How do virtual visitors get to the library?

How do virtual visitors get to the library? Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present an exploratory and preliminary analysis of virtual visitors to the web site of the State Library of Victoria (SLV) in order to enable more understanding about the type of content people are accessing on library web sites. Design/methodology/approach – Most of the analysis in this paper is based on web activity data sourced from Hitwise. Different uses of the library web site are investigated as well as the characteristics of the visitors, where they were on the internet before coming to the library web site and where they went afterwards. Findings – Queries on history, places and particular buildings were almost exclusively related to Victorian places or buildings, reflecting the content of the SLV web site. These three categories of query accounted for two fifths of all non‐SLV‐related queries. Most of the analyses presented in this paper have shown little difference over the years 2006‐2008. Research limitations/implications – One of the things that is very difficult to gauge from the data is whether the user obtained material of interest from the SLV site. To really find this out, one would need to ask the user directly. Practical implications – This analysis will have implications for libraries' management of their online presence. Originality/value – This paper differs from most papers on web search as it attempts a manual classification of the long tails of upstream web sites, downstream web sites and search queries. This paper will be of interest to anybody interested in the use of library web sites or information search. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Electronic Library Emerald Publishing

How do virtual visitors get to the library?

The Electronic Library, Volume 27 (5): 16 – Oct 2, 2009

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0264-0473
DOI
10.1108/02640470910998533
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present an exploratory and preliminary analysis of virtual visitors to the web site of the State Library of Victoria (SLV) in order to enable more understanding about the type of content people are accessing on library web sites. Design/methodology/approach – Most of the analysis in this paper is based on web activity data sourced from Hitwise. Different uses of the library web site are investigated as well as the characteristics of the visitors, where they were on the internet before coming to the library web site and where they went afterwards. Findings – Queries on history, places and particular buildings were almost exclusively related to Victorian places or buildings, reflecting the content of the SLV web site. These three categories of query accounted for two fifths of all non‐SLV‐related queries. Most of the analyses presented in this paper have shown little difference over the years 2006‐2008. Research limitations/implications – One of the things that is very difficult to gauge from the data is whether the user obtained material of interest from the SLV site. To really find this out, one would need to ask the user directly. Practical implications – This analysis will have implications for libraries' management of their online presence. Originality/value – This paper differs from most papers on web search as it attempts a manual classification of the long tails of upstream web sites, downstream web sites and search queries. This paper will be of interest to anybody interested in the use of library web sites or information search.

Journal

The Electronic LibraryEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 2, 2009

Keywords: Information searches; Library networks; Online operations; Digital libraries; Australia

References

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