Exploring faculty experiences with e-books: a focus group

Carlock, Danielle M. and Perry, Anali Maughan Exploring faculty experiences with e-books: a focus group. Library Hi Tech, 2008, vol. 26, n. 2, pp. 244-254. [Journal article (Paginated)]


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English abstract

Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe how, in the spring of 2007, Arizona State University Libraries held a focus group of selected faculty to discover their perceptions and use of electronic books (e-books) in their research and teaching. Design/methodology/approach – The services of the Institute of Social Sciences Research were employed to recruit and moderate the focus group. Major themes explored were: use of e-books as textbooks; use of e-books for personal research; comparison between e-books and print; disciplinary differences in perceptions of e-books; and motivators for future use. Findings – Overall, the focus group revealed that faculty had generally unsatisfactory experiences in using e-books in their research and teaching owing to the unreliability of access, lack of manipulability, and the steep learning curve of the various interfaces. However, most faculty agreed that e-books would be a very viable and useful alternative if these issues were resolved. Research limitations/implications – The focus group consisted of only six faculty members and hence is not representative of faculty as a whole. A larger survey of a more diverse faculty population would greatly serve to clarify and expand upon the findings. Practical implications – The implications for academic libraries include providing better outreach and training to faculty about the e-book platforms offered, provide better course support, and advocate to e-book vendors to consider faculty's teaching and research needs in their product development. Originality/value – This is believed to be the first published study of faculty opinions and use of e-books utilizing focus group methodology and offers detailed information that would be useful for academic libraries and e-book vendors for evidence-based decisions.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: Academic libraries, Academic staff, Electronic books, Focus groups
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information > BI. User interfaces, usability.
H. Information sources, supports, channels. > HO. e-books.
Depositing user: Anali Perry
Date deposited: 15 Jul 2008
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:12
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10760/11916


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