Last summer, during a family trip to Yellowstone National Park, my nine year-old son asked how high the water from Old Faithful was spraying and why it was so hot and steamy. Armed with my smartphone and the Concise Encyclopedia Britannica app, I was able to touch, search, and give him the answers: 160 feet and magma. Did I need an e-book app on a mobile device to answer these questions for him? Probably not. A signpost or park ranger could have informed me, but the beauty lies in how I easily found the information at 7,359 feet in a remote area of Wyoming. That’s why, when people ask me why they should invest in e-books, I respond with “24/7 access anywhere and no shelf required.” E-books allow libraries to provide connections to content at the user’s point of need, anywhere, day or night. This anytime access as well as just-in-time content, support for virtual reference, content sharing, and a future of opportunity are just some of the ways ebooks improve library service.
(2011). E-Factor: How E-books Are Making an Impact in Libraries. Booklist.