Use of the forestry collection was investigated using a multi-faceted
methodology. The majority of use was from within the UK with postgraduates
borrowing the most material and forming the largest group of users. A high
proportion of visitors from outside Oxford were from universities which hold
other important forestry collections.
Levels of periodical use were highest, followed by bulletins, and in-house use of
both was greater than circulated use. 75% of the book stock had been used in
the last 20 months. Requests from external services were few compared with use
from personal visits to the library.
Use by document delivery was for recent periodicals and a wider age range of
bulletins, CABI's service requested more current periodicals than did CIFOR's.
Book and periodical use was concentrated on items published during the last 20
years, whilst bulletin use was amongst items published during the last 30 years.
All readers found the material they required and the majority of demands to the
external services were satisfied. Users agreed that the collection was unique and
supply of the same material from elsewhere would be difficult.
It was recommended that the collection be preserved, acquisitions be maintained
or increased and that it should remain open to visitors. A similar study should be
continued to provide a more complete picture of use. If stock is to be put into
storage it should be swiftly accessible. A scale of charges should be
implemented by the Forestry Information Service.
A Master's Dissertation. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Arts degree of Loughborough University of Technology.