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In transition: academic e-book reading in an institution without e-books

Irene Lopatovska (School of Information and Library Science, Pratt Institute, New York, New York, USA)
Aimee Slater (School of Information and Library Science, Pratt Institute, New York, New York, USA)
Caitlin Bronner (School of Information and Library Science, Pratt Institute, New York, New York, USA)
Houda El Mimouni (School of Information and Library Science, Pratt Institute, New York, New York, USA)
Leanora Lange (Archival Services, Center for Jewish History, New York, New York, USA)
Victoria Ludas Orlofsky (Samuel C. Williams Library, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey, USA)

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Article publication date: 1 July 2014

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report the results of a study that examined the ways in which graduate-level library and information science students make use of e-books and e-readers at an institution that does not offer e-books through its library. The paper can be used as a case study in the adoption of emerging technology.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used three research methods – a survey, focus groups and interviews – to investigate library and information science students’ reading habits and preferences.

Findings

The findings suggest that despite the barriers of access and usability, the students have generally incorporated e-books into their academic routines. The results also suggest the factors that contribute to reader preferences for e-book technology.

Research limitations/implications

The study sample was limited to one academic institution without e-book collection.

Originality/value

The article presents one of the very few studies that examine e-book reading of an academic population that does not currently have access to e-books through their academic library. Understanding the ways in which such a population accesses, uses and values e-books would help many academic libraries make decisions with regard to the selection, integration and marketing of e-books. Additionally, such a study could serve as the basis of a case study that seeks to understand the ways in which people who do not have ready access to technology through their institutions find ways to work around that obstacle.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the study participants for their time and valuable contribution. They also thank Davis Erin Anderson, Emily Decker, Amy Laughlin, Julia Marden and Teresa Silva for their work on the project.

Citation

Lopatovska, I., Slater, A., Bronner, C., El Mimouni, H., Lange, L. and Ludas Orlofsky, V. (2014), "In transition: academic e-book reading in an institution without e-books", Library Review, Vol. 63 No. 4/5, pp. 261-275. https://doi.org/10.1108/LR-12-2013-0163

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited