Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Student with purchased ebook (textbook) on own laptop and inability to print in library

Monday I helped a student at the reference desk who had purchased and downloaded on his own laptop the ebook version of the textbook Small Business Management for an entrepreneurship class. He wanted to print some pages from it, while here in the library, which he was uable to do. Due to the restrictions on downloading the book, he could not send the pages he wanted to print to his email and print using the student printing account. This was the first time I had encountered a student using an ebook textbook for a class. We do have a print copy of the book on reserve but the student did not want to pay for photocopying what he thought he would be able to print (from his laptop.)

The student told me that he purchased the ebook from ichapters. I checked and the hard copy price is $149.99 from the publisher, which offers an ebook version for $88.49, which ichapters does also.

With a $60 price difference, I imagine that in the future more students will have ebooks as their textbooks. Perhaps the ability to print might vary with the restrictions for each ebook. Perhaps this is an issue that might be considered from both technical and student use aspects, as well as the cost of the textbooks.

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