Journal Article: “Research on E-book Usage in Academic Libraries: ‘Tame’ Solution Or A ‘Wicked Problem’?”
The following article appears in a recently published issue of the South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science.
Research on E-book Usage in Academic Libraries: ‘Tame’ Solution Or A ‘Wicked Problem’?
MLIS Graduate, University of South Africa
Peter Graham Underwood
Emeritus Professor of the University of South Africa
South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science
The result of a systematic analysis of the literature on research about the usage of e-books in academic libraries published in the United States and the United Kingdom between 2004 and 2014 is examined.
Commonalities were identified amongst the articles, together with factors such as questions asked, user response and the research methods that were used. Several areas of deficiency were identified in the conduct of the research and, in order to contextualise the issues, Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber’s (1973) characteristics of a ‘wicked problem’ and a ‘tame problem’ were used as a framework. It was concluded that e-book usage does exhibit several of the characteristics of a wicked problem, and uncertainty about the exact nature of the problem will remain until further research.
Direct to Full Text Article (pages; PDF)
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.