Non-use of Library Services by Students in a UK Academic Library


  • Lisa Jane Toner



academic libraries, non-user survey


Objective – This study examined low or non-use of the library at St. Martin’s College, UK and determined the possible reasons for this. Additionally, this study investigated the other sources of information non-users were accessing. The results were then fed into the library’s future strategic planning cycle.

Methods – Using data from the TALIS management system, a postal survey was distributed to students who registered as low or non-users. Non-users were considered a hard-to-reach target group, and a further classroom-based survey was administered.

Results – The findings showed that students in part-time and distance learning courses were the largest group of non-users. Other factors influencing non-use included the purchase of books, use of the Internet, and a lack of awareness of services available.

Conclusions – The library service needs to target non-traditional student groups, particularly those taught off-campus, with innovative induction techniques. This survey highlighted the need to embed information skills teaching into the curriculum and a recent restructure of the department has enabled this to happen with a more focused approach to academic liaisonship.


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Author Biography

Lisa Jane Toner

Site Library Manager of the Lancaster campus at the University of Cumbria, UK. Head of the Education Faculty Liaison team and team leader for Equality and Diversity issues.



How to Cite

Toner, L. J. (2008). Non-use of Library Services by Students in a UK Academic Library. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 3(2), 18–31.



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