RESEARCH

Master's Thesis

Exploring Personal Connections in a Digital Reading Environment

Identifying how a patron connects with resources is an essential aspect of academic librarianship, especially with the onslaught of digital technologies. In the past, physicality and corporeal matters, such as touch, played a major role in readership. With traditional books there are clear tangible interactions between the texts and the individual who reads them. These interactions fuel relationships between the readers and the material (bibliophiles are prime examples of these relationships). Even in an environment where digital items are often less expensive and more accessible, many readers return to the tangible book; they relate and are familiar, comfortable, with books. So, with the increase in digital text, questions arise. Are there ways in which patrons connect with digital reading materials? How are these connections manifested? Does the corporeal aspect still play an important role in the discussion of connection in a digital environment? The purpose of this research is to explore these questions and come to a better understanding of how readers express connections with their texts in print and digital environments.

I am currently analyzing data from interviews conducted as part of the ongoing project. During the beginning stages of my research, I participated in the poster session at the HLA/HASL conference in December 2015. The poster has been published as a pdf in the University of Hawai'i's open-access digital repository, ScholarSpace. The poster can be viewed on the ScholarSpace website by clicking the link below: