More notes while reading through Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources (2005).
The one thing that stood out to me is the top three criteria respondents use for deciding which electronic information source to use: 1. provides worthwhile information; 2. Provides free information; and 3. Based on ease of use.
I think we get #’s 1 and 2 right – but not always #3.
Good stuff, but nothing that stands out to me…
84% of respondents use search engines to begin an information search … 1% begin the search on a library website. That makes perfect sense – we currently don’t have too much actual information residing on our websites.
What do we have? We have pointers to information – pointers to the catalog, to databases, to other websites. More Subject Guides and original articles focusing on how to find niche information is a good way to start bridging this gap. Focused guides and articles will also put those parts of our website in a search engine’s hit lists.
“Library card holders use information resources more than non-card holders, and they are more favorably disposed to libraries than non-card holders.” OK – this is one of those silly parts … really, did this need to be studied? This is like doing a study on exercise to see if it really does help you lose weight… just a little pet peave of mine…
Big flags should go up here:
1. “Information consumers use the library. They use the library less and read less since they began using the Internet.”
2. “Borrowing print books is the library service most used.”
Big issue – Customers are borrowing our print books less, but that’s our primary commodity. This needs to change. Period.
Little issue, to OCLC – I think you mean respondents are reading PRINT BOOKS less, rather than reading less. If they are using the Internet, most likely they are still reading – just not a print book.
“Find ways to get material to people, rather than making them come to the library.” – again, the theme of going out and meeting your customers….