companies could enter the market.

In particular, access to literature for young people is quite poor. Since children use iPads as much as computers in schools, this is a problem._

The libraries were asked how their use of e-books affected their relationships with other book suppliers and more than half of the respondents (55%) stated that, although they did not provide e-books, they did not appear to be worried about the situation. Another 35% said that there was no effect because their suppliers also delivered e-books. Twelve percent said that their suppliers are interested in getting involved in the supply of e-books (Wilson and Macevičiūtė 2012: 5).

The situation with e-book delivery for libraries has changed since we conducted the survey. The discontent of Swedish public librarians manifested through a stormy campaign and public debates. Stockholm City Library, in collaboration with Publit and Axiel, has tried a model of dual licensing which became a basis for the Atingo service. Elib has offered a new business model this autumn, seemingly working in the same direction. The negotiation between the Swedish Library Association and publishers, which ended without results, has been taken over by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions. Librarians themselves started looking for possibilities to solve some of their problems in e-book management, as one can see from the example of the Malmö City Library’s initiative to develop an e-book platform (Malmö Stadsbibliotek 2013). The two parties are currently working on a mutually satisfactory solution.

Comparison and conclusions

On 24 October 2012, The Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament) passed a new Library Law, stating that literature in any format has to be available for public library users without charge. It does not specify the conditions of access and acquisition by libraries themselves. However, the idea of charging users for e-books accessible in libraries (even if it has been dreamt by someone) is completely rejected. Also, libraries are obliged to offer access to all formats and it becomes quite impossible to exclude e-books from library services. The report of the National Library in 2011 examined a large number of factors and stakeholders and tried to identify the main issues the National Library could help address in as a national co-ordinator of the library system. In relation to this, it provided enough grounds to conclude that the broader influence of e-books is limited by the scarcity of the provided content in local languages, the lack of a convenient business model for their production and dissemination, and other structural characteristics, including how the role of libraries might change under these circumstances (KungligaBiblioteket 2011: 21-23). As a result of the report, the National Library, with funding from the Swedish Library Association, conducted a feasibility study regarding the creation of a platform for e-book delivery (with open data) to Swedish public libraries (Kungliga Biblioteket 2013). At present, the National Library is conducting a development project to implement the idea.

The arrival of e-books in Swedish libraries has been influenced by ideas of equal access to all media by all Swedish citizens as well as by librarians’ desire to provide the best service to their users within the library’s area of responsibility. They saw this new resource and service in the light of fulfilling their specific function in a democratic society, which is usually expressed as mediation (or transfer) of knowledge and culture to all. This is a common basis for new media and information resources (including e-books) in Swedish academic and public libraries.

Apart from this common basis, we see other similarities in work with e-books in both types of libraries, but also a number of differences. Most of them relate to the position of libraries within their respective contexts and in relation to their specific roles.

Academic libraries are quite influential players in the global academic communication and supporters of both research and study processes. As such they are embedded in the mainly international market of scientific information and academic materials. They have significant resources for acquisition provided by parent universities and a wide selection of material available from different producers and vendors. They are organized into a national library consortium with an increased negotiation power. Thus, they have more freedom to experiment with a variety of business and pricing models available on the international market. They are also highly competent when it comes to publishing and often act as publishers themselves. Their involvement in the research process and in open access initiatives enables them to provide expertise to researchers in the fields of publishing and intellectual property protection.

Public libraries are part of the local cultural and educational landscape. As such they depend on the production of media and content in national languages which helps them cater to the needs and demands of the local population. They are also customers on a relatively small market of publishing, entertainment and education-related materials used to fulfil their educational function. As public libraries offer open and free access to their resources to the entire population of a particular region, eventually covering the whole country, they are regarded as a disruptive player in the market economy. This perceived threat from public libraries was reborn with the emergence of the e-book market. On the other hand, public libraries remain strong players in the local market and often the only buyers of some categories of books and information products. They can also help publishers activate their backlists - items which would otherwise never be digitized or bring any profit.

Despite these differences, both academic and public libraries face similar challenges and problems in management of their collections, creating metadata, and providing access to them. So far, they haven’t found any mutually satisfactory solutions. The turbulent years of 2012 and 2013 have uncovered the promising, yet uncertain future of e-books in the book production market.

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Sažetak

E-knjige u znanstvenim i narodnim knjižnicama u Švedskoj

Ulazak e-knjiga u švedske knjižnice ponajprije je potaknut idejom omogućavanja jednakog pristupa svim medijima za sve švedske građane, kao i željom knjižničara da osiguraju najbolje usluge svojim korisnicima u okviru vlastitog područja odgovornosti. Novi resursi i nove usluge promatrani su u svjetlu ispunjavanja specifične uloge knjižnica u demokratskom društvu, a u Švedskoj se pod tom ulogom podrazumijeva posredovanje (ili prijenos) znanja i kulture svim građanima. Na takvim su osnovama novi mediji i informacijski izvori (uključujući e-knjige) uključeni u švedske znanstvene i narodne knjižnice. Uz zajedničke osnove, postoji i niz drugih sličnosti u odnosu prema e-knjigama u dva navedena oblika knjižnica, ali i niz razlika, od kojih većina proizlazi iz specifičnosti same knjižnične kolekcije i njezine specifične uloge. Znanstvene su knjižnice iznimno važne u globalnoj znanstvenoj komunikaciji kao podupiratelji istraživanja te su kao takve uključene u međunarodnu razmjenu znanstvenih informacija i akademskih tekstova. Raspolažu sa znatnim resursima za nabavu građe koje im osiguravaju sveučilišta uz koja djeluju, te su im na raspolaganju brojni i različiti sadržaji nakladnika i drugih posrednika. Organizirane su u konzorciji nacionalnih knjižnica što im ojačava pregovaračke pozicije, te stoga imaju više slobode za eksperimentiranje s različitim poslovnim modelima koji se nude na međunarodnom tržištu, često se i same bave nakladništvom, a njihova uloga u istraživačkim procesima, pokretu otvorenog pristupa i sl. stavlja ih u poziciju da samim znanstvenicima često pomažu pri objavljivanju radova ili ih savjetuju u području intelektualnog vlasništva. S druge strane, narodne su knjižnice dio lokalnog kulturnog i obrazovnog miljea. Kao takve, ovisne su o medijima i sadržajima na nacionalnom jeziku kojima se zadovoljavaju zahtjevi i potrebe lokalnog stanovništva. Koriste se manjim nakladničkim područjem, usmjerenim na objavljivanje zabavnih i obrazovnih materijala. Budući da narodne knjižnice nude slobodan i besplatan pristup svojim uslugama i sadržajima svim stanovnicima nekog područja, a da mreža narodnih knjižnica eventualno može pokriti teritorij cijele države, smatra ih se igračima koji remete tržišnu ekonomiju, a takva se prijetnja aktualizira s jačanjem tržišta e-knjiga. Bez obzira na navedene razlike, i znanstvene i narodne knjižnice suočavaju se sa sličnim izazovima i problemima u upravljanu i organizaciji kolekcije, izradi metapodataka i osiguravanju pristupa resursima. Za sada još nije pronađeno rješenje koje bi u cijelosti zadovoljilo sve uključene strane.

Ključne riječi: e-knjige, znanstvene knjižnice, narodne knjižnice, distribucija e-knjiga, Švedska.

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