Interesting article today from the Publishers Weekly daily news update:
At the recent annual meeting of the Association of American University Presses in Salt Lake City, "publishers experienced shock and awe at a session on demand-driven library acquisitions. Michael Levine-Clark,collections librarian at the University of Denver, reported that 47% of books acquired from 2000 to 2009 were never checked out, a phenomenon echoed by Stephen Bosch, in charge of budgets and procurement at the University of Arizona library, where over the past decade $19 million has been spent on books that were never used. Facing both budget and space pressures (Denver was required to give up 20,000 square feet of shelf space to student use), both libraries have joined a usage-based purchase program with YBP Library Services in which an e-book can now be rented when requested by a library user; and after a certain number of requests demonstrate the book’s likely continued use, the e-book is then acquired at the hardcover list price."
No wonder college tuition is so high! Someone has to pay for all those library books that students never use. Goodbye heavy, expensive textbooks and reference books. This further drives the path towards e-books and e-readers taking over the university market.