Over the past year PCG's content sales team has seen a sharp uptick in e-book interest among libraries, especially in North America. From feedback received at conferences, on sales visits, and over the phone, it appears that the e-book market is rapidly maturing after a long incubation and countless false alarms. Announcements like the Stanford Engineering Library's move to e(book)-only format are telling reinforcements of this impression. From an article in TechNewsDaily:
Five years ago the library housed 80,000 engineering books and was quickly running out of space. Since then, the librarians have decreased that number by 85 percent, down to only 10,000 books. Librarians decided which books to keep by looking at how frequently they were checked out. Most of them hadn't been checked out in five years. That in turn has created quite an interesting phenomenon: a library with no books on many shelves.
But of course this clearing-out was only made possible by the abundant access to e-books.
Library chief Helen Josephine says that students traditionally had to search through multiple volumes of books to find a formula they needed.
"With books being digitized and available through full text search capabilities, they can find that formula quite easily," Josephine told NPR.
Other pieces about the "bookless library" here and here.