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    Local Columbia Environment

    The local environment at Columbia for online books changed substantially during the period 1995 to 1999. By the end of this period there was Ethernet connectivity to every building and dormitory. By 1997, which is the last time that we could justify the costs of surveying to ask the question, 80% of students and faculty had adequate access to a network computer. By 1997, most library users reported an average of six hours per week of online activity of all kinds. That works out to about an hour a day and we estimate that by now this has probably at least doubled if averaged over the entire community.

    By spring 1999, online use of complete texts had become common at Columbia. For example, the level of JSTOR use was equal to one use per month per potential user, on average. We found that most online book use was from on-campus computers. This is consistent with a concern that access from home might not be adequate. It is quite possible that, as bandwidth to the home increases, the usage of online books will increase further.