Date: June 17, 2024

eBooks present the library with costs and benefits. The cost for eBooks can vary greatly. An individual can purchase an Amazon Kindle version of Joshua by Daniel L. Hawks from the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry series for $28.49. The cost to the library for a single user license – which is limited by our vendors to VTS and GTS faculty, staff, students, and Board members – is $130.00. If we want to make the title available to more than one user at a time it will cost $260.00, and since an eBook requires the same processing and cataloging as a print edition, there are no savings in reduced labor costs.

As our eBook collection grows and our technical needs become more complicated, we will need to investigate an improved eBook platform to better manage student and faculty access. But there are benefits that weigh against the costs. eBooks are accessible 24/7 from anywhere in the world and since they are digital, we do not have to create a physical space for them. Also, there is no such thing as an overdue eBook. It can check itself in and out. And we do not have to worry about a lost or damaged eBook. If your dog devours the iPad on which you are reading an eBook, we still have our eBook. You do not have your iPad. But you still have your dog.

Jim Fitch, MLS
Discovery and Technology Services Librarian
Bishop Payne Library

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