Learn a practical new approach to some long-standing and significant problems that librarians are continually called upon to address, such as:
- Is the library reaching its target audience?
- What do shifts in use patterns reflect?
- How often can users be expected to visit the library on the average?
- Can users be identified by category by the way they use the library?Author Charles D. Emery takes a close look at some methods which can be used to answer these questions accurately. Using the analogy of repeat buying, which has been shown to follow consistent and regular patterns across a wide range of consumers, brands, products, time periods, and other conditions, Mr. Emery applies the same concepts of research to the investigation and analysis of library use. There are remarkable similarities between library borrowing and consumer purchasing patterns. Thus, not only does the consumer purchasing model provide us with a means of investigating and predicting library user behavior, but it furnishes an appropriate mechanism for the more sophisticated analysis of that behavior through the application of marketing concepts such as product mix and brand switching.By drawing the comparison between library borrowing and consumer purchasing, Mr. Emery has identified what library administrators have hitherto lacked: a readily accessible corpus of theory and practical example upon which to base a coherent and cumulative body of research into the behavior of library users. The results will be useful as input to planning and distribution of resources in matters of budgets, services hours, personnel, and programming.