May 19, 2022

New Survey Findings from ebrary Suggests Student E-book Usage Stronger in the UK Than Other Regions

From ebrary:

Students in the United Kingdom who recently participated in ebrary’s Global Student E-book Survey reported a greater preference for digital over printed books and higher usage than their global counterparts in a similar survey conducted in 2011. When asked how often they would choose e-books over printed books, 58% of UK students stated they would “very often” to “often” choose the digital version if it were available compared to 48% of global respondents. Over 85% of UK students indicated they use e-books up to 10 hours per week and only 10% stated that they never use e-books. In contrast, 52% of global participants indicated they use e-books up to 10 hours per week, and another 46% stated they never use e-books. Approximately 5% of UK students indicated they use e-books more than 10 hours per week compared to 2% of global respondents.

Additionally, more than 80% of UK students reported that their awareness of digital resources is good to excellent, compared to less than 69% of global participants. Only 6% of UK students indicated they did not know their libraries offered e-books compared to 38% of global respondents.

“ebrary was surprised to see such a variation of results in the UK,” said Kevin Sayar, President and General Manager of ebrary. “One explanation may be that UK students know when they are using digital books, whereas other students may mistake e-books for online journals or other formats. It is also possible that UK librarians are doing more in terms of e-book training and promotion. We are excited to work with participating libraries, both in the UK and abroad, to dive deeply into this data and develop and share insights and best practices.”

See Also: Register to Receive the Complete Report
Available after May 10, 2012.

See Also: Now Available Online: ebrary’s 2011 Global Student E-book Survey (January 11, 2012)

See Also: In March, infoDOCKET posted results of two studies from the U.S. and UK that might be of interest.
The first study from Bowker (U.S.) showed that higher ed. students still appear to prefer printed books. The second study, from the Pearson Foundation, does show more UK students reading with digital books.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.