ERIC Number: ED264857
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
How Libraries Help.
Dervin, Brenda; And Others
This study was conducted to determine how library users in California say library use helps them. While most library effectiveness studies infer effectiveness by looking at the movement of materials or reports of user satisfaction, this study proceeds from the assumption that libraries need to know how library use helps in user terms. The study design is drawn from a general research approach, developed over the past 13 years and known as Sense-Making, which provides a general perspective and set of methods for looking at information seeking and use in human rather than institutional terms. The central focus of this study is a set of 16 "helps" users obtain from their library visits. The study was directed toward two specific purposes: to examine the kinds of helps users generally got from their most recent library visits and to determine the dimensions that predicted how users were helped--kind of library, recency of visit, materials/services obtained, or demographic characteristics. A questionnaire drawn from methods developed and tested in past Sense-Making projects was administered by telephone to a random probability sample of all individuals aged 12 or older residing in California. The procedures resulted in a sample of 1,005 Californians of which 81% (814) recalled their last library visit and were included in the final user sample. This report includes sections on the purpose and methodology of the study, helps which the users reported, factors which predicted how users were helped, the best predictors of how libraries helped, composite user portraits for each help, and conclusions. Bar charts throughout the report illustrate the survey findings. (THC).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: California State Library, Sacramento.
Authoring Institution: University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA.
Identifiers - Location: California