Spurred on by the rapid pace of technological development, a new breed of highly interactive e-books has arisen. Ironically, the same rapid pace of development makes preserving these e-books a near-impossible task for libraries. Although libraries have extensive experience with print preservation, many hardware and software variables combine to make preservation of e-books a much different undertaking. Even technically oriented preservation projects with images, audio, video, and born-digital content do not translate into the experience needed to preserve interactive e-books. In considering libraries’ preservation experiences, there is a decided gap in expertise that leaves these digital objects vulnerable to obsolescence. The level of commitment and resources required to effectively preserve interactive e-books over the long term is impractical for most libraries. Instead, a new level of engagement with content providers coupled with more encompassing adoption of emerging e-book standards offers perhaps the best opportunity for preservation. These items offer unique user interfaces, artwork, and other elements that make them worth saving. They have value now as digital objects in their own right, and they will offer future researchers insight into the evolution of e-books—if they can be preserved.
|Keywords:||e-Books, Digital Preservation, Libraries|
Head of Library Information Technology, Library Information Technology, University of Mississippi, University, MS, USA
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