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Assessing an e‐reader lending program: from pilot to mainstream service

Susan Goodwin (Instructional Services Department, Texas A&M University Libraries, College Station, Texas, USA)
Suzanne Shurtz (Medical Sciences Library, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)
Adriana Gonzalez (Research Services, Texas A&M University Libraries, College Station, Texas, USA)
Dennis Clark (James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries, Richmond, Virginia, USA)

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Article publication date: 3 February 2012

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess user preferences and perceptions of Texas A&M University Libraries' Kindle e‐book reader lending program, to determine if current lending practices and procedures adequately satisfy user needs.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was administered to library patrons who participated in the first full semester of the e‐reader lending program. Of the 63 individuals who borrowed a Kindle, 52 answered the 13‐question survey designed to elicit their feedback about their experiences borrowing and subsequently using a Kindle to read their requested e‐books. The format of the survey was varied, and included objective and short‐answer questions. When possible, responses included a five‐point Likert scale.

Findings

Analysis of the survey results indicates overall interest and support for the Libraries' e‐reader lending program. Participants mainly utilized Kindles to read popular titles, indicating that the lending program has found a niche within the Libraries' suite of media borrowing services to support leisure reading. Furthermore, from a collection development standpoint, the user‐driven acquisition policy for Kindle titles has served as an extension and virtual enhancement of the popular bestseller print collection.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first qualitative research reports on patron perceptions of an academic library e‐reader lending program. This study is likely to be of practical interest to academic librarians who are in the process of developing similar lending programs.

Keywords

Citation

Goodwin, S., Shurtz, S., Gonzalez, A. and Clark, D. (2012), "Assessing an e‐reader lending program: from pilot to mainstream service", Library Review, Vol. 61 No. 1, pp. 8-17. https://doi.org/10.1108/00242531211207389

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited