November 30, 2022

Ebook Marketplace Q&A: John Williams, Follett Library Resources & BWI

As part of our preparation for the Ebook Summit,The Digital Shift is featuring a series of interviews with leaders from major ebook vendors in the library space.

This week we talk with John Williams, Director of Digital Products, Follett Library Resources & BWI about libraries, ebooks and their signature K-12 eContent delivered via  FollettShelf .

1. How long do you think it will take for libraries’ e-book collections to outpace print book collections? (If ever…)

It’s always tough to predict the future when it comes to technology, but we believe it will take about 5 years or so before mobile devices are available to the majority of students. At that point we anticipate that eBook purchases will begin to outpace print purchases. However, in the long term we feel that print books purchases will remain strong as educators determine how best to utilize both print and eBooks to meet the varying learning styles of their students.

2. What role do you foresee for libraries in the digital book world?

Libraries will be transformed into the digital hub of the school. The management of digital resources requires a selection and evaluation process by a professional who’s involved with integrating technology into teaching and learning.  We see examples of this change underway in lots of libraries today.

3. What do you predict will be the next big disruption/innovation to impact the ebook landscape? (Give it your best shot…)

A tablet device that sells for under $200 and has a 6G data plan that schools can afford.

4. How does your company’s digital strategy reflect these understandings?

Our company is focused on providing schools with the widest selection of K-12 eContent along with comprehensive management tools that drive eContent usage in order to support student achievement.  It’s what we do today, and we are in the process of expanding our portfolio to meet the expected increasing digital demand in the future.

Ebooks: The New Normal is a one-day virtual conference on ebooks and their role in the future of libraries, presented by Library Journal and School Library Journal. For more information:

Barbara Genco About Barbara Genco

After a long career in collection management at Brooklyn Public Library, and a decade as their Director of Collection Development, Barbara Genco joined Library Journal in fall 2009 as Editor, Collection Management. Follow her on Twitter @BarbaraAGenco.