Scholars' Access to On-line Resources
We theorize that scholars with greater perceived access to networked computers and with greater familiarity with on-line resources are more likely first to sample on-line books and later to adopt them for regular use (assuming that books of interest are available on-line). All project questionnaires ask about both these factors. The access question is, "Is there a computer (in the library or elsewhere) attached to the campus network (directly or by modem) that you can use whenever you want?" The question about use of on-line resources asks, "On average this semester, how many hours per week do you spend in on-line activities (Email, Listservs & Newsgroups, CLIO Plus, Text, Image or Numeric Data Sources, Other WWWeb Uses)?" In some cases, the question asks for a single value; in others, it has five spaces in which respondents are asked to enter their hours for each of these activities.
Over 80% of Columbia library users report adequate access to a networked computer.
In the Columbia Libraries annual survey of on-site users in March 1997, 2,367 individuals responded to this question on access to networked computers. Almost 81% answered "Yes." Masters students were least likely to respond positively (67%) while the other scholarly cohorts-faculty, doctoral students, and undergraduate students-ranged from 85% to 87%. Users of science libraries were generally more likely to respond affirmatively.
Columbia library users report an average of about six hours a week in on-line activities with no significant difference across scholarly cohorts.
Even many of the survey respondents who did not claim easy access to a networked computer reported spending considerable time in on-line activities-22% spent four to six hours a week and 23% spent more than six hours a week.