ERIC Number: ED253236
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Oct-15
Reference Count: N/A
A Study of Impact of Technological Change in Library Service Facilities: Changes in Use of the Public Catalog at the New York State Library Associated with the Introduction of Online Subject Searching Capability in the Public Catalog. Summary Report.
Lipetz, Ben-Ami; Paulson, Peter J.
To study the users and use of the subject searching capability offered by the new online public catalog at the New York State Library (NYSL) a study was begun before the catalog change in mid-1983 and continued for a considerable time after the change. Data were collected during three 1-week periods; one preceded the catalog change and two followed. It was thus possible to detect differences associated with the catalog change, and also to determine whether any of the differences detected were likely to be permanent or transient. The methodology of the study was adapted from earlier use studies of NYSL. As in the earlier studies, library user traffic was measured unobtrusively throughout the study weeks, and frequent short, standardized interviews were conducted with a sample of users. In this research, the method was applied simultaneously to the population of users of the public catalog, by unobtrusively counting and timing users of the online computer terminals and microfiche viewers associated with the public catalog, and by interviewing a sample of catalog users as they were leaving the catalog-access devices. Factors considered for possible impact effects included: the amount and distribution of use of the public catalog; the proportion of subject searches; the duration of catalog searches; their success rate; the use of librarian assistance with catalog searches; user preference for online catalog access versus microfiche catalog access; the motivation of catalog searches; and the affiliations of catalog users. References, the User Exit Interview Guide, and the Catalog User Interview Guide are appended. (THC)
Descriptors: Comparative Analysis, Library Automation, Library Catalogs, Library Facilities, Library Research, Nonprint Media, Online Systems, State Libraries, Subject Index Terms, Use Studies
New York State Library, Gifts & Exchange, Albany, NY 12204 ($4.00 per copy, prepayment required. 20% discount on orders of 10 or more).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Council on Library Resources, Inc., Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: New York State Library, Albany.