William Eichler 16 January 2017

Library services should be more accessible for e-readers, report says

Council library services should be doing more to encourage people to use e-readers, says survey.

Socitm, the society for digital leaders, have published a Better Connected survey report into the accessibility of council library e-books, e-magazines and e-audio services.

Nearly half (45%) of sites achieved three or four stars in Socitm’s report, denoting they were providing a good or very good service.

The main failing, the survey revealed, was the lack of good, clear explanations of how to use e-books and other e-resources.

Only 41% of council websites scored a ‘Yes’ answer to the question Is the process for borrowing e-books clear including whether/how I need to 'return' ebooks?

Fewer than 60% scored a ‘yes’ for the question Are there clear instructions on how to access and use e-resources?

The report said those responsible for managing library website pages need to account for the fact that processes for borrowing e-books, magazines and audio resources are ‘different’ and ‘more complicated’ than traditional book borrowing and that readers will often need to download software or apps.

Socitm complimented East Sussex CC, Kent CC, Staffordshire CC and Suffolk CC for their approaches to providing e-library services.

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