Apr 052010
 
Authors: Scott Lee

To maintain its technological savvy, this fall the Morgan Library plans to spend between $1,500 to $3,000 on several electronic reading devices.

Similar to the current laptop checkout system, students would be able to use the eReaders to access the library’s collection of 119,885 eBooks.

“We want to be in a position where we can offer services accordingly if the technology proves beneficial,” said Lindsey Wess, manager of the library’s Electronic Information Center.

The library plans to experiment with several brands of eReaders this summer, said Interim Dean of the Library Patrick Burns. With so many brands on the market and technology constantly evolving, they plan to take purchasing slowly.

eReader brands being considered include:

Amazon’s Kindle,

The Sony Reader, and

Barnes and Noble’s nook.

After a review this summer, the library will decide on a brand to provide to students for use in the fall.
Following their research, library administrators found that both public and academic libraries are purchasing similar technologies, Burns said. However, CSU is unique for considering more than a dozen brands.

Preferred eReaders would be compatible with the books the library already has online and will be able to load the largest variety of content.

As an alternative to eReaders, which are used primarily to read digitalized print media, the Morgan Library is considering Apple’s iPad. The tablet PC boasts additional capabilities, which include access to the Internet and 150,000 applications similar to those available on the iPhone, including e-mail, photos and video.

“We think that the new Apple tablet (the iPad) is something that is much better, much superior to the other technologies,” Burns said.

“The iPad really is attractive because it can accommodate so many different file formats,” Wess said. It and other tablets, as opposed to de facto eReaders, offer the convenience of keyword searching and text mark-up –– highlighting and tracking text changes.

CSU sophomore Thomas Campbell is excited for the possibility of electronic textbooks, saying that his books are heavy and this might lighten his load.

In February, the Morgan Library requested $8,000 from the University Technology Fee Advisory Board, UTFAB, to buy eReaders for student checkout. In the current fiscal year, UTFAB is responsible for the allocation of about $1.23 million in student technology fees.

But because eReader technology is still evolving and has not developed to a level the board is comfortable with, according to its meeting minutes, UTFAB will reconsider the library’s request in June at the start of the new fiscal year.

Before any readers are purchased, UTFAB member Rebecca Fraley said the board would like eReader companies to work out all product glitches.

If UTFAB approves its request for $8,000 for eReaders, the library plans to spend almost $200,000 on additional digital content.

Collegian Contributor Scott Lee can be reached at news@collegian.com.

  • Morgan Library to purchase digital readers for student use by fall
  • Brands being considered include:
  • Amazon’s Kindle
  • The Sony Reader
  • Barnes and Noble’s nook
  • Apple’s iPad
 Posted by at 5:45 pm

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