Capturing Patron Selections from an Engineering Library Public Terminal Menu: An Analysis of Results

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Library public terminals provide users with a rich portal function that provides access to myriad remote and local information resources. These resources typically include local, state, and regional Online Public Access Catalogs (OPACs), national shared cataloging databases such as Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), remote and locally loaded Abstracting and Indexing (A & I) services, licensed publisher full-text repositories and portals, and custom local databases and Web sites produced by the library. Clearly, it is important for libraries to gather usage statistics on these resources for collection development decisions and to help identify public service needs. Determining the frequency and order of selections from the public terminal menu can provide useful interface design data for the arrangement of menu options and the determination of primary and secondary menus. In particular, libraries spend a significant portion of their collection development budget on a variety of licensed A & I services and a growing number of full-text publisher sites. These resources may be paid out of the budgets of branch or departmental science and engineering libraries or from central library funds, or a combination of both. Determining usage data for these licensed resources is of primary importance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInformation Practice in Science and Technology
Subtitle of host publicationEvolving Challenges and New Directions
EditorsMary C Schlembach
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780203049976
ISBN (Print)9780789021847, 9780789021830
StatePublished - Aug 2003


  • End-user searching behavior
  • Grainger Engineering Library
  • Public terminal menus
  • Transaction logs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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