22 Feb 2012

Checking Out and Returning

Author: Amanda Flowers | Filed under: BGSU, Local stories, Localizing story, Spring 2012, Student Contributor


The Kindle can contain many books without the worry of the weight of books.

Bowling Green State University students have several choices to select from when deciding to buy or borrow books.   A student can choose hard copy books or e-books, reserve books from the library, or purchase books from the bookstore.   Libraries are working to be more tablet-friendly by putting a larger number of e-books on their “shelves” that tablet owners can “check out” and/or read for free. 

The Jerome Library, on the BGSU campus, has a variety of e-journals that students can borrow which will allow them to read articles on their own tablets. 

Students have taken an interest in using tablets.  Librarians have seen an increase in questions regarding the use of e-books, said Will Harbauer, assistant librarian at the Jerome Library.    

The use of e-books and tablets is becoming more popular for librarian patrons.  A patron can now check out several books at one time, permitting them to have a number of books in their possession all at the same time.

According to YUDU Media, a digital publishing company, e-books experienced a large usage growth during 2011.  The increase tremendously affected the book publishing industry.

This usage increase shows a trend in patrons buying e-books and using tablets.  Many more publishers and writers are going the e-book route, but they will continue to publish hard copy books for patrons who still prefer the original hard copy books.

In 2011, the BGSU Bookstore experienced an increase in students buying e-books as tablets had become popular.  During the 2011-12 academic year, there was not much of an increase in sales.  It seems like e-book convenience has hit a plateau with students.  The popularity of e-books and tablets being used has diminished, said Joey Hessling, an employee at the BGSU Bookstore.

There are several advantages to e-book usage.  The major advantage is the convenience afforded to the patron when books are directly downloaded from a library.  Plus, the patron does not have to physically return to the library when the book is due, said Allison Lohse, an avid reader and student at BGSU.

There are also advantages to keeping hard copy books in the library.  Some patrons still prefer having a book in their hands while reading and also, not everybody has access to a tablet.

Even though Lohse knows the advantages to using an e-book, she still prefers hard copy books.  “I like having an actually book to hold. I know it sounds weird, but I like turning the pages and being able to flip back and re-read sections of the book,” Lohse said.  “I have just always loved books.  So for me, it makes sense to continue to read hard copy books because that is what I am used to.”

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