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ERIC Number: EJ878702
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1041-7915
Aiming at a Moving Target: Pilot Testing Ebook Readers in an Urban Academic Library
Kiriakova, Maria; Okamoto, Karen S.; Zubarev, Mark; Gross, Gretchen
Computers in Libraries, v30 n2 p20-24 Mar 2010
Since the early 1990s, the Lloyd Sealy Library, where all four of this article's librarian-authors work in various capacities, has been providing the students and faculty of John Jay College of Criminal Justice with extensive electronic access to books and journals. In early 2009, the librarians at Lloyd Sealy decided to test a recent electronic innovation--portable ebook readers or e-readers--to see if this technology would be advantageous for use by the college community. They also wondered if the e-readers could provide a cost-effective alternative to the traditional acquisition of books. Lightening the burden of overflowing library shelves and overstuffed student backpacks has always been a prime consideration for them. Initially, the project was to compare Amazon's Kindle and Sony ebook readers, the two main portable readers on the market at that time. However, the Kindle could not be purchased and used without maintaining a credit card account. The authors instead decided to concentrate on Sony's offerings. They acquired four Sony e-readers--two PRS-505 models and two PRS-700 models. Funding for the project came from a student technology fund. After studying the results, the authors have justified this marked preference with the fact that younger people are very comfortable using technology and would prefer e-readers as a practical convenience when the devices are just handed to them. Another reason that students might prefer e-readers is that today's students associate new technology with the ability to cut and paste, adding to the ease of writing papers. Though there is no doubt that ebooks will be an expanding part of information delivery in libraries, the dedicated e-reader has not yet reached a point where the technology is worth investing in, particularly in these tough economic times. For the short term, until technology can match delivery, librarians should focus on finding ways to provide ebooks through available and existing means, including standard computers, PDAs, and other mobile devices. For now, at least, software that can more easily and inexpensively be adapted to existing technology (such as the Kindle app for iPhones) appears to be a better solution for an academic library than the adoption of e-reader hardware itself. (Contains 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A