- OPAC Searching Behavior of Students at University Libraries
- No.37, p.35-54
To identify difficulties students face when they use OPACs, a survey was conducted at two university libraries. A total of 190 students were interviewed after using OPACs. From the results it was found, first, that the purpose of using OPACs was varied according to grade. For example, juniors were most likely to use an OPAC for their seminar class and seniors were for their thesis. Second, 60% of respondents were conducting known-item searches, while 40% were subject searches. More than 30% of those who conducted subject searches were fairly satisfied with their search results. However, they thought there should be some possibilities of getting a better result. Although the success rate of known-item searches reached almost 90%, users were not fully satisfied with the OPACs. In fact, nearly half of the users answered that they sometimes felt difficulties when using the OPACs. OPAC users face difficulties especially in subject searches, keyboard manipulation, and interpretation of search results. Based upon these results, some suggestions for improvement were made.