The release of the School Library Journal’s annual survey of ebook trends in K-12 school libraries presents a nuanced landscape of digital book options and preferences for students throughout the US. The most wide-ranging statistic of the survey cites a 10 point decrease of ebook offerings in schools, with 56% of the 916 US school libraries questioned for the survey offering their students ebooks in 2015, as opposed to 66% of schools offering ebooks in 2014.
A stall in the adoption of ebooks in the nation’s schools can be attributed to a variety of reasons ranging from funding to lack of device access. However, data within the survey points to another more simple reason: students are not interested in reading their books on digital devices. When asked if students were interested in reading ebooks, 50% of school librarians responded that their students have a low interest. Along with the lack of enthusiasm comes a slight decline in school spending on ebooks compared with last year, but not a lack of interest for integrating digital into schools. When students do use school ebook collections, they are most likely used for pleasure reading not for lesson driven reading. eBook Usage in U.S. School (K-12) Libraries shows an increasing push towards digitization in K-12 schools, while at the same time it highlights complexities within the going digital trend.
Read eBook Usage in U.S. School (K-12) Libraries, School Library Journal (September 2015).