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Statement on e-book access and provision

28 October 2020

ARU Library has a strong collection of e-books and e-journals thanks to our policy of buying e-books wherever possible so that you can have equal access to all the content you need, whether opting to study completely online or preferring blended delivery of your curriculum. We strive to provide as much of our library collection online as possible and are in ongoing negotiations with publishers and Library suppliers.

Covid-19 has increased demand for online library collections. You may have found that we are unable to purchase all of your recommended titles as library e-books. This is because publishers decide whether or not a title can be offered as an e-book on a 'one book to many students' basis for you to access via Library Search. You may have noticed that some titles you accessed earlier in the year are now unavailable.

Publishers are dealing with an unprecedented demand for e-books and are struggling to match this demand. They are also changing pricing models and restoring access restrictions. We are facing price increases and e-books are being unexpectedly withdrawn from sale to libraries. Our preference is for e-books to be available for multiple students to use at the same time. However, single-user licenses are becoming the norm - with only one person able to access a title at a time. You may have been turned away from accessing e-books or added to a waiting list to download a title. We appreciate that this is frustrating.

This year, we have invested 31% of our book funds in a PDA (patron driven acquisition) scheme where books on reading lists will be added to our collection as e-books and only purchased if used via Library Search.

We are currently looking to invest an extra 36% of our book funds in further e-book collections using suppliers to fill any gaps of our collections of e-books.

Since 2019-20, we have been working with Kortext to provide all level 4 students with an essential e-textbook per module for your first year.

What can you do?

If you are unable to access an e-book listed on Library Search, please use the "Report a Problem" link on Library Search to let us know. If you find yourself on a waiting list, please continue to search on Library Search for alternative titles that you could use.
Topics: Library resources