University Libraries Faculty Publications


Why Users Come to the Library: A Case Study of Library and Non-Library Units

Document Type



This case study explores use patterns of an academic library following the addition of several non-library units. Of specific interest were the initial destinations of patrons, the number of destinations visited, and the primary purpose for coming to the library. We observed all destinations of patrons as they entered the building and administered an exit survey to gain additional insight into patrons' use of the library, including all first floor destinations visited and their primary purpose for visiting the library. We used selected statistics to further explore library use. Findings indicate that non-library units are a popular destination for library patrons but do not eclipse the overall use of library units; that the majority of patrons only visit one destination per trip to the library; and that the primary purposes for which patrons come to the library are studying and the use of library materials.

Publication Date


Publication Title

The Journal of Academic Librarianship