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; usersâ€™ relationship with and use of libraries, including usage of and familiarity with electronic information resources; awareness of libraries and resources offered; the â€œLibraryâ€ brand and its ubiquity and universality; trust of libraries and their resources; and peopleâ€™s perceptions of the libraryâ€™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 libraryâ€™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.