Date Approved

5-31-1996

Embargo Period

9-6-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in School and Public Librarianship

Department

Special Educational Services/Instruction

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Pauly, Regina

Subject(s)

Cape May County Library; Information storage and retrieval systems; Online bibliographic searching

Disciplines

Library and Information Science

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to ascertain and compare the methods used by other New Jersey public libraries in order to best serve their patrons' needs in a technological society. The libraries of today, including Cape May County Public Library, are facing the challenge of providing online services to an ever more sophisticated clientele. At the same time, the funds for these services may be difficult to obtain.

A questionnaire was sent to fifteen New Jersey public libraries, twelve of whom responded. Questions involving the type of online searching being done at their institution were raised. Also questioned were the costs involved in these searches and the amount of patron involvement needed in both cost recovery and search strategies. Also studied was the type of magazine services available and the cost of such services to the patrons.

According to the statistics gathered, patrons are an integral part of search procedures. Patrons are interviewed or required to be present for the search. In some libraries request-for-search forms are used as a management tool for online searches. sixty percent of the libraries surveyed pass at least some of the cost of searching on to their patrons. The most popular online sources involve the subject areas of business, health and current events.

Based on information obtained, the following recommendation was made as far as policy at the Cape May County Public Library. Each patron that desires to obtain information via online services will be asked to fill out a request-for-search form as is illustrated in chapter four of this work. This form has been designed with the conclusions of the questionnaire as a basis for the information.

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