A consortial ebook initiative offered the CTW Libraries (Connecticut College, Trinity College and Wesleyan University) an opportunity to explore their students’ attitudes and experiences with the libraries’ ebooks.
As part of the ebook pilot evaluation, a group of CTW librarians developed a series of open-ended questions and hands-on tasks to ask undergraduate students on each campus about their understanding, discovery, and use of ebooks. Using these ethnographic techniques, the librarians hoped to learn students’ reactions to various e-books platforms, preferences for “e vs. p”, and how students might go about incorporating ebooks into their research process. Due to differing institutional cultures, the librarians also wanted to see if there were discernible differences in student behavior and attitudes across the three campuses.
Results from these interviews will be discussed, including students’ overall reactions to ebooks, how they find and use ebooks, suggestions to make the ebook experience more user-friendly, and what they foresee as possible directions for academic e-books and their role in libraries as the market evolves.