Thursday, August 27, 2009

First thoughts on: Abdullah & Gibb, Students' attitudes towards e-books in a Scottish higher education institution: part 1

Library Review 57.8 (August 2008): p593-605. doi: 10.1108/00242530810899577 (University of Illinois Access)

Why should you read this: Well written- concise and informative. A must read for people interested in academic e-book use.

At a glance [and my thoughts]:

Analysis of a self selected survey of 1,372 students (from a target population of 13,568), 90%undergrad and 10% grad in responses, to ascertain student awareness of, level of use of, and methods of use of e-books; as well as the reason students choose to use (or not to use) e-books.

72 percent familiar with the term e-book, 60% had never used an e-book, 57% didn't know the library had e-books. [Issue of awareness possibly, but also possibly that people don't yet think of the e-book as the default go-to format when they need a book]

Most popular e-book format: computer based ebook (92%) [versus reading on a dedicated device like a Kindle]

Most common type of text read: textbook (42 %)

Most popular reading methods: on screen: 67%, printed out 25%

Most frequent reasons for e-book using: research for a project, essay, etc.\

Least frequent: leisure reading

Most common reason for using e-books: freely available (from the library), followed y "no equivalent print book available"

Reason for not using: top answers - unaware of them (34.4%) and prefer print (21.7). [However, this was followed by several other categories which I really think are subsets of "prefer print," bringing prefer print up to 51.7%, making it the most common reason for not using e-books… the e-book isn't yet enough like the printed book to attract many people yet?]

Interesting quote: "On the negative side, apart from the much repeated comment that reading on screen for extended periods was uncomfortable and hence printed books were preferred, students commented that e-book provision in their library was limited in terms of viewing times and print quotas…copy and print policies… should be reviewed… to promote more usage of e-books" pg 603