Barbara L. Folb , MM, MLS, MPH Charles B. Wessel, MLS Leslie J. Czechowski , MA, MLS

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Gathering the Evidence for E- book Collection Development: A Survey of Academic and Clinical Library Users Barbara L. Folb, MM, MLS, MPH Charles B. Wessel, MLS Leslie J. Czechowski, MA, MLS

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Slide 1

Gathering the Evidence for E-book Collection Development: A Survey of Academic and Clinical Library UsersBarbara L. Folb, MM, MLS, MPHCharles B. Wessel, MLSLeslie J. Czechowski, MA, MLS

Good Morning

Today Im going to present the results of a survey we did at the Health Sciences Library System of the University of Pittsburgh in 2009.

We were interested in use of and opinions about e-books across all patron groups, clinical and academic. This focus on the health sciences, combined with breadth of scope of users surveyed, makes our study unique.

At the time of the study we were interested maintaining high customer service standards while reducing duplication between print and e-book titles in the library, reducing the number of print volumes in our reference collections, and in controlling our book budget.

My role was to design the survey, administer it, and analyze the survey data.

Charlie was revamping our reference collection, and Leslie was managing our purchases and licensing. They contributed by identifying the topics of interest and prioritizing which questions to include in the final survey.1E-book Definition Electronic versions of print books that can be read on a computer or an electronic device such as a pda.-or- Electronic information sources such as UpToDate which have no print equivalent, but feel like a book to you in terms of their content, length, and purposeWe gave our respondents a definition of e-book that included resources such as UpToDate which, while not having any print equivalent, may feel to the user like a book in its content, length and purpose.

We did not specifically mention hand held e-book readers such as the Kindle because our library was not supporting them at the time. Remember it was 2009, and the Kindle explosion was just about to take off.2Study QuestionsNO TALK>3Main Question

The main question was can we optimally balance the collection between print and e-book formats to simultaneously Support information needs of the most users possibleWhile reducing the cost of duplicating titles in print and electronic formats

The next few slides review some of our narrower questions supporting the overall question4Who is using the e-book collection?

Who uses our e-books?

We suspected that use might vary by academic, administrative or clinical role, and where they were located.

DESCRIBE OUR USERSHSLS is accessible to a diverse academic, research, and clinical populationFaculty, staff and students of the University of PittsburghEmployees in all roles at UPMC hospitals and other clinical facilities

The UPMC system is large. There are several large academic teaching hospitals in Pittsburgh using HSLS as their primary libraryCommunity hospitals other Pittsburgh neighborhoods and throughout Western Pennsylvania either have their own library or use HSLS as their library. In either case they have the option of being part of our electronic access contracting dont ask me the details of that, Leslie and Charlie are the experts there.There are also several hospitals abroad that UPMC has working relationships with. It also includes a number of outpatient clinical facilities of various types.

5What Information Tasks Do E-books Support?

Were we interested in the tasks in academic and clinical settings that our e-book collection supported such asclinical care, research, individual study, classroom teaching, and administrative decision making.

We suspected, based on our literature review, that use to support classroom teaching would be low in comparison to other uses.

6Factors Influencing E-book Use?

There were a number of other factors potentially influencing e-book use that we were interested in exploring.

First, Were are users Aware of the e-book collection? If so, did they use them?From other studies:~60-75% aware of e-booksLess aware that libraries supplied them~ 40% - 50% had used e-booksHow does Distance from the patrons workplace or place of study influence library use?Intuitively you might think that the farther away you are the more important e-books are, but we werent sure about thatWhich finding tools do they use? What do they prefer?

Early e-book studies reported increased use when e-book records were added to online catalogs.HSLS provides access through the catalog, and through several browse lists on the website that are generated out of the catalog, and a federated full text search engine we developed in house. Federated full text search engine allows users to search across the full text of over 1000 of our e-books, much like Google Books allows searching against the full text of scanned print books. When I get to the next slide you will see a screen shot of that tool.

Does our federated search compare favorably to other full text book search tools users may be familiar with?

How do they interact with e-texts?Do they use them, for fact finding and reference more than for in depth reading?Do users report any difficulties with the navigation of the books or using them in the way they want to?


Just briefly, the user enters their search in the box in the top screen.

The search engine, which was created using the Vivisimo search engine, returns results that are categorized on the fly into topics and source categories.

