2015 Ebook Usage Reports: Public Libraries

2015_publicebook_cover_300Since Library Journal launched its annual survey of ereading trends in 2010, we have seen ebooks gain traction both among the general public and in public libraries. If it appears from the current survey (based on 317 U.S. public libraries responding) that much of the enthusiasm for ebooks has cooled, it is only because they have become less of a novelty and more mainstream.

As for where we stand with regard to ebooks in libraries, the current edition of this survey shows that ebooks are firmly ensconced in public libraries, and if patrons haven’t universally adopted them, ebooks have their fans—as do print books, audiobooks, and other forms of content. Indeed, everyone has his or her own preferred format in which to read; some prefer ebooks, some prefer print books, some prefer audiobooks—some prefer combinations of these in different contexts—and libraries are required to support all these formats.

Librarians and publishers may be close to detente around the issue of ebooks. Where once librarians’ comments were full of vitriol about price-gouging, poor selection, and horrible service, six years on, the mood has mellowed considerably, and they appear happier with ebook vendors and their offerings. Problems still remain, but the tone is far less contentious than it has been.

Download the full 2015 Ebook Usage Reports: Public Libraries report today, courtesy of Freading.