Students’ Reactions towards E-books in an University Library Collection

By Noorhidawati Abdullah and Forbes Gibb.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper reports on a study of e-book usage amongst students with an university library collection. The main objectives of this study were to: (i) investigate how easy or difficult students found it to use e-books by giving them the opportunity to interact with e-books in an operational environment; (ii) determine whether any differences existed in ease of use ratings between students that had and had not used an e-book before the survey; (iii) investigate which e-book features users valued in terms of shelf browsing and content browsing; (iv) measure students’ preferences between e-books or printed books given several scenarios; (v) establish whether any differences existed in terms of book format preferences between students that had and had not used an e-book before the survey; (vi) explore students’ perceptions and impressions regarding specific features, such as browsable and searchable book indexes and table of contents, in an online library catalogue. The respondents were selected using a systematic random approach from a list of respondents from a previous web survey who had agreed beforehand to participate in this study. A total of 18 participants consisting of undergraduate and postgraduate instructional students completed the study. The findings indicated that in general students found that interacting with e-books in the collection was very easy. Students indicated that their preferred book formats varied depending on the context. In general students were positive about incorporating certain additional e-book features into an online library catalogue. Despite their positive reactions and attitudes towards e-books, students commented that e-books needed to be promoted more strongly and that there were limitations with respect to their use.

Keywords: E-book, Electronic Book, University Library

The International Journal of the Book, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.107-112. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 972.815KB).

Dr Noorhidawati Abdullah

Research Student, Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Strathclyde, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Noorhidawati is currently a final year PhD student in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. She is a computer science graduate from the Universiti Kebangsaan of Malaysia and her research interests are in e-books, digital libraries and e-learning.

Prof. Forbes Gibb

Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Strathclyde, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Forbes Gibb is Professor of Information Science in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. He has been involved in several EU projects in the field of information retrieval and digital libraries including SIMPR, STAMP, AUTOSOFT, MIND and DELOS. His research interests are in e-books, digital libraries, information strategy and business continuity.

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