A study reported in 1977 at Case Western Reserve concerning the impact of shortening the loan period at the Sears Library, containing 200,000 volumes in science, technology, and management, from a semester loan (in 1972) to a 4-week loan (in 1974) showed that203 of 423 book requests (48%) were immediately satisfied under the semester loan system, while 245 of 437 book requests (56%) were immediately satisfied under the 4-week loan system.                 (Source)

        Ibid…. showed that, of the 423 requests studied during the semester loan system, 70 (16.5%) were unavailable because circulating, while of 437 requests studied during the 4-week loan system, 43 (9.8%) were unavailable because circulating.                 (Source)

        Ibid…. showed that, of the 220 book requests not immediately satisfied under the semester loan system and the 192 book requests not immediately satisfied under the 4-week loan system, reasons for failure were as follows:

                SEMESTER LOAN      4-WEEK LOAN

                not owned by library                    52 (23.6%)                    38 (19.8%)

                on loan or in-house use                81 (36.8%)                    48 (25.0%)

                library malfunctions                      29 (13.2%)                    45 (23.4%)

                user errors                                   49 (22.3%)                    50 (26.0%)

                other                                              9(4.1%)                   11 (5.7%)             (Source)

A study reported in 1978 at the undergraduate library of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, of patron success rate in finding books over a 5-week period (sample size: 1,010 patrons; responding: 503 or 49.5%, involving 2,375 titles) showed thatthe 828 titles not available involved 1,025 volumes. The 2 main reasons for unavailability were: volumes checked out (729 or 71.1%) and volumes unaccounted for (208 or 20.3%). Binding accounted for 22 (2.1%) volumes, while interlibrary loan accounted for 2 (0.2%) volumes.             (Source)

A study reported in 1983 at a medium-sized academic library, involving 504 volumes chosen at random from the card catalog, showed that437 (86.7%) were available on the shelf, 25 (5.0%) were in circulation, and 42 (8.3%) were not available for other reasons.             (Source)

Dr. David Kohl

 "Libraries in the digital age are experiencing the most profound transformation since ancient Mesopotamian scribes first began gathering and organizing cuneiform tablets."

Go to top