The Elusive User: Changing Use Patterns in Academic Libraries 1995 to 2004

Charles Martell

Abstract

This article documents changes in library use during the past decade. Data from professional organizations reveal that circulation use has declined slightly, with notable variations in health and law and at individual institutions, including the Ivy League. Reference use has declined more steeply. Electronic use has skyrocketed, but counting use remains problematic. The HOLLIS Plus counting results at Harvard University are highlighted. Electronic Serials expenditures at academic research libraries (ARL) suggest that electronic use will continue to expand unabated. Major studies profiling users are cited. Notable benefits are predicted as the shifted librarian and the elusive user interact in virtual space.

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