Monograph use at an academic health sciences library: the first three years of shelf life.
OBJECTIVE: To study the circulation of monographs during the first three years of shelf life at an academic health sciences library. METHOD: A record was kept of monographs added to the circulating collection from mid-1994 to mid-1995. After three years, each monograph was located and the number of times it circulated during the first, second, and third year of shelf life determined by counting checkout stamps on the circulation slip. RESULTS: Of the 1,958 monographs studied, 1,674 had complete data for the first three years of shelf life. Of those 1,674 titles, 81.48% circulated at least once. A total of 7,659 circulations were recorded; 38.69% occurred in the first year of shelf life, 32.37% in the second year, and 28.95% in the third year. The data did not fit the well-known 80/20 rule. Instead, approximately 38% of monographs accounted for 80% of circulation. A small percentage, 2.21%, of monographs accounted for a substantial percentage of circulation, 21.84%. CONCLUSIONS: A large percentage of the monographs circulated and use did not decline sharply with age within the first three years of shelf life, indicating a high demand for monographs at this academic health sciences library. These results, combined with the findings of earlier studies, suggested two possibilities. First, academic health sciences libraries might exhibit use of a higher percentage of monograph acquisitions than other types of libraries; or, second, a low monograph-to-user ratio might result in a higher percentage of monographs being used. Perhaps both factors contributed to the results found in this study. Further investigation would be needed to determine the extent to which library type and monograph-to-user ratio influenced monograph use. (+info)
Interlibrary loan in primary access libraries: challenging the traditional view.
INTRODUCTION: Primary access libraries serve as the foundation of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) interlibrary loan (ILL) hierarchy, yet few published reports directly address the important role these libraries play in the ILL system. This may reflect the traditional view that small, primary access libraries are largely users of ILL, rather than important contributors to the effectiveness and efficiency of the national ILL system. OBJECTIVE: This study was undertaken to test several commonly held beliefs regarding ILL system use by primary access libraries. HYPOTHESES: Three hypotheses were developed. HI: Colorado and Wyoming primary access libraries comply with the recommended ILL guideline of adhering to a hierarchical structure, emphasizing local borrowing. H2: The closures of two Colorado Council of Medical Librarians (CCML) primary access libraries in 1996 resulted in twenty-three Colorado primary access libraries' borrowing more from their state resource library in 1997. H3: The number of subscriptions held by Colorado and Wyoming primary access libraries is positively correlated with the number of items they loan and negatively correlated with the number of items they borrow. METHODS: The hypotheses were tested using the 1992 and 1997 DOCLINE and OCLC data of fifty-four health sciences libraries, including fifty primary access libraries, two state resource libraries, and two general academic libraries in Colorado and Wyoming. The ILL data were obtained electronically and analyzed using Microsoft Word 98, Microsoft Excel 98, and JMP 3.2.2. RESULTS: CCML primary access libraries comply with the recommended guideline to emphasize local borrowing by supplying each other with the majority of their ILLs, instead of overburdening libraries located at higher levels in the ILL hierarchy (H1). The closures of two CCML primary access libraries appear to have affected the entire ILL system, resulting in a greater volume of ILL activity for the state resource library and other DOCLINE libraries higher up in the ILL hierarchy and highlighting the contribution made by CCML primary access libraries (H2). CCML primary access libraries borrow and lend in amounts that are proportional to their collection size, rather than overtaxing libraries at higher levels in the ILL hierarchy with large numbers of requests (H3). LIMITATIONS: The main limitations of this study were the small sample size and the use of data collected for another purpose, the CCML ILL survey. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that there is little evidence to support several commonly held beliefs regarding ILL system use by primary access libraries. In addition to validating the important contributions made by primary access libraries to the national ILL system, baseline data that can be used to benchmark current practice performance are provided. (+info)
Using a journal availability study to improve access.
PURPOSE: Identify journal collection access and use factors. SETTING AND SUBJECTS: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Health Sciences Library patrons. METHODOLOGY: Survey forms and user interactions were monitored once a week for twelve weeks during the fall 1997 semester. The project was based on a 1989 New Mexico State University study and used Kantor's Branching Analysis to measure responses. RESULT: 80% of reported sought journal articles were found successfully. Along with journal usage data, the library obtained demographic and behavioral information. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Journals are the library's most used resource and, even as more electronic journals are offered, print journals continue to make up the majority of the collection. Several factors highlighted the need to study journal availability. User groups indicated that finding journals was problematic, and internal statistics showed people requesting interlibrary loans for owned items. The study looked at success rates, time, and ease of finding journals. A variety of reasons contributed to not finding journals. While overall user reports indicated relatively high success rate and satisfaction, there were problems to be addressed. As the library proceeds in redesigning both the physical space and electronic presence, the collected data have provided valuable direction. (+info)
Online tables of contents for books: effect on usage.
