School of Information Sciences -- Faculty Publications and Other Works

Source Publication (e.g., journal title)

Reference and User Services Quarterly

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2000


Database usage data from a random sample of ninety-eight public libraries and library systems in the United States and Canada reveal patterns of use. Library users at all sizes of public libraries tend to use research databases most frequently early in the week, at midday, and at times that correspond to the academic calendar (November in this six-month sample.) Peak usage varies with size of library, but a capacity of between one and ten simultaneous users will satisfy 99 percent of demand in every size of library. A questionnaire sent to these libraries revealed many other factors that might influence database use, including posting signs or preparing handouts, availability of remote login, and placement of a database on the library's homepage. Only the number of workstations, adjusted for population, was found to be statistically correlated with amount of use.

Submission Type

Publisher's Version

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."