Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Ane Turner Johnson, Ph.D.

Committee Member 1

Monica Reid Kerrigan, Ed.D.

Committee Member 2

Susan Breakenridge, Ed.D.


Academic libraries, Continuing-generation students, Electronic books, First-generation students, Print books, Theory of Planned Behavior


First-generation college students; Academic libraries--Collection development


Educational Leadership | Higher Education


Academic libraries have been adapting and changing their collections with technology. Often, this technology has accompanied a conversion from physical collections, such as print books to electronic collections and electronic books. This mixed methods case study aimed to understand how first-generation college students at a public research university use print books versus electronic books. Data was collected using a survey based on the Academic Reading Questionnaire (Mizrachi, 2015) to assess the attitudes of both first-generation college students and continuing-generation college students towards these materials in the Marathon University Library collection. A qualitative semi-structured interview was also conducted, which focused on self-identified first-generation college students to provide further clarification on their usage behaviors. Ajzen’s (2002; 2020) Theory of Planned Behavior was applied to describe how participants’ intentions inform their behaviors and, thus, their preferences for either print books or electronic books in the Marathon University Library collections. Finally, this mixed methods case study assists in filling the void in research regarding first-generation college students and the academic library.

Available for download on Friday, September 19, 2025