Study Visit Checklist for Students
Goals and users
• What are the purposes for which the library exists?
• What is the nature of the community/organisation served?
• What are the information needs of that community/organisation?
• What role does the community/organisation play in determining, directing and contributing to the library’s services?
• What is the focus of the collection? What subject areas does it cover?
• Is there a collection development policy?
• What media are held, e.g. print, audio visual, CD-ROM, online?
• Which are the predominant media and why?
• Has information technology brought about major changes in the way in which information is stored and disseminated?
• How are materials selected?
• Is the collection weeded? For what purpose?
• What strategies are in place to ensure the physical preservation of the collection (including electronic sources)?
• What professional, technical and support staff does the library have? What roles do they play in fulfilling the purposes of the library?
• What professional development is provided for, or expected of, staff?
• What flexibility is allowed in staffing to better meet the needs of staff and users?
• What reference services are provided for users? How are these services provided?
• What user education is provided?
• What use is made of the Internet in reference work?
• Which integrated library management system is used? Why is this system in use?
• What electronic networks operate between the library and its user group?
• To what extent does the library depend on network access and availability?
• Does the library provide information and services through a web page or pages to users? What information and services are provided? Has this access significantly extended its user group?
• Does the library have an information technology plan?
• What is the perceived function of the catalogue?
• What standards and services are employed in cataloguing?
• What access is provided to materials which are not catalogued?
• Does the library develop and maintain any indexes, classification schemes or subject heading lists of its own?
• Are metadata standards being used in the cataloguing of online resources?
• What are the library’s sources of funding?
• What is the level of funding (if not confidential)?
• How are these funds committed?
• To what extent do users pay directly for services which they use?
• How does the library promote and market its services to its potential users?
• How suitable are the library’s location, accessibility, size, layout and physical facilities to the fulfilling of its purposes?