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Digital libraries for general audiences: Usage patterns and trends in Wisconsin's Badgerlink

Dietmar Wolfram & Hong (Iris) Xie

ASIS&T Annual Meeting - 2006 (ASIS&T 2006)
Austin, Texas, November 3-9, 2006


The authors report the findings of a longitudinal study of EBSCO and ProQuest database product usage within a state digital library called BadgerLink. A number of changes have been observed since an initial study was conducted 1999. Shifts were observed in the distribution of topics searched. Basic searching continues to be the most frequently used method for ProQuest resources, but advanced and publication search options have become more popular over the past two years. Overall usage by all institutional types is up. However, the percentage of users affiliated with academic organizations continues to grow in terms of the percentage of sessions conducted between 1999 and 2005, whereas public library and K-12 school usage has declined over the past six years in relative terms. The number of searches conducted per session is also down across each institution type. The findings of the study present the unique characteristics of state digital library usage across time. They also provide a foundation on which the authors will develop a model of organizational usability of state digital libraries.

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