Thursday, December 08, 2005

Market Research You Can Use

Others have already mentioned this (ResourceShelf, ACRLog), but after looking at OCLC's "Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources" report, I had to write about it too.

The report provides the "findings and responses from the online survey in an effort to learn more about: library use, awareness and use of library electronic resources, the Internet search engine, the library and the librarian, free vs. for-free information and the Library "brand."

What's great for academic libraries, is that the report separates out the responses from college students. Some of the findings from the college students' responses:

  • "College students have the highest rate of library use and broadest use of library resources, both physical and electronic."

  • Only 10% of college students indicated that their library's collection fulfilled their information needs after accessing the library Web site from a search engine."

  • Only 2% of the college students that responded to OCLC's survey typically begin their search for information on a particular topic at the library's Web site (versus 1% of total survey respondents)

  • 89% of college students typically use a search engine to begin their search for information on a particular topic (versus 84% of total survey respondents)

  • After search engines, 33% of college students learn about electronic inforation sources from a librarian (versus 8% of the total survey respondents)

  • What's the first source/place college students will choose next time they need information? 72% - search engines, 14% - physical library, 10% - online library, 2% - physical bookstore and 2% - online bookstore.
See the report for much, much more including sample verbatim comments.

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