ERIC Number: ED241024
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Dec
Reference Count: 0
New Approaches to the Measurement of Public Library Use by Individual Patrons. Occasional Paper Number 162.
Clark, Philip M.
Based on the concept that library use measurement should have as its basic starting point the individual patron, a method of data collection and analysis has been developed that explores individual patterns of borrowing over time. The method accounts for the number of visits on which borrowing takes place, number of items borrowed per visit, and total items borrowed over time, and it relates these to personal characteristics such as gender and distance of residence from the library. Four "core groups" can be identified from this analysis: core borrowers, heavy visitors, heavy borrowers, and light users. The study of individual user patterns results in a variety of potential applications for library decision making, such as a revised look at reciprocal borrowing policy, new knowledge of patron characteristics in relation to library use, and more information on the proportion of community residents who borrow, the variations in use patterns by day of the week, and the use of multiple units in the same library system. This publication describes the basic principles of individual use measurement, methods of data collection, illustrative findings from two different library systems, practical applications of individual user measurement, and areas where further research and development of the methods will be necessary. Also presented is the author's vita. (Author/ESR)
Descriptors: Data Analysis, Data Collection, Library Circulation, Library Planning, Library Research, Library Services, Research Methodology, Use Studies
University of Illinois, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Publications Office, 249 Armory Building, 505 E. Armory Street, Champaign, IL 61820 ($3.00 per copy).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Media Staff; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Graduate School of Library and Information Science.
Identifiers: Library Statistics; Library Users; User Characteristics