ALIA’s Australian Public Library Alliance (APLA) has released the report A comparison of ebooks and elending in Australian Public Libraries 2013 v 2014. The report compares an ebooks and elending survey completed in January 2013 to the same survey completed in May 2014 and will be produced annually to show ebook and elending trends over time.
Some of the key findings of the report include:
Nearly all Australian public libraries now lend ebooks; up from 69% a year ago to 97% in 2014.
On average, ebooks make up 5–6% of a public library’s collection.
In 53% of public libraries, ebooks account for less than 1% of loans, and in almost all, they account for less than 5% of loans.
60% of libraries use two or more ebook providers, up from 33% in 2013. The three most popular providers are Bolinda, Overdrive and Wheelers.
Between half and two thirds of libraries are less than satisfied or not satisfied with the choice of bestsellers, books by Australians, popular authors and overall content.
71% of libraries have ebooks in their catalogue but less than a quarter of libraries (23%) are able to offer ebooks direct from their catalogue.
More libraries appear to be loaning ereading devices — 23% in 2014, up from 19% in 2013.
Skills in public libraries have remained at a similar level, with two in every five libraries saying most or all of their staff were conversant with ebooks and ereaders.
Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.
A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.