Daily Archives: December 6, 2005

A New Must Read OCLC Library Usage Report

As a follow up to its landmark 2003 Environmental Scan, OCLC has just released Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources. Here’s a description of the scope of this new report:

The topics explored in the survey include the perceptions and preferences of information consumers; users’ relationship with and use of libraries, including usage of and familiarity with electronic information resources; awareness of libraries and resources offered; the “Library” brand and its ubiquity and universality; trust of libraries and their resources; and people’s perceptions of the library’s purpose/mission.

While the report is not specific to the academic sector, OCLC did include close to 400 college students among its survey population. Here are two nuggets of information provided by the report about college students:

* College students have the highest rate of library use and broadest use of library resources, both physical and electronic.

* Only 10 percent of college students indicated that their library’s collection fulfilled their information needs after accessing the library Web site from a search engine

Many of the findings compare how users respond to search engines and libraries/librarians, and how satisfied they are with each for finding information. It will be interesting to see how library pundits use the findings in this report to promote their philosophies. But first, let’s give this report a thorough reading.

Pardon My Buzzwords

Yesterday’s post about Web/Lib 2.0 made only mild use of some new technology buzzwords, and you probably came across more of them if you followed the links to other stories about Web 2.0 and Lib 2.0. So I couldn’t resist sharing with ACRLog readers a post from Creating Passionate Users that pokes a bit of fun at the Web 2.0 jargon, but also makes the following point: These Web 2.x buzzwords are more technology and business-model focused than user focused, and that’s a recipe for building things that meet the checklist but fail the users. Like the author says, the buzzwords aren’t much use if we can figure what meaning they hold for the users of our services and resources.