What else might the eBook be?

Peter Jones Information Ecology, Wu Wei

Since our University of Toronto eBooks User Experience study has been completed, its time to share what we found. But first, I’d like to compare some current progress between different eBook and future book research initiatives. I’m tracking projects such as OCAD’s SmartBook, the Institute for the Future of the Book, Dave Gray’s “unbook” collaborative, and the JISC eBook study. In the AIGA website Andrea Marks writes about her maiden publishing project, and the possibilities fo authoring an eBook rather than a printed publication. As a graphic design professor, the printed artifact appears significantly preferable, laden with possibility for design and expression. When offered the opportunity to write for an eBook, she had mixed feelings. As excited as I am about new technology and all it has to offer, I had a hard time mustering enthusiasm for an electronic book. Perhaps my reticence had to do with the clunky e-books I had seen to date, some nothing more than a scanned print book, with little or no interactivity. And call me old fashioned, but I really love the sensation of …

Turning the Page: The Toronto eBooks Study

Peter Jones Information Ecology, Sensemaking, Wu Wei

Student Experience of eBooks: How they are found, used, and (not) read Presented at the 2009 OLA Superconference, Thursday Jan 29  10:40 a.m. We present findings of interest to librarians from the UTL eBooks user experience study conducted in 2008 at University of Toronto Libraries. Combining research from surveys, user interaction and observation, and design research, we share the hows and whys of student and scholar use of eBooks. This study will help illuminate the questions you have from watching the increase of collection and use of eBooks in the research library, such as: What do students prefer to read and use, and why? Are students actually reading the books? Are they reading online? How do they want publishers to improve eBooks? We also discuss how the research accommodated the ongoing implementation of the new eBooks platform, and the differences we found between the current platform and the new systems. We will also present eBook usage statistics at the University of Toronto and discuss our informed speculations about eBook adoption during the process of major technology change.