ERIC Number: ED382193
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
University Library Browsing: A Study Illustrating a Methodology.
Ridley, Dennis R.; And Others
Previous studies on use of library materials based on borrowing behavior failed to address the issue of how the measurement of library book use might be expanded to a broader definition of use, specifically to include browsing behavior. The development of a non-obtrusive and accurate measurement for browsing behavior has remained a challenge. Research involved an adaptation of a counter-espionage technique, called a "tell-tale": small unobtrusive slips of paper were placed in selected library volumes. Movement or loss of the tell-tale indicated browsing within the volume. Sampling technique for the 133 volumes chosen is outlined. Browsing data from tell-tale displacement is provided in tables for both 6 week and 20 month time lapses. Results showed the "browsing ratio" (number of volumes indicating browsing divided by total volumes accounted for) appeared to be several times greater (six to seven times) than the proportion checked out. While the ratio increased over time, there was no observed steady rate of browsing as a function of time. Discussion of the results includes the lack of evidence of "repeat browsing," failure to locate items due to misshelving, and recommendations for increased accuracy of results. However, this research demonstrated that evidence of browsing could be objectively and unambiguously determined and measured. (MAS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Christopher Newport Univ., Newport News, VA.