E-book usage amongst academic librarians in South Africa
AbstractThe purpose of this study completed in 2010 was to investigate the use of e-books amongst academic librarians; in particular which e-books are available to academic librarians, why they choose this format, what impact e-books have on librarians professional practice and what the usage patterns of e-books are amongst academic librarians. A web-based questionnaire was distributed on the LIASA mailing list. The results reflect a more gradual trend towards e-book adoption. There is still a preference for print or a bit of both print and electronic. This is because of the high costs of e-books using the subscription model as the predominant e-book acquisition model and the lack of sufficient e-books in all subject fields. E-books are used for browsing for information and are selected for functionalities such as having the ability to search the document, anytime access and automatic citation. Major problems identified with e-books are: the cost of the equipment to read e-book formats; the cost of the e-books, especially if the subscription purchasing model is used; the lack of reliability of the Internet; and the lack of training in the use of e-books.
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South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science is an Open Access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of Open Access.