n Mousaion - Postgraduate students' use of ebooks at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Volume 33, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



The purpose of this study was to examine the diffusion of electronic books, commonly known as ebooks, among postgraduate students in the arts and technology faculties of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Ebooks have become increasingly popular in recent years, but factors influencing their adoption and use are not understood in many institutions. Guided by a sample survey design, data was collected from 346 postgraduate students, 129 from the arts and 202 from technology, using a questionnaire and an interview schedule. Students from both faculties used ebooks, identified through serendipitous browsing of the Internet, and mainly Google searches. Many of the ebooks they found are not recommended by their lecturers, while those that are recommended are not available free of charge. Students therefore use ebooks mainly to cross-validate and gain extra insights about what they have been taught. There are significant differences between arts and technology students' use of ebooks with respect to cost, ease of use and other aspects, with technology students having the advantage. There is no programme in the university aimed at harvesting and organising ebook resources for students to access. Institutionalising ebooks could be a useful strategy to address the dearth of current and relevant texts in universities, although ebooks may pose challenges to existing library management processes. An ebook revolution will cause great changes in information services in libraries - how would university libraries partner to benchmark this evolving practice with respect to questions about standards, technologies, licensing and pricing, particularly in the developing world?

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