oa South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science - The battle of the e-textbook : libraries' role in facilitating student acceptance and use of e-textbooks

Volume 80, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-8861



The objective of this study was to investigate students' acceptance and use of e-textbooks to enable libraries to make more informed decisions about their e-book collections. The data were collected in a classroom situation, surveying students who had been exposed to e-textbooks. A self-completion questionnaire was used and 254 usable questionnaires were received. The results showed that most students would prefer to have both a printed textbook and an e-textbook. Although almost half of the respondents indicated that they would prefer it if the library were to buy more e-textbooks, the others did not see a need for this option or they did not care. However, only 44% of respondents indicated that they knew how to access the electronic collection in the library. It was, furthermore, a matter of concern that 82% of the respondents never, or rarely, made use of e-textbooks from the library. The results suggest that e-textbooks are not perceived as more useful than print textbooks. It is up to universities, and more specifically libraries as distributors of information, to take the lead in developing policies, processes, and strategies to deal with e-textbooks, and to manage this electronic challenge successfully.

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