What is E-Book:

Any library is to provide quality information services for complete user satisfaction through optimum utilization of the resources the library has. In order to achieve this goal libraries acquire, preserve and disseminate the documentary as well as the non-documentary records of information. In earlier days, the library documents were mostly in the form of “traditional” books with a designated format, i.e. a physically distinct creation made up of a collection of pages and presented in a bound volume. Recent information handling technologies have significantly influenced the basic nature of traditional print-based libraries and have created electronic, digital and virtual libraries containing electronic documents like e-books, e-journals, etc.

The term e-book describes by glossary of velocity micro, E-books (Electronics Books, e-books, etc.) are type of electronic book that can be downloaded from a server in many different file formats: E-Pub, PDF, TXT, HTML just to name a few. They are meant to be read on the go and used as a lighter alternative to carrying actual books with you on travel, work, and leisure.Ebook

Generally all the libraries are providing quality of information and services to the patrons for their utmost level of satisfaction. For achieve this target libraries collect preserve and disseminate the information resources such as print and non-print materials.

Few centuries back, the libraries kept resources in the form of print materials. But nowadays the requirement of information is high and systematically. This may influence the need, improvement and growth the of e-books.


Wikipedia defined the e-book as, An e-book (short for electronic book and also known as a digital book, e-book, and eBook) is a portable electronic device used to download and read books or magazines that are in digital form. Sometimes the equivalent of a conventional printed book, e-books can also be born digital.

According to Glossary of African digital library defined the term e-book, (E-Books) A Book available fully electronically via a web-site on the Internet. E-Book readers have been developed for devices such as Palm Tops and PC’s, including the notebook PC

According to publishing glossary defined the term e-book, This is a book in digital format that can be downloaded to your computer to be read or printed out, or to a portable e-eook reader which you can carry around with you and read when convenient. E-books come in different formats, depending on which device they will be read

Origin & Evolution of E-books:

The first printing press with movable type that was invented in 1450 by Johannes Gutenberg revolutionized the printing process by making it simpler and more affordable. Although the first hypertext novel was published in 1987 (Afternoon, A Story by Michael Joyce), electronic books did not capture the public attention until the online publication of Stephen King’s novella Riding the Bullet in March 2000. Within 24 hours, the text had been downloaded by 400,000 computer users.

The modern concept of e-books became common after Martin Eberhart and Jim Sachs both started their own companies and developed Rocket eBook and SoftBook, the first two handheld e-book reading devices. In 1999, nowadays, there is an increasing interest in the use of e-books and other forms of online documentation to disseminate information and provide global access to it.

Role of E-books:

E-books are preferred by the users for their features like portability, upgradeability, note making, citation, changeable font size, references, links to other relevant sites, searching, etc. The libraries purchase the e-books and view them on monitor or some specific e-book readers.

  • E-books can also be circulated as printed books.
  • Their portability gives a new chance of learning, eg., Distance learning.
  • Can be carried and transferred anywhere.
  • Their feature like changeable font size makes it easy for use.
  • Searchable and navigable through links are provided.

Types of E-Book:

There are different types of e-books available in the market. Some of the  types are explained in this paper:

  • Downloadable e-Book: The contents of e-book are available on a website for downloading to the user’s PC. The users do not have to purchase any special reading device and can employ standard and well-known web techniques to obtain the book.
  • Dedicated e-Books: The contents of the books are downloadable to a dedicated hardware device; this has a high quality screen and a special capability for book reading. Much of the activities of dedicated e-book arena centers around the emergence of dedicated e-book reader’s hardware devices specially built and designed to improve the reading experience and they incorporate special control to make book reading easy and simple. There is no need for PC or Internet access facilities, because the readers incorporate modems that dial directly into the e- book publisher’s server to download books.
  • Web accessible e-Books: The book remains on the providers’ web site and can be accessed on a fee basis. Readers can purchase the books to receive indefinite access. Users require PC to access this kind of e-book.
  • Print-on-Demand Book: The content of a book is stored in a system connected to a high speed, high quality printer from which printed and bound copies are produced on demand. The contents may be accessible chapter by chapter basis, to enable the creation of single copies of customized books.

Limitation of E-Book:

Though the e-book has great potential and bright future to attract the users it also have some limitations.

  • Physical and Mental Strain: to read an e-book is not comfortable in comparison with printed book.
  • Reading an e-book while traveling in train or bus is not so easy and cheaper comparison with printed books. Laptop or Palm top with battery system is urgently necessary to read an e-book, which is more costly than a book.
  • In addition to cost, the user has to carry the machine which is difficult and a matter of risk like breakage / damage or theft.
  • E-book is costlier than printed book.

Benefits of E-Book:

  • Single platform for users to access all our e-Content, with a simple, easy-to-use interface.
  • Anytime, anywhere access.
  • Supports your users in a variety of ways—provides access to content through Web site and downloads to portable digital devices, when possible.
  • Trusted content from the world’s leading publishers—known for comprehensiveness, quality and desirability.
  • Automatic check in; no shelving; no lost, stolen, damaged or overdue material.
  • Robust reporting facilitates collection development decisions.

Features of E-books:

There are some valuable feature to give preference for e-books such as updated citation, references, connectivity to other sites, easiest searching, and so on. The features of e-books are as follows:

  • Multiple formats: eAudiobooks, eBooks, eJournals, eMagazines and eDatabases.
  • Multiple languages: English, Chinese, French, Spanish.
  • Remote authentication accessibility; materials are available inside and outside library, 24/7.
  • Collection development tools such as TitleSelect, TitleDirect, Patron-Driven Acquisition, Library Resource Center and more.
  • Full-level OCLC MARC cataloging records included.
  • Search functionality within and across all NetLibrary content
  • Able to circulate like printed books.
  • Provision for distance learning.
  • Able to transferred and carry easily.
  • Ability to change font size also motivates the users.

  • Reference Article: Velumani, K. V. (2013). An investigation in to the impact of e resources in modern Library and Information Centers.

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