Whose Decline?

Rachel Applegate


This study examines reference transaction quantities reported through the Academic Library Survey of the National Center for Educational Statistics to explore whether, and the extent to which, academic libraries are seeing a decline: the beginnings of a “deserted library.” Data from 2002 and 2004 shows a decline in reference transactions per week on a per-library basis and on a per-student basis, but this decline differs by the type of institution (Carnegie Class). Librarians at master’s institutions have actually seen an increase in the numbers of questions per librarian. ARL institutions’ patterns differ from those of other universities, which calls into question using ARL experiences as indicative of the wider academic universe.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/rusq.48n2.176


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