The Dalhousie Libraries lease and buy eBooks in many subject areas to meet student and faculty research, teaching, and learning needs. We acquire eBooks from multiple publishers and vendors. We currently provide ebooks on twenty different platforms.
As part of managing our collections, we regularly analyze our eBook and journal subscriptions to ensure the collection meets your current needs and that our spending is sustainable. In the fall of 2017, we examined a large collection of eBooks we lease from EBSCO.
EBSCO’s NA Academic eBook subscription has provided temporary access to more than 160,000 eBooks from a wide variety of publishers. Over the last four years, the content of this collection has regularly shifted as publishers change their approach to leasing eBooks and add or remove titles. In some cases, this collection duplicates our print and eBook holdings. Since 2013, only 4% of the EBSCO collection has been used by the Dalhousie community. The annual cost for leasing this collection is more than $10,000 CAD. The cost per title is very low (less than ten cents per book), but the cost per title is fourteen times higher when only the used titles are considered (approximately $1.40 per book)
After considering how the books are used, the collection’s overall fit for Dalhousie, and the sustainability of leased eBooks, we have decided to cancel this subscription.
Since there are some books in the collection that are consistently well-used, we will be redirecting the funds budgeted for this subscription to purchase eBooks of the most highly needed books. In early spring, the Libraries’ catalogue will be updated to remove the leased titles.
If you have questions or concerns about a specific EBSCO eBook, please contact Library.Collections@dal.ca