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Electronic Books at Alfred University: A Survey of Patron Attitudes and Use SUNYLA 2013 Ellen Bahr, Information Systems Librarian, Herrick Library Fang.

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Presentation on theme: "Electronic Books at Alfred University: A Survey of Patron Attitudes and Use SUNYLA 2013 Ellen Bahr, Information Systems Librarian, Herrick Library Fang."— Presentation transcript:

1 Electronic Books at Alfred University: A Survey of Patron Attitudes and Use SUNYLA 2013 Ellen Bahr, Information Systems Librarian, Herrick Library Fang Wan, Emerging Technologies/Engineering Librarian, Scholes Library Brian Sullivan, Information Literacy Librarian, Herrick Library Image:

2 Organization of presentation Survey background– Ellen Survey results – Fang Implications – Brian Discussion – All Image: Wikimedia Commons (Alfred Hitchcock, Lifeboat, 1944)

3 About Alfred University A small, comprehensive university in Western New York ~2,000 undergrads, ~400 grads Herrick Memorial Library serves: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences College of Professional Studies Scholes Library serves: New York State College of Ceramics (art and engineering)

4 Declining emphasis on print collections Reductions in librarian staffing Flat materials budgets More distance education programs Decline in circulation Trend towards just-in-time collections New potential uses for library space Image: Herrick Library

5 Alfred libraries acquisitions,

6 Increasing ebook offerings ebrary Academic Complete (~90,000 titles) ebrary PDA (~35,000 titles) eBooks on EBSCOhost (~10,000 titles) ebooks via database subscriptions Public domain books from the Internet Archive, HathiTrust, Project Gutenberg, etc.

7 Testing the waters…. Ebook survey: Administered in March 2013 Population size= 1207 Completed surveys = % response rate Image: massdistraction

8 What our patrons say… Images: SpiritFire “I do not like to use ebooks unless I have to. I don’t think anything can replace the simple pleasure of turning pages, of old book smell, of just holding a print book and reading it.“

9 What our patrons say… “I am a bibliophile who loves the physical feel of the book, but the super convenience of ebooks has converted me almost completely. They allow me to do research anywhere.” Images: CollegeDegrees360

10 What our patrons say… “Ebooks have advantages that traditional books will never be able to surpass, such as easy access and quick searching. I think the AU libraries should move faster to adopt the electronic format.” Images: Ars Electronica

11 Survey Results

12 Current use of ebooks Devices Most of the participants own or will purchase devices on which they can read ebooks. Cell phone Smart phone Desktop Laptop eReaderTablet None Q. Which of the following items do you currently own?

13 Current use of ebooks Access High rate (51%) of participants don’t know they have access to ebooks through AU libraries YesNo Undergraduate Student55%45% Graduate student56%44% Faculty44%56% Q. Did you know before taking this survey that you have access to e-books through the Alfred University libraries?

14 Current use of ebooks Overall use of ebooks 62% undergrads, 75% grads, 72% faculty used ebooks before 29% of all have never used an e-book Q. Have you ever used an ebook?

15 Ebooks Vs. Print books Prefer print books In-depth or leisure reading Textbooks (71%) Scholarly books (56%) Entire book (62%) Fiction (52%) Prefer ebooks Fragmental or quick reading Short passages from books (45%)

16 Difficulty of using ebooks Computer technology Habit of reading books in paper A.I prefer print books B.I don’t know how to use an ebook C.I don’t know where to access an ebook D.I don’t own or have access to an ebook E.The books I want to read are generally available only in print F.Other Q. Please indicate your reasons for not using ebooks ABCDEF

17 What do patrons want from ebooks? Important features of ebooks Tier 1: Search within full text(73%), Print portions of the book (60%), Download chapters(54%), Highlight & Annotate (54%). Tier 2: Access (through search engine, library website, etc) (45%), Read on mobile device(32%)

18 Format of library collection?  Will patrons be happy using a library with ONLY ebooks, or ONLY print books, or a combination?

19 Predicting the Future

20

21 In 5 years, I expect that I will use…

22 Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Scenarios for the Future of the Book David J. Staley, May Consensus Ebooks make print books obsolete Nostalgic Print books remain in high demand; ebooks prove to be a fad/niche Privatization of the Book Ebooks dominate; print books become a niche for collectors Printed Books Thrive Ebooks and print books exist in balance and have equal importance

23 Most likely scenario

24 10,000 Maniacs vs. Rolling Stones “You can't always get what you want But if you try sometimes well you might find You get what you need” You Can’t Always Get What You Want, 1969 “Hey, give ‘em what they want” Candy Everybody Wants, 1992

25 Complex calculus of book acquisitions Not just 1:1 Trade-off Distance Education

26 To investigate further Faculty opinions about student access Past, future, and format Web-based versus downloadable e-books

27 Image credits

28 THANK YOU Questions?


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