In late 1990s, EBook’s have been available to academic institutions on subscription basis. In western countries eBook’s had great impact and academic libraries showed their interest in eBooks, especially Medical Sciences Libraries. It can play a great role in the development of reading habit but It needs proper marketing and promotion strategy.
The academics libraries are the main stakeholder of the eBooks. The Develop and maintain an up-to-date marketing plan that is aligned with the library’s mission and goals is needed. Solicit input from staff and management (Woods, 2007, p. 119). As both promotion of, and access to, e-books constitute extensive and challenging issues for the library and the user (Ray Lonsdale,2010).
The usage of eBook’s in academic libraries of pakistan is very low due to many reason. The one reason is that there is no proper marketing and promotion strategy were adopted by neither vendor’s nor academic institutions.
In Pakistan, Academic libraries are developing their eBooks collection from open source websites/Databases or taken by other institutes most of the time, In this case the academics libraries did not have copyrights of such material so they cannot be able to run marketing and promotion activities online. Usually libraries gives eBooks service through intra-net or off-net.
Academic Libraries’ role in the developing of e-book collections can be vital in terms of budgeting, provision of appropriate e-book material, delivery of e-books, marketing & promotion and liaison with the e-book vendors.
As e-books become now more in demand due to their adoption as a learning tool could have a greater impact on academic libraries. This adoption create a range of collection development issues such as acquisition policies; pricing and licensing models; cataloguing processes and promotional activities as well as changes in the use of library space. Ebooks collection has direct impact on print book because it can reduce the demand of physical books. In 21th century the concept of virtualization and cloud computing are is replace traditional practice. The word “Library” is changed by Digital Library/ Information center. Now libraries are focusing on building e-collection and e-services.
There is recognition of the need for greater focus on the marketing and promotion, and user education in respect of e-books (Bennett, 2006; ebrary, 2007; Lonsdale and Armstrong, 2010).
Earlier Research results showed that academic libraries have experienced many challenges in providing access to e-books. These challenges have caused the volume of e-books in libraries to be less than one might expect especially in developing countries, still there is no perfect match between borrowing e-books and the appropriate copyright laws.
Another aspect in this field are users’ reading behavior and the use of e-books provided by libraries. Findings in this area showed that users are less accustomed to use e-books (Foasberg, 2011). Important obstacles in this regard are the variety of e-book readers, the high costs of e-book preparation and their use, and Zickuhr et al. (2012) and O’Malley (2011) identify the users’ lack of awareness, waiting lists, unavailability of e-books and file format incompatibility; O’Malley (2011) and Hockey (2012) identify libraries cutting funds, limited content in non-English languages; Walters (2013) and Garrod (2004) identify lack of uniformity in licenses and limited access.
Furthermore, some recommendation such as increased marketing to raise awareness of the service in the community and creating a national consortium of academic libraries is essential. Findings of one study noted that the use of e-books will grow rapidly in the near future (Vasileiou et al., 2012). To control or overcome this issue HEC (Higher Education Commission took a initiative and develop a Digital Library. It is freely available to public institute like Bahria University, University of Karachi etc.