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How much of library digital content is checked out but never used?

How much of library digital content is checked out but never used? This paper aims to identify patterns, trends and potential implications related to post-checkout non-usage (material that is checked out by a user, but subsequently never opened and/or downloaded) of library digital content.Design/methodology/approachA large urban Canadian public library’s data (2013-2017) from Rakuten OverDrive was analyzed. Pending items (items that are checked out, but neither opened nor downloaded) were compared with total checkouts to determine post-checkout non-usage rates.FindingsCheckouts and overall rates of post-checkout non-usage of e-books and e-audiobooks have risen significantly and consistently. Juvenile and non-fiction e-books demonstrate higher post-checkout non-usage rates than adult and fiction e-books, respectively. The library spends up to US$10,700 per year on metered access e-books that are never opened by users. This number has grown significantly over the years.Originality/valueE-materials in libraries have been growing rapidly, but their current lending models are still largely a direct application of concepts in traditional library services that have developed based on physical materials, such as checkouts, due dates, renewals, holds and wait times. However, e-materials do not have the limitation of physical materials that prevents other users from accessing a checked-out item, which makes many of the traditional concepts no longer applicable. New concepts and lending models should be developed that allow users to access any library e-materials at any time, and are financially functional and sustainable for both libraries and e-content providers. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Electronic Library Emerald Publishing

How much of library digital content is checked out but never used?

The Electronic Library , Volume 37 (2): 8 – Jun 3, 2019

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References (14)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0264-0473
DOI
10.1108/el-10-2018-0208
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper aims to identify patterns, trends and potential implications related to post-checkout non-usage (material that is checked out by a user, but subsequently never opened and/or downloaded) of library digital content.Design/methodology/approachA large urban Canadian public library’s data (2013-2017) from Rakuten OverDrive was analyzed. Pending items (items that are checked out, but neither opened nor downloaded) were compared with total checkouts to determine post-checkout non-usage rates.FindingsCheckouts and overall rates of post-checkout non-usage of e-books and e-audiobooks have risen significantly and consistently. Juvenile and non-fiction e-books demonstrate higher post-checkout non-usage rates than adult and fiction e-books, respectively. The library spends up to US$10,700 per year on metered access e-books that are never opened by users. This number has grown significantly over the years.Originality/valueE-materials in libraries have been growing rapidly, but their current lending models are still largely a direct application of concepts in traditional library services that have developed based on physical materials, such as checkouts, due dates, renewals, holds and wait times. However, e-materials do not have the limitation of physical materials that prevents other users from accessing a checked-out item, which makes many of the traditional concepts no longer applicable. New concepts and lending models should be developed that allow users to access any library e-materials at any time, and are financially functional and sustainable for both libraries and e-content providers.

Journal

The Electronic LibraryEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 3, 2019

Keywords: Library management; Public libraries; E-books; Collection development; Circulation analysis; Digital content in libraries; Library finances; Library uses; Post-checkout usage

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