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E-book Usage Survey

We have all heard how e-book usage is on the rise. But how do e-book users feel about their experience? What do they like about e-books, what would they like to see improved, and is there a place for print in this new electronic environment?

In 2010, the UC Libraries surveyed 2,569 faculty, staff, and students to get feedback about their experiences andpreferences when using e-books. The results of this survey, published in a new report entitled UC Libraries Academic e-Book Usage Survey, is now available: http://www.cdlib.org/services/uxdesign/docs/2011/academic_ebook_usage_survey.pdf

The following are select highlights from this report:ebook readers

  • 58% of respondents reported using e-books.
  • Postdoctoral and graduate students are the highest user groups of e-books.
  • As a group, undergraduate students express the strongest desire for a corresponding print copy of an academic e-book for borrowing from a UC library.
  • Annotating and highlighting within the e-book environment is perceived as vital to the majority of respondents who use academic e-books. This report was published as part of a University of California Libraries initiated e-book pilot project with Springer Publishers. In 2008, UC Libraries entered into an agreement with Springer, in which we obtained electronic access to nearly every book published by Springer in English and German from 2005-2009. Topics covered in this report include UC reader preference for e-books as compared to print books, valued e-book features, and an assessment of UC reader experiences with Springer e-books during 2009 and 2010.

Questions and comments about this report can be directed to John Novak, Acting Head of the Collection Development Department (x44979 or john.novak@uci.edu).

Libraries Ebook Holdings Grow

In January 2012, UC Irvine Libraries began a pilot project to expand access to ebooks through a partnership with EBL. EBL (Ebook Library) is a vendor that provides ebooks to academic and research Growthlibraries. They offer concurrent usage of ebooks, which means that multiple users can access one of their ebooks at the same time. New ebook records are loaded weekly into ANTPAC and through the EBL interface. The focus of this pilot is on current publications, so the majority of the ebooks available will be recent scholarship published in 2012.

We call this pilot project "Patron Initiated Acquisitions" because ebooks provided by EBL are purchased only if they are used by our patrons. This innovative pilot will help the UCI Libraries spend funds wisely for we will only pay for materials utilized by our patrons. This allows the libraries to provide access to more electronic books to our patrons than ever before.

In addition to expanding access to digital texts, UCI Libraries is equally excited about the personalization features provided by the EBL interface. Once our users enter in their UCInetID and password, they can populate a bookshelf with favorite ebooks, copy and paste portions of the ebook, make notes while they are reading, and have opportunities to download pdf copies of texts for 24 hour periods.

For more information about this exciting pilot, please contact your subject librarian or John Novak, Acting Head of the Collection Development Department (x44979 or john.novak@uci.edu).


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