E-book Task Force: Charge
How should a large library system like RUL with many undergraduate as
well as graduate students and high-level researchers approach the coming
tsunami of e-books? What types of books are most suitable to this
medium and most useful to our users: books on e-reserves, reference
books, scholarly monographs?
Within this overall framework, consider the following:
Define scope of e-books in terms of size, such as one chapter of
printed book, two chapters, complete book; reference books as opposed to
a reference database, books within portals such as CIAO, etc.
Investigate the various commercial digital or e-book services such as
NetLibrary and determine which offer the content and services most
suitable to our situation.
Determine a set of criteria to determine which of the many free
digital or e-book should be selector for our users.
Determine the best means of making commercial and free e-books
available to our users from cataloging, systems, and public services
perspectives. To what extent, if any, should we invest in and make
available to our user e-book devices, such as Rocket Book.
Investigate and make recommendations on appropriate e-book software
such as Glass Book.
Investigate what other ARL libraries has done in this area such as
University of Texas system and the mini-consortium comprised of
Columbia, Cornell, Yale, and Middleberry College and assess their
experience in light of our situation.
This task force reflects an outgrowth of concerns from all sectors of
the Libraries organization but is formally attached to the Collection
We will devote at least $10,000 towards the purchase of current imprint
e-books this year. The work of the task force will help determine how
this money will be spent. Please submit your report to Robert Sewell by
no later than March 15, 2001 in order to give us enough time to set our
e-book project in motion this year.
In the course of your deliberations, please consult whenever appropriate
with the systems and cataloging departments.