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NASIG 2017
Racing to the Crossroads
Indianapolis, IN, June 8 to 11

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Friday, June 9 • 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Concurrent Session C5: Evaluating User Experience and Access Data to Reveal Patrons’ Print and Digital Serials Preferences

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This presentation discusses our paper that presents user experience data collected through surveys and interviews, in conjunction with an access statistics project about serials usage, to offer a comprehensive picture of a diverse population of patrons’ print and digital access preferences. Together, this data informs library services and empowers Ryerson and Burnham librarians to expand (or reduce) access to electronic and print serials in response to our patrons’ specific research habits. Knowledge of our patrons’ needs is important because the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries serve a unique population of users, including museum research staff, docents, undergraduate and graduate students, tenured and adjunct faculty, museum-goers, and visiting researchers. The library houses around 600,000 print titles, subscribes to about 700 serials in print and/or electronic format, and acquires 10,000 physical volumes per year.

Over the past six months, we collected, evaluated, and presented on usage statistics for our print and electronic journal subscriptions in order to determine how patrons access our library’s collections and to gauge their interactions with electronic resources. During our analysis, we discovered trends that we seek to better explain by directly assessing our users’ research habits. We accomplish this objective by formatting, conducting, and analyzing a series of surveys and interviews with our patrons that illuminate their preferences for digital or print serials, which often vary depending on their research topic, their comfort level with electronic resources, and the stage of research they are conducting.

The results of the surveys and interviews, together with our existing study on access statistics, offer more dynamic information about the personal research experiences of our users. The decisions we make in response to these results will impact a number of the library’s activities, including collection development, acquisitions, cancellations, and outreach, as we quickly approach a crossroads of print and digital resource management.


Stephanie Blue Fletcher

Art Institute of Chicago
Stephanie Fletcher is E-Resources/Reference Librarian at the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries at the Art Institute of Chicago. She holds an MA in art history from the University of Illinois and an MLIS from Dominican University. She recently co-authored the presentation "The Transformation... Read More →

Karen Stafford

Art Institute of Chicago
Karen Stafford is Head of Technical Services at the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries at the Art Institute of Chicago. She holds an MLS from Indiana University and is also ABD for a PhD in musicology. Karen is a member of ARLIS/NA's Professional Development Committee and Cataloging Advisory... Read More →

Friday June 9, 2017 2:30pm - 3:30pm EDT