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Title:An Exploration Into Factors Causing the Increased Circulation of Displayed Books (Public Libraries, Information Overload, Physical Accessibility, Browsing, Experimental Research)
Author(s):Baker, Sharon L.
Department / Program:Library Science
Discipline:Library Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Library Science
Abstract:Several articles in the general library literature describe the success of book displays with patrons. Generally, such displays have substantially increased circulation of any kind of books they contain. This study attempts to determine why displays increase use by testing two hypotheses. The first is that fiction titles placed in a prime display location will circulate significantly more than their counterparts on the regular shelves and in a non-prime display location, because they are more physically accessible and more visible to browsers. The second hypothesis is that fiction titles marked as "recommended" will circulate more than their counterparts in the prime display area, or in the non-prime display area, or on the regular shelves because the recommendation serves to narrow the browser's choice of materials, thus providing a type of selection guidance which overcomes the effects of information overload.
The hypotheses were tested using a standard pretest-posttest experimental design at two small Illinois public libraries. Patrons checking out study titles were also interviewed over the telephone. The study findings suggest that only the first factor, that of the increased accessibility/visibility of the prime display location, appears to be a causal element. Therefore, any library which seeks to increase use of books through a display should make sure the display is placed in a high traffic location where it is readily accessible and visible to a large number of patrons. While there is some reason to believe that narrowing of selection may work in larger libraries, the hypothesis regarding the narrowing of selection was not conclusively supported by the evidence gathered in the small libraries studied here. It is possible that a study of libraries with larger collections might yield different results.
Issue Date:1985
Description:261 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8600119
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1985

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