Date Approved

5-4-1998

Embargo Period

8-12-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in School and Public Librarianship

Department

Special Educational Services/Instruction

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Willett, Holly G.

Subject(s)

Ocean City Free Public Library (Ocean City, N.J.); Library circulation and loans; Public libraries--Use studies

Disciplines

Library and Information Science

Abstract

The purpose of this project was to determine if adult lifestyle behaviors, as identified in the 1990 U.S. Census, could be linked with circulation statistics for fiction and nonfiction books, and thereby, used to assist acquisition librarians in the purchase of library materials. The project, a partial replication of the Davis and Altman (1997) study, focused on the book selections made by adults at the Ocean City Free Public Library in Ocean City, NJ. The methodology included the examination of circulation records for these subjects during December, January, and February 1992-1997, and relating these choices to the spending potential index behaviors reported in The Sourcebook for Zip Code Demographics 11th edition. The acquisition librarians were interviewed also to determine their awareness of community demographics and lifestyle behaviors and the use of these factors in their book selection process. While the results showed some parallels between lifestyle demographics and book choices made by patrons at the Ocean City Free Public Library, the methodology used has limitations. Consequently, no generalizations could be drawn about the utility of this type of unobtrusive user study for other libraries.

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