The purpose of this paper is to compare the usage patterns of e-books among the students of social, agricultural, and engineering sciences; demonstrate how e-books are used by students for various purposes; explore the main reasons for using e-books; and uncover the major issues being encountered by students while using e-books in Pakistani Universities.
During May to July 2014, a convenient sample technique was adopted, and a close-ended questionnaire was used as a survey tool for 300 graduates (BSc honor) and postgraduate (masters and MS) students in the age group of 21-60 years. In this study, the respondents’ gender, age, educational level and major disciplines were individual contextual variables. The data collection process was successfully completed with a 100 per cent response rate. SPSS-19 was utilized for testing the reliability of the instrument, as well as descriptive and inferential statistics (Chi-square test).
The results show that the adoption of e-books has reached a level where they have become an integral component of academic library services. The results of this study verify the previous findings that the students are relying on e-book adoption for various academic and research purposes. Comparatively, male students, postgraduate students and those between the ages of 21 and 40 years are more frequently e-book users. In addition, the percentage of e-book readership among engineering students on a “daily basis” is greater than the students of agricultural and social sciences. They prefer reading e-books because of the following reasons: to support research endeavors and improve academic performance; and the e-format is quick to read and easy to manage. Insufficient e-contents, lack of personal computers and the variety of e-book formats are the major constraints in the effective utilization of e-books for learning, education and research needs. The study has concluded that e-books have a key role in the set-up of academic libraries and information resources in Pakistan, though further development of e-book readership capabilities and building of e-book collections are required to support users’ needs, and a parallel investigation into their most effective usage is also required.
This empirical research is a first and unique study that systematically and quantitatively compares the relationship between respondents’ e-books usage with their individual contextual variables in the perspective of academic libraries in Pakistan.
Khan, A., Bhatti, R. and Khan, A. (2016), "E-books usage by agricultural, engineering and social science students in selected universities of Pakistan: An empirical assessment", The Electronic Library, Vol. 34 No. 6, pp. 958-973. https://doi.org/10.1108/EL-08-2015-0163Download as .RIS
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