ERIC Number: ED252211
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Jul
Reference Count: 0
The Pluralism of Rural: A Survey of Reference Service in Iowa Public Libraries Serving a Population of Less Than 2,500.
Eckert, Sharon Stine
A survey of 200 Iowa rural public libraries serving a population of less than 2,500 was conducted in 1984 to determine reference service characteristics. A total of 137 libraries responded to a survey modeled after a questionnaire developed by Bernard Vavrek for a 1981 nationwide survey. It was found that the number of full-time staff members was less than one-half the number of volunteers, and less than one-fourth the number of part-time staff members. The highest level of training achieved by 50% of all staff members reported was a high school diploma. The data showed that hours of service and annual budget increased proportionately to an increase in population served. Less than half of the libraries reportedly kept records on the total number of questions asked. It was found that a weekly average of 68.96 questions were made up of 64.1% reference questions and 35.9% directional. The subject categories of questions reported as most frequently asked did not correspond to those categories reported as most difficult to answer. Respondents indicated that additional reference materials, additional reference training, and additional hours of service would contribute most to improving reference service. A sample questionnaire, glossary, 32 tables containing cross analyses of data collected, and a 66-item bibliography are provided. (Author/THC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Certificate of Advanced Study Project Report, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.