Journal use survey results: part I

On Friday I sent out a survey about how members of the UW Radiology community interact with the Templeton Library. Many thanks to the people who have responded already — your feedback is greatly appreciated! There were some excellent suggestions for improvement, so in the interests of transparency, I’ll paraphrase and respond to four of those questions and suggestions below.

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“It would be great to have online access to Academic Radiology.”

Your wish is our command! For some reason, the UW Libraries’ electronic subscription to Academic Radiology doesn’t show up on the Health Sciences Library’s list of ejournals. However, you can still access it through the main library. Just go to http://guides.lib.washington.edu/ejournals and search for “Academic Radiology,” and you’ll find the link straight to the subscription in ClinicalKey. If it’s still not showing up for you, send me a line at radlib[AT]uw[dot edu] and I’ll troubleshoot with you.

“Online journals are available just through the UW Libraries, right? Or are there journals that only the Templeton Library subscribes to?”

That’s correct, online journals are provided solely through the UW Libraries.

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“If there were a way to make the book library electronic, I would prefer that.”

Many of you used to be student workers in libraries, pushing around heavy carts of books and lifting textbooks and encyclopedias over your heads to high shelves. I’ve been there myself (with the paper cuts to prove it), so believe me when I say that as much as I love physical books, ebooks are also a super attractive prospect. And given how often I’ve heard from people who rarely come to UWMC and thus can’t use the Templeton Library’s print collection, I agree that having more ebooks would be a great way to make the Templeton Library more useful to UW Radiology as a whole.

Here’s why we don’t have more ebooks: The ebook prices you see on Amazon apply to only one reader accessing each purchased copy. If you’re a library looking to lease an ebook for multiple sequential readers, that price skyrockets. For example, one book we wanted to purchase was listed at $179.49 for a print copy and $167.99 for a Kindle version, but an electronic library copy would have cost us over $670. (And that’s still just having one user at a time access the book — giving multiple readers concurrent access was off the table. If you’d like to know more about how library ebooks are different from personal ebooks, this blog post from Copyright and Technology covers some basics.)

So I agree — having more ebooks would be fantastic, and I’m definitely hoping that we can expand our ebook collection in the future. But since purchasing more ebooks means purchasing fewer books overall, that means we need to be more intentional about matching ebook purchases to a broad audience of users.

Here are the steps I’m taking to make ebooks more widely available to you:

  1. I’m currently going through Templeton’s print collection, looking for titles that are also available as ebooks through the UW Libraries.
  2. When I’m done, I’ll publicize that list of ebook titles widely. This includes creating Templeton catalog records for those ebooks, so they’ll appear in your search results there. (You can access the ebook list-in-progress here. You’ll note that this is a more specific list than our catch-all list of radiology ebooks, which is here.)
  3. Then I’ll look at the circulation statistics for Templeton books that don’t have ebook equivalents available through the UW Libraries. The most commonly used books will be added to our list of titles we’d like to purchase as ebooks.
  4. To maximize the reach of our book budget and respect the preferences of people who would rather use print books, ideally our future purchases will be a mix of both print books and ebooks.
  5. If you have feedback you’d like to give on this process, or you’d like to see Templeton acquire a certain title as an ebook, please feel free to contact me at radlib[AT]uw[dot edu) — your input is always welcome.

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“Can the library invest more in electronic learning resources (interactive modules, question banks, etc.)?”

Thanks for the suggestion — I agree, that does sound like a great investment. Like the ebook question, the main hurdle here is how to set up a multi-user subscription to those resources, since most of them are formatted for individual use only. Next Thursday morning, I’m meeting with some UW librarians to talk about what would need to happen to set up those subscriptions. I’ll keep you apprised of new developments there, but in the meantime, if there are particular modules you’d like to see the Templeton Library offer, please feel free to let me know, either in the comments below or at radlibATuw[dot edu].

Again, thanks for the time you all took to complete the library’s survey! If you haven’t taken it yet, there’s still time — just check your UW email inbox for the link.

Happy researching!

Rebecca

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Image credits: Device lineup by FirmBee, ereader by kamiel79, woman with questions by Sophieja23.