donderdag 6 november 2014

Library and user: one interest?

Quote: "But also interesting is, to see whether the library staff takes the interests of the patrons into account while acquiring documents for their collection? That is a subject for another blog."

Here I am referring to an earlier blogpost in which I tried to show what our users are looking for in the OPAC of the Peace Palace Library. In order to make this happen I focused on the use of our link resolver and presentation of a general subject in this link resolver. I used Tableau to create some graphs. 

However, the same thing can be done on the basis of the title descriptions which appeared on the screens in the reading room of the library after a succesful search. So, I collected all these titles and used all the keywords added to these titles to create a map using Gephi. In yet another blog I reported about this, although over there I used the recent acquisitions of the month of September.

In order to gain insight to answer the question "whether the library staff takes the interests of the patrons into account while acquiring documents for their collection?" I created two maps for comparison. One about the acquisitions in October and the other about the use of the OPAC in the readingroom in the same month. 

Acquisitions OPAC

If I enumerate the main subject topics which can be identified on indicated webpages, we get the following lists:

  • International criminal law
  • Human rights
  • European Union
  • International trade
  • History
  • United Nations
  • Private international law
  • Islam/Islamic law
  • Law of the sea
  • Immigration
  • International criminal law*
  • Human rights*
  • European Union*
  • United Nations*
  • Intermational humanitarian law
  • International commercial arbitration
  • History/Politics*
  • Environmental protection
  • Law of the sea*
  • Space law

So our user behavior indicates special interest in Space, Environment, Commerce -among other things- which were not covered by our library staff. However, the library acquired material about Immigration, Islamic Law and Trade which was not looked for by our OPAC users. But of great importance is still the observation that both parties share their interest in the core business of the library of the Peace Palace: Criminal law, Human rights, European Union.

Only with regard to the peripheral areas differences exist and for a large part that can be related to current events, like boat refugees in the Mediterranean Sea, terrorism in the Middle East, space debris and environmental issues. 

Anyway, the simple fact that the 'small subjects' are also found and acquired, means that the library of the Peace Palace is on the right track. The 'small subjects' looked for now, were added in the past!

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