University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 5418-5422
ISBN: 978-84-09-17939-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2020.1459
Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain
Contemporary society, defined as knowledge and innovation society, is characterised by a qualitatively new attitude towards information. Information proves to be a key resource for all spheres – politics, economics, education, healthcare, culture, etc. Irreversible changes concerning social life take place. The reason for these processes are the great technological advancements of the last decades of the XXth century – the creation and dynamic development of communication and computer technologies, the emergence and spreading of Internet in the information environment. Transformations, occurring in modern society, concern all social institutions and affect individuals as well as communities.

Libraries as main information structures are of considerable importance and play a key role in the creation and implementation of new rules as well as in the formulation of new information policies aiming at adequate satisfaction of users’ needs. Libraries are some of the most prevalent cultural and information institutions in Europe. They have proved their worth in the meeting of information demands of different social groups and have gained society’s trust and support. Thanks to their mission and policy of service libraries are some of the most democratic institutions and play a vital role in the provision of equal and unrestricted access to information for all citizens.

In the current paper fundamental issues regarding eBooks and libraries are discussed, terminology is clarified and definitions of basic notions as well as IFLA documents on the topic are presented. Furthermore, some of the main library eBook licence and purchase models are analysed. The accent of the scientific study is put on the benefits and opportunities provided by the possession and lending of eBooks for libraries, readers and society as a whole. In contemporary digitalised society libraries and their users strive to receive and make use of eBooks in the same way as they do with printed ones. Libraries, nevertheless, face a new reality, which often restricts the acquisition of financially accessible eBooks in acceptable circumstances. For instance, some editors and authors withhold sales when they think that access to eBooks might decrease sales and consequently, authors’ remuneration.

In summary, the study’s conclusions aim to highlight the importance of eBook lending in order for libraries to fulfil their social mission, to satisfy adequately readers’ demands, to support and provide information to people with specific needs, to grant society unrestricted and equal access to information and knowledge.
libraries, eBooks, e-lending.