ERIC Number: ED343609
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
Computer Applications and Libraries: A Study of Small and Medium-sized Academic Libraries.
Offermann, Glenn W.
This study is based on a survey of a sample of 162 academic libraries holding between 90,000 and 500,000 volumes. The report begins by comparing various characteristics of the libraries to arrive at a profile of an average sample library in terms of volumes, enrollment, volumes per student, budget, expenditures per student, salaries as percent of total budget, periodicals as percent of book budget, and expenditures for databases and cooperative activities. The first of two main parts of the survey form focused on computer-based services; mainframe/minicomputer applications; microcomputer applications for library databases, CD-ROM, library administrative functions, and patron laboratories; software collections; and other applications (chiefly printers and modems). The second part dealt with problems and coping strategies in the seven application areas. The responses indicated that: (1) nearly all of the libraries participated in a bibliographic utility and an online database service; (2) other computer-based services--i.e., acquisitions, serials, COM catalogs, and CD-ROM catalogs--were much less used; (3) less than one-half were involved in the operation of locally based automated systems, including online catalogs and circulation systems; (4) 19 major systems were represented among the respondents, with five being the highest number of users for any single system; (5) microcomputer (PC) applications for acquisitions and serials control were more common than for cataloging and circulation; (6) PC use for word processing and spreadsheets was reported by more than one-half of the respondents, with fewer libraries using desktop publishing and graphics programs; (7) more than half reported computer laboratories for patrons; (8) the number of software programs varied widely for different microcomputers; and (9) printers and modems were more readily available for staff than for patrons. Problems listed were (in rank order) in the following areas: financial, facilities, staff, patrons, and vendors. The top three coping strategies were "shifted budget,""workshops," and "networking," and the lowest ranked was "consultants." Others listed included journals, vendor training, cooperative arrangements, documentation, additional staff, patron training, and added budget. A copy of the survey instrument is appended. (DB)
Descriptors: Academic Libraries, Bibliographic Utilities, Cataloging, Computer Software, Databases, Higher Education, Library Acquisition, Library Administration, Library Automation, Library Circulation, Library Expenditures, Library Services, Library Surveys, Microcomputers, Online Systems, Online Vendors, Optical Data Disks, Questionnaires, Serials, Use Studies
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Concordia Coll., St. Paul, Minn.