A 1979 study comparing lookup time of the same catalog (Anoka County Library, Minnesota, with a collection size of 110,000 titles with almost 500,000 entries) in fiche format (using a nmi-90 fiche reader) vs. microfilm format (ROM 3 mechanized reader) showed that an arbitrarily selected group of 36 UC Berkeley patrons (an additional 3 did not complete enough of the lookups to be included) carrying out 252 trials revealed that the fiche catalog required an average of 7.6% longer lookup time. A lookup task that would take 20 minutes using a ROM film reader would take 21 to 22 minutes in a fiche reader.                       (Source)

        Ibid…. showed that40 library staff at UC Berkeley carrying out 240 trials revealed that the fiche catalog required on average a 5.7% longer lookup time.                      (Source)

        Ibid…. showed that, of 39 respondents in the patron group and 31 respondents in the library staff group, 10 (26%) of the patron group favored the fiche reader vs. 14 (45%) of the library staff group, 10 (26%) of the patron group had no preference vs. 1 (3%) of the library staff group, and 19 (49%) of the patron group favored the ROM vs. 16 (52%) of the library staff group.                     (Source)

A study reported in 1981 at San Jose State University Library comparing graduate library school students’ lookup speeds of 16 entries (3 author, 8 title/added entries, and 5 subject entries) in fiche vs. microfilm forms of a dictionary public library catalog with 436,791 entries (using a Micro-Desing 4020 fiche reader and an Information Design ROM 3 film reader) showed thatthe average speed of the film users was 16.7 minutes compared to 25.3 minutes for the fiche users. (This was a statistically significant difference at the .01 level.)                    (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