"E-books are good if there are no copies left": a survey of e-book usage at UWE Library Services


  • Jacqueline Ann Chelin
  • Jason Briddon
  • Elspeth Williams
  • Jane Redman
  • Alastair Sleat
  • Greg Ince




e-books, electronic books, learning, teaching, research, collection development


This article outlines research carried out with students and academic staff at a large UK university library on how e-books are being used for learning, teaching and research. It was discovered that e-books are meeting many of users' needs, especially in terms of accessibility, but there are still concerns about subject coverage and the impact on students' learning. There are various reasons why e-books are beneficial in developing an academic library collection, most particularly for reference materials and essential readings, but librarians need to work closely with academic staff to integrate use of e-books effectively into learning and teaching, taking care that licence and access implications are better understood. The drivers to the use of e-books appear to be outweighing the barriers, although the latter will require considerable effort on the part of librarians within their institutions and also in terms of communicating concerns to e-book providers.

Author Biographies

Jacqueline Ann Chelin

Deputy Librarian

Jason Briddon

Deputy Librarian

Elspeth Williams

Faculty Librarian

Jane Redman

Library E-Learning Development and Support

Alastair Sleat

Subject Librarian

Greg Ince

Library Collections Manager






Research Articles