Societies Libraries // August 13th, 2013

26% of book collections are now digital

Many thanks to all of you who took part in the 2013 Librarian Survey conducted by Wiley during May.  We have produced this infographic to summarize the key results from the survey covering the areas of budgets, digital books, print vs digital journal preferences and patron driven acquisition.

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With 1515 completed responses we have as promised donated $2,318 to the International Red Cross / Red Crescent and have also awarded an iPad to our draw winner in Taiwan. There was a broad spread of responses from different territories, helped no doubt by the survey’s availability in nine languages.  37% of responses came from the Americas; 33% from countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and 31% from the Asia Pacific region.  Looking at the results by institution type, the great majority of responses were from those in University/Higher Education Institutions (61%).   The next largest pool of responses were from those working in Hospitals/Clinics (10%). Amongst the key takeaways from the survey we found evidence of the pace at which collections are shifting from print to digital:

  • Spending on print books still exceeds digital (64%/36%), but is expected to be even in three years’ time.
  • Currently 26% of book collections are digital.
  • 75% of respondents state that their e-book collection supplements their equivalent print collection, while 25% state it replaces it.
  • 36% have integrated patron-driven or demand-driven acquisition models into their purchasing plans and an additional 21% are considering a pilot.
  • Of those who have integrated PDA, 28% are allocating 50% or more of their digital books budget to the model.  58% expected that allocation to increase over the next 3 years (slightly less than the 61% who expected it to increase in the 2012 Survey).
  • Regarding reference works, 60% stated they would purchase both print and online editions in the coming year (last year 67% stated they would purchase print/online editions) and 25% stated they would only purchase online editions (an increase from last year’s 19%).
  • Regarding journals, more than half of librarians say they will continue to cut print journal subscriptions, with 13% saying they will be phasing out print entirely in the next two years (up from 4% last year).

The survey also covered questions of discoverability and open access.  We will cover these results in future blog posts.  Please stay tuned and sign up for our email alerts or follow us @wileylibinfo

  • Michelle Morgan

    I am the ebook Librarian at the University of Western Australia.
    I was wondering if it is possible to see this data broken down by region? I am particularly keen to see the trends in ebook usage and expenditure in Australia, Australasia, and in comparison with the rest of the world.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

    • Emily Gillingham

      Hello Michelle

      I’d be very happy to share this with you. Please email me on I’ll send you the results once we’ve run that analysis. It will be very interesting to see the comparisons by country/region.

      Many thanks, Emily