A Qualitative, Comparative Study of the Use of Electronic Information and Other Services at Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Münster

John C. Crawford

Abstract


The Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek, (ULB) Münster, has a substantial background of research and publication in performance measurement and evaluation of library and information services (Poll and te Boekhorst) and has conducted and published internal studies of various aspects of its services.(Obst 1995; Buch 1996). My contact with the Library goes back to late 1996 when I spent two weeks at ULB on a British Council exchange scheme with North Rhine Westphalia which gave me some understanding of how the Library operates and some knowledge of the technical vocabulary of German academic librarianship. In 1998 I directed a qualitative study of the use being made of Glasgow Caledonian University Library’s recently opened Electronic Information Floor (Crawford 1999). A literature review undertaken prior to the study showed that surprisingly little research had been done in this area and that one of the earliest studies was that undertaken by Dr Oliver Obst at Münster (1995). Coincidentally ULB is a partner in the EQUINOX Project, led by CERLIM, which aims to develop a set of standardised performance measures for the electronic library and was interested in collecting some qualitative data as a background to the Project. After email discussions with ULB it was decided that I should visit the Library again to undertake a qualitative study of the use of electronic information services there which would act both as a comparative study with Glasgow Caledonian University and a background study to the much larger, CERLIM led, EQUINOX Project.

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