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Poster Communications Year : 2016

To offer ebooks in libraries: a way to break down physical barriers to knowledge and culture

Rafael Peregrina
  • Function : Author
Aurélie Vieux
  • Function : Author
Stéphanie Pouchot
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  • PersonId : 995549


As institutions of public service, libraries play a major role in providing a democratic and egalitarian access to information and culture. Their missions are defined in several manifestos and codes of ethics. In such a context, integration of digital resources into libraries collections has created new difficulties, due to: - the complexity of organising and making these contents easily available; - visibility and promotion aspects. This, not only because the mission of libraries cover access to every kind of resources, digital or not, but also because it is one of the patrons’ expectations. Based on the results of a research project held in collaboration with some french and swiss libraries, the aim of the poster is to set out some solutions to better integrate ebooks solutions into libraries’ offer and to optimise the communication actions about this kind of resources. Our suggestions are divided into two kinds of recommendations: on one hand, those dealing with content access, on the other hand, the ones regarding communication. First, patrons may have difficulties to identify, find, access and read ebooks. Their needs and wishes here may concern the devices as well as the content selection and providing. We encourage libraries to: - Supply the patrons with preloaded reading devices; - Offer personalised access to ebooks; - Propose downloadable lists of ebooks. For example, specific contents can be selected according to topics such as civic engagement or social development. Then, given that ebooks have appeared quite recently in libraries’ collections and that this kind of resources are intangible, this offer is often little-known by patrons. Furthermore, users do not always have sufficient technical and informational knowledge to access and read ebooks. Thus, it is necessary to inform them about: - the simple fact that this digital offer exists; - the scope of the offer; - technical aspects and constraints linked to these digital documents’ use (e.g. formats, devices, access protocols…); - the support provided by their library (help, training, workshops…). Some actions can be undertaken to develop the ebooks’ potential and use: - To deliver appropriate and accurate information about ebooks by developing new services based on information literacy, use of ebooks and digital reading devices advice ; - To train patrons and to encourage them to self-study in this field ; - To efficiently communicate to highlight ebooks. In this way, libraries should offer a wide access to knowledge, regardless the medium, especially since digital contents break down physical barriers and can reach people with disabilities or far from (digital) reading (elders, prisoners…).
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Dates and versions

hal-01411244 , version 1 (12-12-2016)



  • HAL Id : hal-01411244 , version 1


Rafael Peregrina, Aurélie Vieux, Stéphanie Pouchot, Benoît Epron. To offer ebooks in libraries: a way to break down physical barriers to knowledge and culture. BOBCATSSS Lyon 2016, Jan 2016, Lyon, France. Proceedings and abstracts, 2016, Information Library Democracy. ⟨hal-01411244⟩
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