OBJECTIVES: To explore whether the presence of online tables of contents (TOC) in an online catalog affects circulation (checkouts and inhouse usage). Two major questions were posed: (1) did the presence of online tables of contents for books increase use, and, (2) if it did, what factors might cause the increase? METHOD: A randomized and stratified design was used in tracking usage of 3,957 book titles that were previously divided into two groups: one with TOC and one without TOC. Stratification was done for year of imprint, location, subject, previous use, circulating or non-circulating status, and presence of TOC. The use was tracked by the online catalog statistics in the InnoPac online catalog for fourteen months. RESULTS: The study found that tables of contents do increase usage. It also showed a correlation in the size of the effect based on the currency of the titles. In general, even after adjusting for all of the variables (publication date, location, circulation status, subject, and previous use), the odds of a title being used increased by 45% if the titles had online tables of contents, a statistically significant impact at the 0.05 level. CONCLUSIONS: This case-control study presents new information about the impact on circulation and inhouse use when tables of contents for books are added to the online catalog record. The study helps to establish the positive role of tables of contents in online catalogs. The research establishes TOC as a major parameter that can be successfully studied using quantitative methods. The study also provides information professionals with some guidance on when enhancement of TOC is likely to be most effective in increasing the use of existing collections. (+info)
Ethics and access to teaching materials in the medical library: the case of the Pernkopf atlas.
Conflicts can occur between the principle of freedom of information treasured by librarians and ethical standards of scientific research involving the propriety of using data derived from immoral or dishonorable experimentation. A prime example of this conflict was brought to the attention of the medical and library communities in 1995 when articles claiming that the subjects of the illustrations in the classic anatomy atlas, Eduard Pernkopf's Topographische Anatomie des Menschen, were victims of the Nazi holocaust. While few have disputed the accuracy, artistic, or educational value of the Pernkopf atlas, some have argued that the use of such subjects violates standards of medical ethics involving inhuman and degrading treatment of subjects or disrespect of a human corpse. Efforts were made to remove the book from medical libraries. In this article, the history of the Pernkopf atlas and the controversy surrounding it are reviewed. The results of a survey of academic medical libraries concerning their treatment of the Pernkopf atlas are reported, and the ethical implications of these issues as they affect the responsibilities of librarians is discussed. (+info)
Print versus electronic journals: a preliminary investigation into the effect of journal format on research processes.
PURPOSE: To begin investigating the impact of electronic journals on research processes such as information seeking, the authors conducted a pilot journal-use study to test the hypothesis that patrons use print and electronic journals differently. METHODOLOGY: We placed fifteen high-use print titles also available in electronic format behind the circulation desk; patrons were asked to complete a survey upon requesting a journal. We also conducted a parallel survey of patrons using library computers. Both surveys asked patrons to identify themselves by user category and queried them about their journal use. RESULTS: During the month-long study, patrons completed sixty-nine surveys of electronic and ninety surveys of print journal use. Results analysis indicated that fellows, students, and residents preferred electronic journals, and faculty preferred print journals. Patrons used print journals for reading articles and scanning contents; they employed electronic journals for printing articles and checking references. Users considered electronic journals easier to access and search than print journals; however, they reported that print journals had higher quality text and figures. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: This study is an introductory step in examining how electronic journals affect research processes. Our data revealed that there were distinct preferences in format among categories. In addition to collection management implications for libraries, these data also have implications for publishers and educators; current electronic formats do not facilitate all types of uses and thus may be changing learning patterns as well. (+info)
Collection analysis techniques used to evaluate a graduate-level toxicology collection.
Collections librarians from academic libraries are often asked, on short notice, to evaluate whether their collections are able to support changes in their institutions' curricula, such as new programs or courses or revisions to existing programs or courses. With insufficient time to perform an exhaustive critique of the collection and a need to prepare a report for faculty external to the library, a selection of reliable but brief qualitative and quantitative tests is needed. In this study, materials-centered and use-centered methods were chosen to evaluate the toxicology collection of the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) Library. Strengths and weaknesses of the techniques are reviewed, along with examples of their use in evaluating the toxicology collection. The monograph portion of the collection was evaluated using list checking, citation analysis, and classified profile methods. Cost-effectiveness and impact factor data were compiled to rank journals from the collection. Use-centered methods such as circulation and interlibrary loan data identified highly used items that should be added to the collection. Finally, although the data were insufficient to evaluate the toxicology electronic journals at the U of S, a brief discussion of three initiatives that aim to assist librarians as they evaluate the use of networked electronic resources in their collections is presented. (+info)
Controlling hospital library theft.
At Capital Health System/Fuld Campus (formerly Helene Fuld Medical Center), the Health Sciences Library lost many books and videocassettes. These materials were listed in the catalog but were missing when staff went to the shelves. The hospital had experienced a downsizing of staff, a reorganization, and a merger. When the library staff did an inventory, $10,000 worth of materials were found to be missing. We corrected the situation through a series of steps that we believe will help other libraries control their theft. Through regularly scheduling inventories, monitoring items, advertising, and using specific security measures, we have successfully controlled the library theft. The January 2002 inventory resulted in meeting our goal of zero missing books and videocassettes. We work to maintain that goal. (+info)