Multidisciplinary ebook collections handout

Multidisciplinary ebook collections handout

::ALA Annual 2018 New Orleans
::ACRL European Studies Section Germanist and Romance Discussion Groups
::June 24, 2018
::Foreign-language eBooks in Multidisciplinary Collections

Many multidisciplinary eBook packages, such as those offered by JSTOR, Project MUSE, EBSCO, and ProQuest, contain foreign-language content. These titles are usually overwhelmingly in the minority, but they present intellectual and accessibility challenges to librarians engaged in the development of non-English collections:


  • When evaluating an eBook package, is the presence of a significant number of non-English titles a pro or a con to acquiring the package?
  • Does the population of students and researchers engaged in work using resources not in English justify the purchase?
  • Does the subject of the non-English titles matter?


  • Are some languages better-represented than others?
  • How can librarians understand which languages are most used on their campuses, from a research perspective?
  • How does the potential role of the academic library as a portal to non-scholarly, recreational content inform this discussion?


  • Non-English research collections are typically print-heavy because of tradition, ease of finding eBooks, and historical preferences of many faculty members in departments where much of this research is done.
  • Does the foreign-language eBook have a place in this discussion?
  • What are some of its advantages?
  • Accessibility for students, note-taking function, serendipitous discovery in larger packages

Submitted by Kathleen Kasten, Stony Brook University