This article reports research into the perceptions and predictions of academic librarians regarding the future role and development of e-books, and e-book collections and services. A number of recent studies reported in the literature review indicate increasing interest in e-books. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 32 academic librarians, in seven case study libraries. Most interviewees anticipated a significant growth in the size and role of e-book collections in academic libraries over the next five years. The actions and policies of each of the key stakeholder groups, e-book vendors (publishers and aggregators), academic libraries and users are viewed as pivotal to the future use of e-books in universities. The growing importance of e-books will have a number of consequences for academic libraries, in terms of the technologies that they make available to users, the use of library space, user education and staff workload.
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