E-JASL: The Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship


Date of this Version

Spring 2008

Document Type



Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship (Spring 2008) 9(1). Also available at http://southernlibrarianship.icaap.org/content/v09n01/granath_k01.html.


Copyright 2008, the authors. Used by permission.



A multi-year, trend study of public computer usage was conducted to determine use patterns of The University of Montana Mansfield Library public computers before, during, and after the implementation of an Information Center commons environment. Sampling methodology was developed and implemented in 3-year increments beginning in 1999. Analysis provided information for data-driven decisions on staffing patterns, expansion of public computer access, decisions on software and imaging management, and the modification of study design. Results were compared to other library data and underscore the need to embed assessment in academic library services to maintain continuity with the changing needs of library users.