A study on student and staff awareness, acceptance and usage of e-books at two Queensland universities

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Copyright 2009 [the authors]
Aims: Previous research on e-books has generally focused on business models and content delivery. This Queensland University Librarians Office of Cooperation (QULOC) investigation aims to verify the quantitative and qualitative aspects of client awareness (or non-awareness), acceptance (or non-acceptance), usage (or non-use) and usage patterns of electronic books amongst students and staff at selected local universities. Results will be used to inform library marketing, information literacy and collection development priorities.----- Methods: Griffith University and University of Southern Queensland developed and made available online surveys via the institutions’ library web sites and catalogues. Print versions of the survey were also distributed in libraries. Various e-book publishers were approached to provide deep log usage statistics. Responses to multiple choice and textual responses were quantitatively and qualitatively analysed.----- Results: Over 2,200 students and staff responded and survey responses indicated a high level of awareness of e-books amongst both staff and students, but relatively low usage, with the library catalogue being the major access point. Both students and staff generally liked e-books and many had used e-books in their subject area, but not within the context of course resources. Most preferred the library to purchase books in both print and electronic format with 24x7 access and e-book database searching being the most popular reasons for liking e-books, while difficulty in reading from the screen for extended periods of time was the main reason for disliking e-books. Few would read an entire e-book on the screen and printing before reading was common. Usage log statistics from sample publishers were used to verify findings.----- Conclusion: This abstract will be updated in May 2008. Quantitative and qualitative results will be used to verify students and staff awareness, acceptance and usage of e-books and expected differences between students and staff, age groups and subjects.
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Borchert, Martin
Tittle, Clare
Hunter, Alison
Macdonald, Debby
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Conference Paper
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UNSW Faculty