Throughout the past decade there has been a lot of talk about e-books and whether they can become a good addition to the way we can receive information.

Libraries have begun to make use of the e-resource critical mass recently.

first i believe it is important to define what an e-book actually is. below is a definition from PCMag. 

The electronic counterpart of a printed book, which can be viewed on a desktop computer, laptop, and smartphone or e-book reader.” – PCMag

I am sure that many of the readers of this blog have used e-books themselves and i would like to know what you think of e-resources in general and do you see them gradually taking the place of physical resources in the future?


The amount of e-books and e-journals available to NUI Galway students greatly outway the amount of physical resources. This is easy to imagine. Take a bookshelf, full with textbooks. How much text books of 1000 pages or more do you believe could fit on the one bookshelf?

Now lets take things further. How much bookshelves do you think could fit into one College library (still providing room for students and staff to get around).

Of course the answer is large, Libraries can provide a massive amount of space and this allows them to store great amounts of literature to visiting students. But how can Libraries improve their service in order to be able to provide much more information beyond what can be physically stored.

This brings me to e-books. E-books are digital information that can be stored on a computer, database or on a cloud that can be accessed by students and researchers. The availability of them online allows students  to study topics without leaving their home. E-books can help bring the critical mass that is Information to a much wider audience in an era where there has never been so much Knowledge available before.

The James Hardiman Library, Galway provides students with e-books as well as physical resources and in the past 5 years there has been a steady increase in the acceptance of these e-resources. The usage of e-books and e-journals have also been steadily increasing from 2003 onward.

E-books allow the libraries to do more with less in a time where there has been major cut backs in funding to libraries. This is why i believe the  e-book service provided by libraries will play a key role in allowing them to remain relevant in the modern, IT influenced world.


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