The user can click through to the full text, and they will be directed to the place in the book where their search terms appear

8methodsSurvey DesignOnline probability sample surveySample frame: list of HSLS remote access passwordsStratified UPMC/PittTotal number surveyed: 5,292 Survey period: March April 2009We designed a pobability survey for online administration using Opinio software. It received IRB approval.

Sample frame was a list of 9,472 email addresses of people who had registered for a Remote Access password for the library.

The sample frame was stratified by Pitt or UPMC email address, and a random sample drawn from each.

Surveyed 2684 UPMC2,608 Pitt5,292 totalEmail invitations were sent.Survey open for 22 days. Three reminders were sent during that time

Upon closure of the survey, the data was transferred into SPSS 17 software for descriptive analysis.10REsultsNo Talk!11Response871 complete,108 partial responsesUniversity 476: 434 complete, 42 partial responsesUPMC 503: 437 complete, 66 partial responses Response rate of 16.5-18.5%

Partial responses were included in analysis if they had answered all the questions pertinent to a particular calculation

Next 5 slides review demographic information on respondents12demographicsThis slide shows the distribution of respondents by role at UPMC. The smallest portion was from administration, the largest from medical trainees.

All of the 4 types of UPMC hospitals mentioned earlier and some outpatient facilities were represented in the response.

14The large n for this slide reflects the fact that many people at UPMC have joint appoinments at Pitt and UPMC, and were counted in both response groups for this calculation.

Faculty, graduate, and medical students made up the largest responding groups.

The low percentage of undergraduates reflects the fact that there are more graduate than undergraduate programs in the 6 schools of the health sciences at Pitt


This one is interesting b/c of the shape of the curves accurately reflects what you might imagine given the target populations.

Other demographic facts: More women than men answered, disproportionate to population proportion (at least for Pitt students)Men: 314 (36.3)Women: 552 (63.7)

16In our sample no one claimed much discomfort using computers, even if they were 90 years old.

On a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being not at all comfortable and 7 being extremely comfortable, how comfortable are you in general using computers?


They were about equally divided between people who did their work reading at work, and those who read at home. Very few used the library.18use of e-booksAwareness, Use of E-books65.5 % (n=599/914), aware of HSLS e-books

55.4% (n=505/911) used an HSLS e-book in the past year

Awareness, use correlated with role

Overall, 55.4% (n=505/911) of respondents reported using an HSLS e-book.

Not associated with affiliation at Pitt or UPMC, or age

Associated with role as next few slides show


Use of e-books by UPMC respondents ranged from 28.8% for administrators to 80% for medical trainees and fellows


At Pitt, respondents in use by role ranged from 48.9% of undergraduates to 64.7% of faculty. 22


Over 80% of interns residents and fellows had used an e-book to support clinical care.

Just under 40% of nurses had done the same.

In the hospital setting, 46.7% of Administrators reported using e-books for administrative tasks

NOTE: if you go back and see that the numbers do not quite match with the role categories in a few slides back, that is because the previous slide refers to their current primary roll, while this slide could include past roles and secondary roles


Postdocs and fellows were about 20% higher than faculty in using e-books to support research.

Question we asked: As a researcher, have you ever used an e-book to find information related to a research study you were involved in? (Y, N, N/A)


Again, people could choose Y N N/A, and answers were crosstabulated with primary role.

As a teacher, have you ever assigned an e-book or an e-book section as a required reading in a class you taught?

As a student, have you ever been assigned a reading from an e-book for a class you took?

As a student, have you ever read all or part of an e-book that you chose yourself to support a class assignment?

Note that assigned reading of an e-book is much lower than self-selection for completing assignments.

This may not be much different than what happens with our print collections, at least in my recent experience as student in Public Health. The question is whether or not we will eventually be able to take advantage of the potential of e-books to be more useful than print books for teaching .25Availability, content access


Overall, respondents had less confidence in their ability to locate e-books compared to other HSLS books

Comparing confidence in their ability to find HSLS e-books to HSLS print books,Twice as many respondents dont know if they can find e-books46.3% agree or completely agree they can locate HSLS e-books66.7% agree or completely agree they can locate HSLS print books.27

We asked users to rate their degree of agreement with 2 statements related to access.

These are not a perfect head to head comparison. For e-books we asked if they were available at the point of need, and for print books we asked if they had time to go get them when they needed them.

Over 45% agreed they could access e-books where they need to use them, but over 30% didnt know whether they could access e-books where they needed to use them. At the same time, they were not optimistic about their time available to get a print library book when they needed it. 28

We asked respondents to rate all our search tools and browsing lists, as well as Google Books and Amazon Search with the Book.

