Academic libraries have many options when it comes to adding e-books to their digital library including subscriptions, DDA/PDA, CAM, perpetual purchase and short-term loan. Some models require librarians to take into consideration how many users can have access the e-books since vendors usually offer 1 user, 3 users or unlimited users models and the pricing can vary by model. According to the Impact of Academic Libraries on Student Success: Survey Report 2023, 77% of libraries feel “strongly” or “very strongly” that collection development budgets have an impact on student success. So how can libraries continue to add a large volume of content at an affordable price? Subscriptions are a great option. Let's explore some benefits.

Are e-book subscription collections the right acquisition model for your library? Here are three key benefits:

1. Content – subscriptions contain large selections of popular e-books in multiple, high-interest subject areas that add a strong layer of foundational content essential to course curricula and research. And in most cases, additional e-books are added throughout the year at no extra cost.

2. Access – subscriptions employ the unlimited user model. Librarians prefer unlimited user access with their e-book purchases to reduce turnaways and provide access to all students.

3. Pricing – the cost of subscriptions is well below the cost of purchasing perpetual access to all the e-books available under the subscription. It’s a great way to offer a large amount of discoverable content at a low per title cost.

If your library is looking to maximize your budget by adding large amounts of scholarly e-books, with unlimited user access from leading publishers then subscriptions are a great choice. But since not all vendors use the same practices when managing subscriptions including notifying librarians when e-books are added or removed, using filler content (maps, global media, deep backlist, etc.) and including frontlist publication dates that don’t match the MARC record dates, it’s worth taking the time to select an e-book subscription vendor whose policies and practices align with the goals and needs of your library.

EBSCO offers dozens of subscriptions covering a wide range of topics. Some popular options include:

New! E-Books That Change the Way Students Learn

In Collaboration with Sage PublishingEBSCO eBooks is proud to offer four new subscription collections that contain high-quality e-books for academic and nursing students. These are not your average collections of e-books and offer unique options for students looking for textbooks alternatives, quick reads covering essential topics and unrestricted access to 60 essential nursing textbooks. Contact your local EBSCO representative to order or request information here.