In a collaborative study carried out by Professor Pattuelli’s Fall 2012 Human Information Behavior class, students designed a qualitative research study that sought to reveal common themes relating to reader preferences when choosing between electronic and print material, specifically in an academic context.
This poster uses Everett Rogers’ (1995) concept of innovation diffusion to illuminate the adoption of e-books among library and information science students at the Pratt Institute, an institution that currently does not offer this technology in its academic libraries. A study was conducted in fall 2012 as part of Dr. Irene Lopatovska’s Research Methods course to determine how Pratt SILS students use e-books for academic purposes. To collect quantitative data on e-book use among this population, a survey was sent out via the SILS listserv, while qualitative data was gathered in focus groups and through individual interviews. The results of this study show that, despite not having access to e-books through their institution’s library, SILS students actively circumnavigate barriers of access to use e-books for their coursework and research. This becomes a useful case study for technology adoption when framed with the concept of innovation diffusion (Rogers, 1995). The use of e-books for academic purposes can be understood as an innovative practice that many SILS students regularly engage in despite lack of institutional support. Participants’ discussions of the reasons that they use e-books demonstrate Rogers’ characteristics of innovations that lead populations to adopt them more readily: relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability.This poster uses these aspects of innovations to visualize how e-books are currently being adopted and to suggest students’ growing needs for digital resources.
As part of a larger collaborative study on the use of e-books in academia conducted with Cristina Pattuelli’s Human Information Behavior course and partner libraries, students of Irene Lopatovska’s Research Methods course used three data collection methods to study how e-books are currently being used by SILS students.