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Shelton College E-Learning Center Libraries Should Provide More Books Rather Than

Invest In New Technology Such As E-books and E-jounals


Mr Chee Siu Ming
Head of Department
10 October 2015

To

Chee Siu Ming, Head of Department

From

Wong Ai Huong, Head of Librarian

Date

10 October 2015

Subject

Shelton College E-Learning Center Should Provide More Books


Rather Than To Invest In New Technologies Such As E-Books And EJounal.

1.0

Introduction
Today we have vast technology surrounds us. It affects different aspects of our daily

lives. This including the types of books we read. Nowadays, there are basically two types of
books to read. They are the traditional printed books and the electronic books or what we called
as the e-books that can be viewed on a computer or on tablets. Today Internet is becoming very
popular. Nowadays more and more people prefer e-books for reading.. E-books are electronic
books in electronic format. It is downloaded to a personal computer, a desk top, a smart phone
or any other type of electronic devices. It is read by a reader on a screen of an electronic device.
It has no different from a printed book that it contains numbered pages; it has table of contents,
and some e-books do have pictures and graphics. It is easier to purchase by downloading it from
the Internet. However, concern has been raised about how much time we are spending in front of
screens, is the time spend as beneficial as the time we used to read from a printed book. Over the
past decade, there has been several research or studies done about e-books. The advantages and
disadvantages have been listed out regarding e-books.
Should we acquire more e-books for our libraries or should we just maintain the paper
books we have. As the librarian in charge, I would like to highlight a few points on why our
library should provide more printed or paper books rather than invest in new technology such as
e-books and e-journals.
First of all, I would like to highlight the current situation we are in, identifying the issue
faced and the need for changes, cost involved and some of the advantages for libraries to provide
more books rather than investing in e-books and e-journals.

2.0

The Current State


With the high-tech media surrounding us, some people hold that the public libraries

would be rendered obsolete if they do not offer software, videos or DVDs to their users while
others felt that its only a waste of limited resources and the libraries should offer books only.
One of the reasons many people tends to go for e-books because it is not possible for everyone to
purchase more printed or paper books. These online e-books can save our time and money as
they are easily available on the Internet. Some of these e-books can be downloaded directly
from the Internet and some of them can be obtained for free of cost on different websites.
Furthermore, e-books are easy to store and for those books lovers, they know what it means by
limited space to keep all the printed books. On the other hands, for e-books, you definitely do
not need the physical space as the printed books. It takes up less space. You practically do not
need any space to store them. You can store hundreds and thousands of e-books on your
computer or laptop. By saving your e-books in your electronic devices also means you can have
a backup online if something happens to your books. In a long run, e-books are much cheaper
because there are no printing costs associated with them. In fact, you can often find free e-books
online, whereas you will always need to pay for paper books. With an e-book, you can easily
change the lettering or the size of your font. Often time for paper books, after long reading you
will have to stop because your eyes feel strained. With an e-book, you can just change the font
size and continue reading. This is also a great feature for those who need large print books.
Furthermore, there is no hassle to purchase and downloading e-books through the Internet like
purchasing any other products. Normally after you have made payment, you will be directed to a
download link in your email or you will be directed to a download page to download the book
you purchased. So what you actually need is a click and the e-book is in the process of moving
into your electronic device. After downloading the e-book you purchased, you do not have to be
connected to the Internet in order to read the e-book. You can stay offline and you can also
easily print it with your home printer. When you need certain information, you can also obtain it
immediately, by downloading an e-book or an e-journal. E-books are also portable and you can
easily carry a collection of e-books or a library of hundreds or thousands of e-books with you.
This can done by using external hard disk, CDs, pen drive, laptop, or Smartphone without have
to worry about the weight or limited physical space. With this you can read them anywhere or
everywhere and anytime.

With e-books, you can also easily access to more information and related websites
because it helps to link from one link to another. Thus, you can easily search for any information
in an e-book, instead of turning page after page from paper or printed books. High-tech media is,
in many ways, indeed superior to the books in terms of entertainment, attraction, and
functionality. For instance, videos and DVDs function as a visual means to assist people to have
a first-hand experience even though those people have not physically visited or seen the objects
which are introduced in the books.
3.0

Some of the Challenges Our Library Would Face


However, despite the fact that there are many great aspects that surround e-books, there

seem to be a lot of advantages over paper books, but we do foresee some weaknesses and
challenges related to e-books in regards to our libraries. Some of the challenges that surround ebook are:
3.1

E-books reader can cost money and unnecessary inconveniences


An e-book reader is also known as an e-book reader, is actually a portable electronic

device that is designed with the main purpose of reading e-books. The most disappointing thing
about e-books is it needs a special device to keep it and read it. Not like paper books, it does not
need any device and you also do not need a special charger to ensure that your device is running.
For readers to access into e-books on a computer or laptop, certain software programs are needed
and those programs will need to be compatible with the computer or device used. For readers to
access into e-books on a computer or laptop, certain software programs are needed and those
programs will need to be compatible with the computer or device used. As the process of
selecting, acquisition and management of e-book can be complicated and costly. Many of this
software programs are either free or commercialized programs. I may agree that there are lots of
e-books are available for free, but not all. There are lots of paid academic e-books which cost
much more than printed books. Many tend to feel that e-books should cost no more than printed
editions. It is true that there are some low prices of mass market e-books and thus they may
assume that it is also true with all other scholarly titles. There is also an assumption it is cheaper
to publish e-books. That is not always true. However, the writing, editing, and formatting
processes are similar no matter the final product is in printed form, digital form or both.

