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Dissertation Information for Philip M. Clark

NAME:
- Philip M. Clark

DEGREE:
- Ph.D.

DISCIPLINE:
- Library and Information Science

SCHOOL:
- Rutgers University (USA) (1982)

ADVISORS:
- Ernest Deprospo

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
- Ralph Blasingame
- Thomas H. Mott Jr.
- Kenneth Beasley

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: THE INDIVIDUAL LIBRARY PATRON AS THE UNIT OF RESEARCH ANALYSIS: THE DEVELOPMENT OF A METHODOLOGY OF PUBLIC LIBRARY USE

Abstract: Library use is conceptualized as primarily person centered rather than group centered. Using the individual library patron as the unit of research analysis, the study explores individual patterns of borrowing over time by accounting for the number of visits on which borrowing took place, number of items borrowed per visit, and total items borrowed. These are correlated with independent variables such as gender and location of residence.

A methodology is developed for data collection. A basic model of the borrowing/visiting interaction is proposed and tested. Four Core Aggregation Groups are defined based on scores derived by calculating the mean plus one standard deviation for both visits and total circulation. The result is a model that retains the actual distribution present in the subject library and illustrates the large effect that a few individuals can have on both total circulations and total visits.

In the course of the study that was conducted in two New Jersey public library systems at three different time periods, over 11,000 different individuals were shown to account for some 25,000 visits and 92,000 circulations. Substantive findings are along the lines of those demonstrated by Berelson (1949) that a few individuals account for a large percentage of the total circulation. The same is the case for borrowing visits.

Gender and location of residence were found to have little power to explain variation in the dependent variables. Substantively, women did not borrow at a significantly higher rate than did men. Those individuals living at a farther distance from the library borrowed and visited at a similar rate as those living closer to the library although much greater numbers of individuals lived in close proximity to the library than at a distance.

Conclusions and recommendations focus on direct applications in public libraries with implications for other types of libraries. Further research can explore attitudinal differences between or within Core Aggregation Groups. The concept has important implications to the study of non-borrowing services in libraries.

MPACT Scores for Philip M. Clark

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:09:36

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Students under Philip M. Clark

ADVISEES:
- None

COMMITTEESHIPS:
- None