Document Type


Publication Title

Collection Management

Publication Date



ebooks, textbook affordability, assigned texts, metrics and assessment


Many academic libraries have historically limited textbook purchases. Given recent calls to support expanded online education programs and textbook affordability initiatives, however, many academic libraries have changed course to invest considerable amounts of money to license electronic books (e-books) that are assigned in courses. This study explores the value of these materials by leveraging commonly used evaluative methods, such as benefit-cost ratio and usage statistics, as well as novel criteria, including a quality analysis using Resources for College Libraries (RCL) and an analysis of the persistence of assigned titles across semesters. The findings suggest that assigned e-books are a wise investment of library funds within the authors’ institutional context. By investigating value from diverse perspectives, the authors assert the importance of approaching such a complex question with multimodal and inclusive methods.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Collection Management on May 4, 2022, online at:



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