Pandemic drives home need for online libraries

Eoin Molloy (Content Editor) Ireland

September 7, 2020

The main transformative effect of the coronavirus pandemic has been to accelerate the move towards many businesses and firms embracing and implementing flexible working practices – chief amongst these being more staff working from home than ever before.

Previously seen as somewhat of a luxury, working from home has now become the only way to conduct business for many firms and indeed, 3 out of 5 businesses are now considering making remote working a permanent fixture.

For professions like law or accountancy, where research is an integral part of the everyday tasks of employees, it has been imperative that firms set their personnel up with the correct resources. This is a means of ensuring that employees are provided with comparable levels of technological support compared to those they would have at their disposal if they were physically present in the office.

It was for this reason that we at Bloomsbury Professional Ireland decided to survey our customers who had previously purchased hard copies of our books, to gauge the general perception of online resources versus more traditional, hard copy books.

The results were overwhelmingly positive. We discovered that 72% of respondents preferred to use online resources or a mix of hard copy and online, versus hard copy alone. 70% of respondents also noted that there is currently more demand for online resources.

Moreover, of those who had already purchased a subscription to some form of online resource, only 5% noted that their online resources had been negatively impacted by the changes incurred by the pandemic.

Our last question asked respondents whether they believed that ‘a well-stocked library is a mix of both online and digital resources.’ 75% of respondents agreed with this statement, showing that the trend towards the digitisation of learning and research will continue beyond the coronavirus pandemic.

In response to this, we have taken a number of measures including: increasing the content on our online services, extending the length of our trials and indeed, and processing requests for free trials faster than ever before. Bloomsbury Professional Online (‘BPrO’) is divided into eight separate practice areas, including: Civil Litigation; Company Law; Irish Tax; Property Law; and so on.

For those interested in taking an extended free trial of any of our online services, please contact sean.oneill@bloomsbury.com. If anyone is interested in viewing the full PDF of our first customer survey upon which this report has been based, please email: bpireland@bloomsbury.com.


Note: This article first appeared in the June edition of Accountancy Ireland’s Briefly publication.