Document Type


Publication Date


Journal Title

The Journal of Academic Librarianship






As libraries offer more multi-dimensional study areas and online resources, it is important to understand how print books are being used. The reported decline in print book circulation has largely been based on books checked out of the library without recording in-house use (books used in the library but not checked out). Including in-house use gives a more accurate representation of book circulation, helping to demonstrate the value of the physical library and print collections, and informing collection development. To better understand how our print collections are being used, we analyze holdings, checkout data, and in-house use data by subject, as well as circulation in regard to patron group, library gate count and student enrollment. Our findings show declining use of all print collections with the steepest decline in reference books. The majority of books used in house were not checked out, affirming the need to include in-house use data to provide an accurate picture of print book use and inform collection development. We use our findings to inform the redesign of our reference collection and suggest ways to integrate print and digital formats and promote the value of books and reading.