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Forms, effects, function: LIS students' attitudes towards portable e-book readers

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Purpose ‐ This study aims to investigate the use of a popular portable e-reader device, the Kindle 2, among library and information science (LIS) students and its effects on individual reading practices and the potential applications for library services. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Using journal logs and diary-interviews as methods of data collection, the study analyzes the use of the Kindle over a one-week period by a pool of 20 LIS students at Pratt Institute's School of Information and Library Science. Findings ‐ The findings reveal four key areas that provide a framework for data interpretation: usage patterns, user interaction, effect on reading habits, and future applications. One major finding is that the portability of the device and its convenience of use anywhere and any time is pivotal for enhancing the students' reading experience and outweighs the limitations of the device's usability. Research limitations/implications ‐ Results may not be generalizable due to the small size and homogeneity of the sample. Originality/value ‐ The social and cultural impacts of e-book readers in everyday life have received little attention so far. In particular, questions about the effects of e-readers on individual reading practices and the potential applications for library delivery systems have yet to be examined. This study is one of the first to investigate the use of portable e-book readers.
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Keywords: Attitudes; Electronic books; Information studies; Students; User studies

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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