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A survey of e-book awareness and usage amongst students in an academic library

Abdullah, N. and Gibb, F. (2006) A survey of e-book awareness and usage amongst students in an academic library. In: Proceedings of International Conference of Multidisciplinary Information Sciences and Technologies, Merida, 25-28 October, 2006, 2006-10-25 - 2006-10-28.

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This paper reports on an online survey of e-book awareness and usage level in a British academic library. The main objectives of this survey were to: (a) assess students' awareness of the availability of e-books in their academic library; (b) measure the level of e-book usage among the students; and (c) identify the reasons why students do or don't use e-books. A self-selected sampling method was employed to generate a sample of students consisting of undergraduate and postgraduate instructional students registered with the University of Strathclyde for academic year 2005/6. An announcement email was posted to the student web portal for a period of three weeks inviting them to participate in the survey. A total of 1372 of responses were returned representing just under 10% response rate. In general, this survey found that e-book awareness was low as was the level of e-book usage amongst the students: 57% of students were not aware of the availability of e-books from the library and 60% of them had not used an e-book. Non-users commented that e-books were not widely advertised or promoted which has most probably contributed to this lack of awareness and non usage. Despite the low levels of e-book awareness and usage, non e-book users indicated their desire to learn more about e-books.