What challenges and opportunities have been created by the introduction of e-books to the Irish public library?

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O'Malley, Caroline
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MSc Information and Library Management
Dublin Business School
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Since 2010 the e-book‟s popularity has risen and this has led to an increase in interest among public library members also. The purpose of this dissertation is to explore how public libraries are establishing and managing their e-book services and how these services can be improved in Irish public libraries. This study is comprised of interviews from five Irish public librarians and documents their experience with establishing their e-book service. This study provides new insights into the Irish perspective on e-book lending in public libraries. The challenges that they encountered how they overcame them and the factors that affected the uptake of the service in the library are discussed. Key findings include identification of challenges to the library such as file format and website integration. Most of issues are beyond the public library‟s control, such as lack of Irish content in the e-book vendor‟s database. Suggestions include the formation of a group representing the Irish public librarian‟s interests to the publisher. Reallocation of budget from resources with declining circulation figures to deal with decreased budgets. Integration of the e-books details into the library Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) and increased marketing activities to raise awareness of the service in the community. The establishment of a nationwide library consortium could improve pricing for the library. Author keywords: E-books, public library