We use the old fashioned tick-mark method for current issues, and request
that users NOT reshelve materials from the back issues stacks. We've gone a
bit further by posting signs proclaiming "Help Stamp Out Journal Extinction"
with appropriate clip art. Using a large font size, colored papers, and
clip art draws attention to the signs. Also, sign placement is important.
Varying the placement helps. Don't only post the large signs on the outside
of the shelving ranges. Post smaller signs throughout the shelves. This
hasn't eliminated the problem of user reshelving, but it has helped.
We input the results using the SIRSI 'Mark Item Used' feature. Each title
has a barcoded card that we use for scanning. SIRSI Reports Module then
compiles total usage for us on a monthly and annual basis.
Posting signs helps point out that any journal title in our collection is on
"Use or Lose" status. You can go a step further by including this
information in any bibliographic instruction that you do. We include it as
part of a New Engineer Training briefing. In-processing tours are also a
We use the same method for books collected at day's end. Strategically
placed book trucks hold the in-house-use materials as well as any items left
on tables or in carrels.
AFFTC Technical Library
Edwards AFB, CA
From: FEDLIB: Federal Librarians Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Kristina Bobe
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2005 6:58 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Methods to determine resource use?
Regarding the in-house usage of print journals, we have posted signs to
patrons to not reshelve print journals that they use. Instead, we ask them
to please leave all print journals on a cart for reshelving. We then scan
these items in Sirsi under 'Mark Item Used' and generate usage statistics
with that method.
Of course, since many patrons don't read signs we give friendly reminders.
We let patrons know that, if a journal looks like it isn't being read, it
may adversely affect the subscription of that journal.
We use the same method for books that are viewed in the library but not
Kristina Bobe, M.L.S.
Reference and Marketing Librarian
U.S. Census Bureau Library
FOB 3, Room 2455
Washington, DC 20233-1980
301-763-2511 (reference desk)
301-763-2509 (direct line)
<[log in to unmask]
Sent by: "FEDLIB: [log in to unmask]
Discussion List" Subject
<[log in to unmask]> Re: Methods to determine resource
Please respond to
<[log in to unmask]>
I can provide some negative information.
Requesting patrons to indicate usage (even by such a simple method as
marking a score sheet stapled to the journal cover -- does not work
effectively. Most ignored the sheet, and the few who marked it usually did
so only in response to a pointed request by our library tech, when she
noticed them returning the item without marking the sheet.
Tasking the library tech with monitoring usage was also ineffective,
as her duties frequently distracted her from observing patron behavior.
Patron surveying has also proven ineffective for us. Although this
Institute is fairly small, making follow-up reasonably feasible, the return
rate is too small to be useful.
Jim Cornelius, Reference Librarian
Jeannette Rankin Library Program
United States Institute of Peace
1200 17th Street, N.W., Suite 200
Washington, D.C. 20036
202 429-3851; [log in to unmask]
On Aug 11, 2005, at 1:54 PM, Janine Devereaux wrote:
> Please excuse cross-posting. I'm appealing to as many of you as
> Have you discovered successful ways to track print journal usage and
> database usage by your organization's staff? We've been asked by
> management to use several methods to determine how much our resources
> are actually being used. Rising subscription prices are a concern and
> most tracking methods used in libraries where I've previously worked
> didn't really provide accurate data.
> Although print journal usage is a major concern, I'm also looking for
> methods you may have used to measure database usage.
> Several of our database vendors can supply statistics on use but
> others cannot. Also, if you have used any surveys successfully to
> help determine print journal or database usage, would you please send
> a copy to me?
> Thank you,
> Janine Devereaux, Librarian
> NOAA Coastal Services Center
> 2234 S. Hobson Ave.
> Charleston, SC 29405-2413
> Telephone: (843)740-1247 Fax: (843)740-1298
> Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift
> That's why they call it "the present" (Loretta LaRoche)
> Any opinion expressed in this email does not necessarily reflect the
> views of the U.S. Government.