Electronic Book Usage: A Survey at the University of Denver

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Academic libraries, Collection management, E-books, User studies

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University Libraries


In the spring of 2005, the University of Denver's Penrose Library conducted a survey of its users to determine their degree of awareness of electronic books, how and why they use them, and their level of satisfaction with the format. It is clear from vendor-supplied usage statistics that electronic books are used, but it is not clear how or why they are used. The survey addressed electronic books in general and netLibrary specifically. Survey results show that e-books are used by about half of the campus community. Of these users, most utilize them only occasionally. These e-book users like the convenience of being able to access materials from home and the ability to search within the text. Most respondents read only small portions of e-books, suggesting perhaps that print volumes are a better alternative for immersion in the text. Most respondents (over 60 percent) indicate a preference for print books over electronic, but an even larger number (over 80 percent) indicate a degree of flexibility between the two formats. Respondents are generally pleased with the e-book format.

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