Ever since MPOW got rid of our physical collection, I’ve had more and more to do with ebooks. We can’t replace the collection we built over the course of 60 years but we do have access to a lot of stuff. The biggest single provider we have is Springer for many reasons. Their books come as unlocked pdfs, one per chapter. So they kind of in a way work like journal articles. I mean, you’re on a platform that also has journals and it really doesn’t seem much different. But…. if you’re presented with a print book and you need to find information in it, you rely on the training you had from librarians and teachers from elementary school onward. You start with the table of contents or the index. Makes sense for an ebook, too, in many cases. People instead recognize it as a web search pattern, not a book.
I have a hard time convincing our technical staff to try the ebooks. They are skeptical. They don’t believe they’re actually getting the book. They don’t think it’s going to work.
So it was with interest that I saw this evidence summary in the new issue of Evidence Based Library and Information Practice: Undergraduate Science Students are Uncertain of How to Find Facts in E-books Compared to Print Books by Christina E. Carter.The students thought the ebooks should work like Google but they didn’t. The reviewer commented that they didn’t compare the ebooks to journals, which I pointed out above.
This was reviewing: Berg, S. A., Hoffmann, K., & Dawson, D. (2010). Not on the same page: Undergraduates' information retrieval in electronic and print books. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 36(6), 518-525.
I’m not going to summarize the summary further – particularly since it’s open access.
I take it for granted about the standard ebooks (not the goofy platforms that require some bizarre check out and download and authentication), but I shouldn’t. People still don’t know how to use them or even believe they exist.