School of Information Sciences -- Faculty Publications and Other Works

Source Publication (e.g., journal title)

Library Journal

Document Type


Publication Date



IN THE OLD DAYS, IT WAS DIFFICULT to gather information about the use of library collections. Door counts, circulation records, and tick-marks at the reference desk gave crude approximations. To obtain data about periodical use, patrons were asked to leave used periodicals unshelved, and librarians guessed how many articles were read.

Digital periodicals, ebook collections, and virtual reference inundate libraries with usage data. Some libraries collect it across systems, but most rely on data provided by vendors. If the data allow vendor comparisons, and are consistent and accurate, librarians learn more about their collections.


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