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Public library and users' lifestyle in a changing context

Public library and users' lifestyle in a changing context Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to show that in a time of dramatic social change and progress in information communications technology, surveys and analysis were used to identify residents' lifestyles and their views and attitudes toward public libraries. Design/methodology/approach – Two series of surveys were conducted in suburban/rural cities of Japan in 2004 and 2006. The first survey was across all local residents, and the second among library users. The results of these surveys were analyzed in depth, and different lifestyle groups were identified. Library use by each of these groups was investigated in detail. Findings – The findings demonstrate that those who positively appreciated the various benefits of the public library tended to be frequent/regular visitors and to belong to the “Group of ‘actively striving’” and the “Group of ‘respecting others’” in the 2004 survey, and similar types of group in the 2006 survey. In addition, the 2006 survey also showed that the visitors include those who were not necessarily conscious about library services, and 10 per cent of the respondents were not much interested in them at all. Practical implications – The results demonstrate that the libraries acquire new user groups according to their service innovations. However, it was found that people have already started to utilize search engines on the internet, regardless of the presence/absence of the corresponding service in the library to acquire various types of information. Originality/value – This paper re‐examines the traditional understanding of the user profile of public libraries, and demonstrates a tool to help identify changes in use and users. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Performance Measurement and Metrics Emerald Publishing

Public library and users' lifestyle in a changing context

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References (9)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1467-8047
DOI
10.1108/14678040710841072
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to show that in a time of dramatic social change and progress in information communications technology, surveys and analysis were used to identify residents' lifestyles and their views and attitudes toward public libraries. Design/methodology/approach – Two series of surveys were conducted in suburban/rural cities of Japan in 2004 and 2006. The first survey was across all local residents, and the second among library users. The results of these surveys were analyzed in depth, and different lifestyle groups were identified. Library use by each of these groups was investigated in detail. Findings – The findings demonstrate that those who positively appreciated the various benefits of the public library tended to be frequent/regular visitors and to belong to the “Group of ‘actively striving’” and the “Group of ‘respecting others’” in the 2004 survey, and similar types of group in the 2006 survey. In addition, the 2006 survey also showed that the visitors include those who were not necessarily conscious about library services, and 10 per cent of the respondents were not much interested in them at all. Practical implications – The results demonstrate that the libraries acquire new user groups according to their service innovations. However, it was found that people have already started to utilize search engines on the internet, regardless of the presence/absence of the corresponding service in the library to acquire various types of information. Originality/value – This paper re‐examines the traditional understanding of the user profile of public libraries, and demonstrates a tool to help identify changes in use and users.

Journal

Performance Measurement and MetricsEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 6, 2007

Keywords: Public libraries; Lifestyles; Attitudes; User studies; Japan

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