Canute rules the waves?: Hope for e-library tools facing the challenge of the "Google generation"
Program: electronic library and information systems
Abstract Purpose: To consider the findings of a recent e-resources survey at the University of Exeter library in the context of the dominance of web search engines in academia, balanced by the development of e-library tools such as the library OPAC, OpenURL resolvers, metasearch engines, LDAP and proxy servers, and electronic resource management modules. Methodology: Report of survey findings in the context of similar, recent research and articles. Findings: The survey confirmed the very high usage, ease of use, confident use and user satisfaction in web search engines as the predominant means of accessing academic information. The survey also reveals the considerable use, user confidence, and search success of Exeter’s various e-library tools. A number of variations have been detected between user groups including part-time groups, disabled users and those who do not own personal computers. Practical implications: The paper confirms popular conceptions about how academic users access information although it clearly identifies a vital, continuing role for e-library tools which must accordingly develop and adapt to users’ preferences. Originality/value: The paper draws on aspects raised by recent international surveys and research. It reveals highly-profiled survey findings in the context of the University of Exeter and a unique insight into the current use of e-library tools in this setting.
Program: electronic library and information systems, 2007, 41:1