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.”