Congratulations to Hope student, Brityn Thackham, for winning an iPad from ebrary! Out of over 6,500 students worldwide, she was the one survey respondent who won the drawing!
ebrary, one of our e-Book vendors, sent an email to academic librarians asking us to forward an invitation to students to participate in the survey about their perceptions of e-Books.
The results of the same survey conducted in 2008 were useful to librarians trying to determine what to do about e-Books. Would e-Books meet students research needs? Would students use them? Particularly in the economic downturn, we wanted to know if it would be cost effective to buy, lease, or subscribe to e-Books for our students. Are they considered as good or better than printed materials? Do students trust them?
Of course, it would be in ebrary's best interest to discover that students prefer e-Books, and that they like to use the kinds of features that ebrary offers. But, the results were not so conclusive.
This year's survey was completed in October and is being compared to the results from three years ago. A full report is scheduled for release in January, 2012. However, some early "key findings" reported in an ebrary press release are as follows:
- E-Book usage and awareness have not increased significantly in 2011 over 2008.
- Preference for printed books over electronic books has not changed. Both are still equally important.
- The vast majority of students would choose electronic over print if it were available and if better tools along with fewer restrictions were offered.
- There is a need for reliable social media tools geared toward research.
Here at the Darling Library, we have nearly as many e-Books in the catalog as we do printed books on the shelves. Do our students prefer one over the other? We do not have that data as yet. However, I would venture a guess that, based on the number of students who have expressed to me their shock and dismay that the library is closed for the entire week of Thanksgiving (when no classes are being held), our students still rely heavily on printed books. As I mentioned in previous posts, publishers of books particularly geared for biblical exegesis have not made their works available for libraries to provide in e-Book format.
Until they do, the library will have to re-think our policy of closing the doors when no classes are meeting.
P.S. I hope Brityn will show us her prize when it arrives!