Contrary to many predictions and despite the growing importance of digital collections, SCONUL statistics demonstrate that the use of physical library space is growing rather than declining. To gain a better understanding of this growth, SCONUL is undertaking a study of the drivers of library usage to both guide service delivery and to produce advocacy material. This was launched at the SCONUL Conference and this news item is the formal call for participation.
The project is being conducted with Andrew Cox of Sheffield University and will include an international literature review on this issue. However the main element of the project is to work with the community to surface data we may hold. We are aware that many libraries have carried out their own research with users and we want this project to draw on this wider, hidden, body of learning across the UK library community. We are asking members to share their own research with us.
We ask that you share data and reports from institutional studies of physical library space undertaken in the last 5-10 years. The call for data includes both quantitative and qualitative data. Relevant context such as purposes of the institutional study, if not included in related reports should be supplied. However the SCONUL Transformation Strategy Group will take care to ensure that participating institutions are not identifiable in any reports on our work. These should be sent to the SCONUL office at firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of July 2019 if at all possible.
We do ask that any data shared with the project does not include personal data, i.e. that the original participants in studies cannot be identified, directly or indirectly, by anyone. The robust anonymisation of data will be further checked by SCONUL prior to analysis. The approach to data reuse has been approved under the research ethics procedures of the University of Sheffield.