Colleges and universities have huge libraries stacked with books. Brick and mortar libraries are still standing strong and are maintained by educational institutions. But let’s be practical here, how often are students excited at the prospect of going to the library to search for a book? An internet search is all it takes to find the information they require. And in today’s education system, where eBooks have become the norm, why can’t they have a digital eBook library on their learning platform itself? Not only is it convenient for students to look up books and information, but it’s also quite beneficial for the educational institution and publishers.
It’s the sheer amount of data that is stored on computers and spread across the internet that gave way to digital libraries.
Just as in the physical world, where all important documents and data are stored in a library for easy access; similarly, information available in the digital space also needs to be collected in a place and stored for easy access.
And an e-library is the perfect place where all digital learning content can be saved.
Let us see how institutions & publishers benefit from a digital eBook library.
Benefits for Institutions
1. Efficient Paperless Systems
In a physical library, proper records have to be maintained to keep track of the books borrowed and returned. Now-a-days, there are library management systems where the staff can input book details and check the availability and inventory.
In an ebook library everything is digital- right from the books to record management. Now isn’t that a better and more efficient option? Moreover, every institute has paper-based documents in abundance, such as research papers, past test sheets, other educational resources etc.
All this information can be digitized and uploaded to the e-library. The future is paperless. Going completely paperless in educational institutions will further emphasize the importance of reducing paper usage and its corresponding environmental impact.
2. Cheaper to Maintain
Ever wondered how many books are there in your local or college library? Hundreds? Thousands? Sure, it needs quite a bit of space to accommodate these many books? On the contrary, a digital library fits in the palm of your hand.
Your students can have access to countless numbers of educational resources, while you don’t even have to maintain an entire room full of books. Capital-wise, a digital library is much cheaper to create as well as maintain.
Creating a digital library also helps avoid misplacement of books.
3. Segregate and Categorize
You don’t need a librarian to walk around the place shushing people and keeping the books in their right places. Digital eBook libraries can be easily managed as people are not quite literally taking books out of shelves.
You only need to manage a database where you can neatly categorize each book based on its title, publishing date or author name. You can view real-time reports of the number of books being purchased or borrowed at any given time.
It’s a lot easier to categorize each eBook and upload it to the library. Once they’ve been added to the library, it stays there unless you remove it. And multiple students can access the eBooks at once!
4. Solves Preservation Problems
Books deteriorate over a period of time. Pages become brittle, and then there is the problem of acidification of pages. The cost of maintaining old volumes of books is pretty expensive.
Instead, if you can scan and digitize the pages, you no longer would have to worry about preserving the material. It stays new as ever.
5. Eliminates the Expenses of Book Collection
Currently, libraries are facing the problem of constrained budgets. With the increase in currency shifts, journal prices, and number of publications, it is difficult for libraries to keep collecting books.
Also, the cost of university library storage, per book, is also rising. Taking all these factors into consideration, i.e., the inability to preserve old materials and buy new ones, it seems digital ebook libraries are the perfect solution to mitigate these problems.
Benefits for Publisher
1. Easy to Create
A digital library only requires you to get permission from publishers to make their eBook titles available on your eBook library. You can create a digital library with the eBook creation software itself. Looking for the best ebook creators? Here’s a list we made to show you the 10 best eBook creation software
Or you could probably take the help of a vendor to help you with the distribution aspect, and they will help you set up an eBook library. Some software tools let you create your own eCommerce engine or an ebook store that is completely white labeled. You can host eBooks to search titles, manage categories, prices and promotions.
2. Updated Information
Another benefit of a digital eBook library is that students can always have access to up-to-date information. Changes made in the source file of the eBooks will directly be reflected in the e-library.
This is because the eBooks are stored on the cloud. Once you make changes to the main source file, users will have the latest content at hand.
3. Increased Reach
The reach of a digital library goes far and wide, unlike a brick and mortar library which is mostly frequented by the local population. eBooks available in a digital library can be accessed by students living in any part of the world. Today, a lot of students opt for online learning programs.
Having your own eBook library will provide students the opportunity to go through all your titles, thus increasing your chances of eBook distribution and sales. This also opens up an opportunity for institutions to get more students enrolled for their online programs.
4. Add Media Content to the eBook Collection
Having a digital library lets you add more media content to the existing collection of eBooks. A physical library mainly consists of books and CDs, but now you can extend your resources with various media formats such as animated videos, narratives, webinars, videos and audio files as well. You will have a variety of information resources to offer to the readers.
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5. Add or Remove Content as Per User Preference
Traditional libraries usually keep their materials for an indefinite period of time. Even if the book has not been used by students in a long while.
When you develop a digital library, you have the freedom to remove content that is either obsolete or that is never downloaded or read by students. You can get this information through data content analytics. This means you can keep the latest eBooks and digital content that is most relevant for students.
Digital eBook libraries offer new possibilities for information access. You can make the information more diverse and improve its quality. While colleges and universities are finding it difficult to maintain a traditional library, a digital library might just be the solution to help them provide accessible educational resources to students at a much lesser cost.
The best part of e-libraries is that you can not only upload eBooks but can get all your legacy content like rare books, maps, manuscripts, photographs and so on digitized and available on the e-library.
This means having an eBook library will certainly let you provide more valuable content to your readers.
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