Decline in use of catalogs

Lorcan 1 min read

Some interesting data from Dan Greenstein about relative use of catalog (and the library’s physical holdings) and the newer digital licensed resources.

Use of online journals and reference databases that the library licenses (but rarely owns) grows dramatically year on year (CDL 2002). The use of online public access catalogs (a measure of demand for the library’s physical holdings) declines, as if in inverse proportion. The number of searches tried on Melvyl ….. has declined by nearly 40 percent in the last eight years ….. The number of online information sources grows more rapidly, the argument runs, than does the time available to scholars to use them. Accordingly, the market share of the online catalog, once the primary portal to a world of information, has declined precipitously. Data published by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) reveal a similar trend, documenting declines both in the in-house use and in the circulation of the library’s physical holdings. pub126.pdf (application/pdf Object)

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