In October, 2005 staff at the Hatcher Graduate Library conducted a study to quantify the use of the current print newspapers in order to refine the collection management strategy. Staff had observed that fewer and fewer patrons were using the print format newspapers and the study was an attempt to quantify this observation. Signs were posted in the part of the Serials/Microforms department in which the current print newspapers are displayed to let library patrons know that a newspaper use study was being conducted. Patrons were asked to note each use of an issue of a newspaper on the forms provided. If an issue was not available, patrons were also asked to note this on the form. Suggestion slips were made available to provide users the opportunity to give feedback and to suggest other print newspaper titles they might find useful. Departments were notified via email that the study was being conducted and then were reminded of the study in December. The study lasted from October 2005 through March 2006. Staff reviewed the newspapers on a weekly basis to look for indications that titles had been used.
Out of 155 newspaper titles, only 16 showed any recorded use during the six month study. The staff observation added an additional 8 titles that showed some use. Click here for the full results. As a comparison, a study by staff in 2002 of a smaller subset of 56 newspaper titles showed 26 titles had moderate to frequent use.
As a result of this study, we have cancelled 109 newspaper titles in paper format. Please note that this study and the cancellations do not affect the newspapers we collect on microfilm or have available electronically. In fact we will be increasing the number of titles we have available in other formats. Please click on the link for Newspaper Direct to learn about a new option. Also please note that all our newspapers in print format are only retained for three to six months and are discarded at the end of that time. The University Library keeps historical runs of newspapers in microfilm and electronic format. Please click on the link for the Graduate Library Newspaper Collection Policy for further information about this.
If you have any questions or feedback about this study and its result, please contact Marija Freeland at email@example.com.