Non-use of Library Services by Students in a UK Academic Library

Lisa Jane Toner

Abstract


Objective – This study examined low or non-use of the library at St. Martin’s College, UK and determined the possible reasons for this. Additionally, this study investigated the other sources of information non-users were accessing. The results were then fed into the library’s future strategic planning cycle.

Methods – Using data from the TALIS management system, a postal survey was distributed to students who registered as low or non-users. Non-users were considered a hard-to-reach target group, and a further classroom-based survey was administered.

Results – The findings showed that students in part-time and distance learning courses were the largest group of non-users. Other factors influencing non-use included the purchase of books, use of the Internet, and a lack of awareness of services available.

Conclusions – The library service needs to target non-traditional student groups, particularly those taught off-campus, with innovative induction techniques. This survey highlighted the need to embed information skills teaching into the curriculum and a recent restructure of the department has enabled this to happen with a more focused approach to academic liaisonship.

Keywords


academic libraries; non-user survey

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