Materials availability study in public libraries

Shunsaku Tamura, Yumiko Sakai

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An "availability rate study" is a way to evaluate the availability of materials in the collection of a library. The aim of this paper is to measure various availability rates of a Japanese public library and, from the results, to examine the applicability of this method to Japanese public libraries in general. Users of a main library in a city library system in Tokyo were interviewed over a period of four days in August, 1982. 224 responses were collected and the following availability rates of books were calculated: item availability rate=79%; class availability rate=85%; browser's fill rate=80%. Additionally, we could also ascertain the users patterns in seeking materials. From these results it can be concluded that availability rate studies are useful in Japanese public libraries because, 1. they evaluate materials used other than borrowed materials; 2. they tell us the general satisfaction rates of users; and 3. they help us see various problems concerning the collection and facilities of public libraries. In addition, if a simplified method is used such as that outlined in Output Measures for Public Libraries, data can be collected easily.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-65
Number of pages17
JournalLibrary and Information Science
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences

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