Although print editions of paper books require printing, binding and shipping, e-books have their
own unique costs such as online hosting server and also network maintenance. There is also
reformatting needed to be done for multiple platforms or file format. Besides, there are other
matters such as consumer or customer service and online technical support. Thus, often time
consumers will need to pay a much higher price for e-books.
Furthermore, because this software programs are expensive and the library might need to
have a financial budget each year to either purchase new software or upgrade the existing one. It
will also cost more for the library in order to purchase additional computer for more readers to be
able to read e-book.
Some reading material might only be accessible to readers unless it is connected to
Internet.

All electronic devices such as computers are also subject to failures, and could

malfunction. While reading a printed paper book, you do not have to worry that the words on the
pages will disappear before your eyes. It is the e-books readers, special devices or programs on
an electronic device such as computer that allow us to access the book electronically. There is
absolutely no paper involved. However, if there is a power failure and the batteries on the
computer die off the user will not be able to access the book.
3.2

Not every book published is put into a digital format


While there are hundreds and thousands of e-books that are available online for

download, but not every book published is put into a digital format. For example, the new
bestselling book initially may just release in paperback form or hardcover edition. Thus it is
difficult to collect and build strong e-books collection because there are many academic titles
that are not available in digital format. This is one of the reasons why librarians are reluctance
to commit to e-book collections. Moreover, the major library e-book vendors or suppliers offer
just a fraction of the title what a library need for its academicals collection. Furthermore because
e-books are electronically, digital distribution has the potential to be delayed in its availability to
the public as compare to paper books. The preservation of e-books is also difficult because each
e-book consists of several distinct elements such as the content of the book and also the
formatting of the work or the file format, the software needed to access and open the file, the
operating system needed to open the software must be compatible with the operating system.

3.3

Programs need constant checking for security vulnerabilities


Any program that is on a computer can be risky to the computer when it is connected to

the Internet. It created vulnerabilities for attack by virus and spyware. Anti-virus, anti-malware
and spyware may change registry information. Basically, the registry is the components that
allow a program to work. Thus anytime a software, the registry will allow the program to
continue running. However, for the condition in a library, it is open to the public and thus it will
not be easy to monitor all users especially make the program malfunction. The user may not
understand the changes, misunderstanding that the update for a virus request and deny a crucial
registry change that allows the e-book readier to work. This will incur extra cost to service the
computers we have in our libraries. Its wise for learner to read paper books instead of e-books
because e-books it opens them out to uncensored sites. Paper books help people to focus and
concentrate. They are not easily distracted. Reading online tends people to search new books,
visit websites, and look up links rather than focus on the books they are reading.
3.4

E-books can cause eyestrain.


E-books are read on a computer that is viewed on a screen. The shining of your device

causes headaches and feels uncomfortable to read for a long time. The screen does not have the
same type of resolution like paper books have. This is one of the physiological effects of
watching too much or reading too much in front of a computer. Our eyes contain the strongest
muscles in our body. But as strong as they are, they can become strained, tired or fatigued by
excessive viewing in front of a computer. Most eye doctors will assure you that reading too
much from a computer or laptops wont permanently damage your eyes. However, focusing
your eyes for long hours in front of a television, can cause eyestrain, a temporary but irritating
problem but concentrating or reading too much in front of a computer screen will permanently
damage your eyes. As mentioned, reading e-books for long hours in front of a computer can
cause eyestrain. The symptom of eyestrain are headache, tired eyes, very sensitive to light (light
sensitivity), temporary blurriness or double vision and sore or itchy eyes. For some people, eye
strains can also lead to reduction in productivity and ability to concentrate and may even
negatively impact our eyesight. As the presence of technology increases, so do the chances for
our vision to worsen.

3.5

E-book can cause piracy problem for author and publisher


No matter how much hard work you put in making a new e-book, there will always be

some people make our library e-books for free download on some torrent site or any other.
This can be a very serious issue among author and publisher.
3.6

Human Factors
There are still many people prefer the feel of a paper book or even the smell of a printed

book. The act of turning the pages could be a joy to many people. At the same time, not
everybody is in the high tech-savvy group and thus the printed traditional paper books will still
be their preference when come to reading. This is true especially among the elderly. This is
because they cannot afford to read for such long hour under the bright light of the screen of a
computer. It is also because it has become their habit to hold a book and read and turn the pages
is an enjoyment to them.

It could a joy to many people to see a room full of printed books. It

brings satisfaction especially if they are their own personal collection of books.
4.0

Conclusion
Libraries face significant challenges related to the selection, licensing, acquisition and

management of e-books. Not all the print books acquired by the libraries might be available as
e-books. Many academic e-books might be released only three to eighteen months after the
printed editions were released. Many licenses require repeated payments for access to content
that do not change over time. Many of these challenges can be traced to a more general problem
such as the lack of uniformity in license terms, lease conditions, access restrictions and
librarians expectations. Libraries should be responsible for keeping paper books as one day
Internet might not exist. It is a known fact that only paper books are the only reliable and safe
source of information. Printed copies of books do not fade despite this challenging matter with
electronic books. They remain to be playing a vital role in the way people experience books
despite the continuous increase of online popularity. Paper books are not easily lost compares to
e-books which can be deleted accidentally or malfunction. In conclusion, public libraries would
benefit in having paper books and e-books if they are prepared to equipped the library with the
high-tech media facilities.

References
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http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/students-find-e-textbooks-clumsy-anddont-use-their-interactivefeatures.[20 Ocotber 2015]
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Preference for University Students and Recreational Reading. [Online].
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Justin Littman, Lynn Silipigni Connaway.(2004). A Circulation Analysis of Print Books and Ebooks in an Academic Research Library. [Online]. Available:
http://www.oclc.org/content/dam/research/publications/library/2004/littman-connawayduke.pdf [20 October 2015]
Murat Yalman. (2015). Education Faculty Students Views About Use Of E-Books. [Online].
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October 2015].
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