The portable collection: Tablets, mobile technology and e-textbooks – the last frontiers of electronic information

Aviva Weinstein
Senior Associate/Director, Maverick Publishing Specialists Ltd

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Devices such as the iPad are having a potentially big impact on business models and how a library thinks about its collection. For example, Pearson is working with Apple on enhanced textbooks, new UK market e-textbook entrants such as Flooved, Reference Tree and, of course, CourseSmart UK are already in operation, and more and more publishers are developing their own offerings. How will the proliferation of ‘next generation’ hand-held devices amongst students and researchers affect what the library offers – and how? Will the ‘library’ (for some undergrads at some universities) simply be what is on their iPad – perhaps irrespective of its source? Are e-textbooks the last frontier to libraries fully establishing a move to e-collections and how will the rise in online learning affect collection as pedagogy and content merge into new kinds of learning resources? And, lastly, what might we learn from developments in other countries around the world?

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