PURPOSE : The purpose of this paper is to explore the challenges faced by national libraries regarding the legal deposit of electronic books, and to make recommendations for issues to consider – especially with regard to developing, planning and implementing.
DESIGN / METHODOLOGY / APPROACH : Literature published from 2000 to 2014 on legal deposit of electronic publications was examined. Key databases covering library and information science were searched, and case studies, general reviews, research papers/reports and view point articles were considered.
FINDINGS : National libraries embarking on projects on legal deposit of electronic books need to consider the collection, preservation and accessibility of the legal deposit collection. They face
challenges regarding legal deposit legislation and institutional policy, legal considerations such as copyright, environmental factors, established mechanisms for deposit, information retrieval and
access, preservation, human resources, financial implications and trust. Further research and continued monitoring of issues of concern and changes are required due to technological developments
and the obsolescence of technology. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS : The review raises awareness of issues that need to be considered by
national libraries and other repositories to manage the legal deposit of electronic books in their institutions. ORIGINALITY / VALUE : The review can serve as a guide for nations (particularly in developing countries) to embark on the legal deposit of electronic publications, specifically electronic books.