Library and Information Science

Library and Information Science ISSN: 2435-8495
三田図書館・情報学会 Mita Society for Library and Information Science
〒108‒8345 東京都港区三田2‒15‒45 慶應義塾大学文学部図書館・情報学専攻内 c/o Keio University, 2-15-45 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8345, Japan
Library and Information Science 18: 123-140 (1980)

原著論文Original Article

公共図書館の利用者像Some characteristics of public library users in Japan

1慶應義塾大学文学部図書館・情報学科助手Teaching Assistant, School of Library and Information Science, Keio University ◇ 〒108-8345 東京都港区三田二丁目15番45号 ◇ Mita 2-15-45, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8345, Japan

2筑波大学学術情報処理センター講師Lecturer, Science Information Processing Center, University of Tsukuba ◇ 〒305-0006 茨城県つくば市天王台一丁目1番1号 ◇ Tennodai 1-1-1, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki 305-8577, Japan

発行日:1981年3月25日Published: March 25, 1981

It is indispensable for every public library to know its clientele, i.e., their characteristics and attitudes. This paper aims to outline the general characteristics of public library users in Japan. A user survey was made at the four public libraries in Tokyo Metropolitan District in June, 1980. Data were analysed and compared with other older surveys.

The following three were found; (1) Although the characteristic of users are varied according to libraries, there seems to exist some general characteristics of users who commonly use libraries, i.e., people whose ages range between tens to thirties, who are either students, or highly educated housewives, or white-collars and professionals. Of course, people with other characteristics also use libraries, but their proportion is relatively small. (2) The most obvious difference between public library users and general readers is the frequent use by housewives. And this suggests the fact that recent developments of Japanese public libraries are supported largely by housewives (or, mothers who make their children use libraries). (3) Differences in the characteristics of users among libraries are due mainly to their geographic location. Generally, housewives use libraries close to their houses more frequently, and white-collars close to their offices.

It is suggested that the general characteristics of public library users in Japan are similar to those of what Berelson once described.

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