Longitudinally Observing Resource Usage Barriers Expected and Encountered by School of Public Health Affiliates at a Health Sciences Center Library

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OBJECTIVE: Over a semester, this longitudinal observational study explored the relationship between actual and expected usage of library resources as well as anticipated and encountered barriers to that usage among public health affiliates. METHODS: School of Public Health affiliates were sent questionnaires monthly throughout a semester. These questionnaires asked about library usage and library barriers in order to examine changes. Participants were compensated $5 for each questionnaire completed. RESULTS: These questionnaires examined why patrons registered with the library, what resources they used, and what difficulties they encountered. Most patrons used resources less often that they predicted at the beginning of the semester, mainly because of time constraints but also due to problems navigating the library’s website and databases. Registrants did not have accurate expectations about how often they will use the library's resources as well as what resources they will use. At the beginning of the semester, participants expected barriers to usage but were not sure what. Although most respondents encountered no difficulties using library resources, those who did often had multiple problems and seldom sought library assistance. CONCLUSION: These affiliates have high expectations of library usage. The library needs to manage expectations as well as assist in difficulties. Study across an entire health sciences center is needed to determine differences across schools.





South Central Academic Medical Libraries Consortium (SCAMeL)

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.