Could Google Books ruling affect college textbook market?

Stempler said a comprehensive online library would not threaten campus libraries, even if textbooks are published in Google Books.

“Certainly electronic access to books is only going to rise, which I encourage, but I believe the so-called death of the library has been greatly exaggerated,” she said. “It is my opinion that libraries are even more necessary as citadels of credible, authoritative information provided in a consistent, dependable manner.”

A survey released in January by the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) showed that college librarians could remain in demand even if Google’s digital book collection is allowed to expand dramatically.

Three in four college students said they prefer printed textbooks, citing the “feel” of the traditional book and the resale value. Twelve percent of BISG survey respondents said they preferred eBooks.

One-fifth of students said they bought their textbooks online, and 65 percent said they bought their books at a bookstore.

While Chin’s ruling could be a temporary setback for digital publishing, campus technology leaders said they would find new ways to share educational resources among institutions.

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