All of the full text search tools were preferred to the browse lists and the catalog.

However, the biggest single category for all tools is never used, implying a need for some user education.



When I removed the respondents who had never used the tools, and collapse the range of useful and not useful responses, the Federated Search and Google Books are about tied at 74% useful, with the catalog at 61% useful, other browsing tools are in between.30Distance and e-book use

We cross tabulated distance from the library with use of e-books and print books

We also cross tabulated perceived time to go to the library and use of e-books and print books

There are two interesting things here.The closer to the library respondents worked, the more likely they were to use both print and e-books. The more time available to go to the library respondents had, the more likely they were to use both print and e-books. Probably has more to do with some other factor related to your distance from the library, such as your role and associated information needs.

If distance had no effect on use of e-books, you would expect to see the same % within the distance category for yes and no in each.

In this case, those in the same building or within 1 block of their library are more likely to have used e-books than those who are 2 or more blocks away. In other words, being farther from the library, which you might expect would make going to the library to get a print book inconvenient, does not make you more likely to use an e-book.

Small effect size as measured by Cramers V (small=.07, medium=.21, large=.50)

How far is the library you use most frequently to answer health sciences related questions from the place where you spent the most working hours?When I need a print book I have time to visit my health sciences library to get it

Used an HSLS Print Book in the Past Year? Used an HSLS E-book Ever?32Physical library, website, and e-book use

The summary here is that Use of the physical library and the library website are correlated, with about 70% using both.34

Use of the print and e-book collections is also correlated, and statistically significant.35Format preference by book type

Respondents indicated that they preference for print or e-books varied depending on the type of book.

Respondents were asked to indicate their format preferences for each type of book on the list.

This chart shows the percent of respondents that indicated the always preferred electronic OR preferred it but would use print if it was more convenient at time of need.

The corresponding chart showing Print preferences is essentially the inverse of this one.

Hold the general shape of the bars in mind for the next slide, please.

Choices included

I always prefer printI prefer print, but will use electronic if it is more convenient at the time of needI always prefer electronicI prefer electronic, but will use print if it is more convenient at the time of needNo preferenceI never use this type of book


*Responses that indicated they would use their least preferred format if it was more convenient at the time of use, or indicated no preference, are coded as flexible.The types of books are in the same order as the last slide

Respondents indicated a high degree of flexibility on book format across all types of books.

Interesting to note: for those book types where the highest percent of respondents preferred e-books, the flexibility was the lowest. Or, to state it the opposite way, if print was preferred a higher percent of respondents were willing to use e-books instead.

38E-book features

We asked Respondents what e-book features they valued.

They were most interested in printing and saving book sections.

Next in importance was fulltext searching

Text markup and bookmarking features were much lower in importance to respondents

40Major ConclusionsFormat flexibilityInformation need, not format, drives usePhysical and virtual library use correlatedPromotion via library website Federated searching valuedCatalog access used less than web accessPrint, save features a priority

The survey results led us to the following conclusions

Our respondents were Flexible about format because info need is more important to them than the form the information is delivered in.

The majority of our respondents are using both the physical and the online library resources.

With over 95% using the website, the presentation of resources on it becomes our most crucial way to promote their use to our patrons.

Because all federated search options were valued over browsing and catalog access, we assume our patrons value the ability to pull pertinent information out of the middle of a book.

Uses such as printing and saving of book chapters which may be diminished by publisher choices on digital rights management are important to our users, and should be considered carefully when choosing vendors and e-book interfaces.

41Implications for Library PracticeReduction of duplication possibleRepackage catalog for webWeb presenceFederated searchActive promotionLobby for features users want

We concluded that we could reduce duplication of titles in print and electronic form because our users are flexible about format.

We were already using our library catalog to generate browsing lists of e-books on the website. We concluded that these were useful, and because users preferred web access over access through the catalog, it is important for the catalog to be structured so that the metadata can be used to generate web-based finding tools for e-books.

Because federated search is so important, and our users are flexible on format, in the ideal world we would have a Google Books like tool, but able to return reliable results for both the print and electronic collections simultaneously. Given that is a reach, active promotion of the tools that do exist, and education of our users is key to supporting their access to the information they want.

There is room for more promotion to our users of the librarys collections, especially the e-books.

Finally, libraries should be lobbying publishers to provide the features users want such as saving and printing content.

42For further informationBarbara Folb - [email protected]

Article, JMLA, July 2011