Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Political Science

Committee Chair(s)

Calvin W. Hiibner


Calvin W. Hiibner


Milton Abrams


Dan E. Jones


Dick L. Chappell


Libraries, like many other governmental organizations have a peculiar difficulty assessing how well they are able to serve their clientele. The reason is that they have no measure of success, such as profits or votes. The only measure is usually vocal communications such as complaints, suggestions, compliments or criticisms. Some of these suggestions are valid, but placing one's judgment on these communications can be very tenuous, and not necessarily representative of the desires of a majority of the clientele.

The purpose of this research was to test the use of survey research as an aid to the public administrator. The intent was to assess the polling technique as a tool to inform the administrator of his patrons' attitudes.

In order to accomplish this goal it was decided that the best approach would be a case study of a particular institution; the Utah State University Merrill Library.

Because a library actually serves two distinct groups; the students and faculty, it was decided that different questionnaires would be necessary for each group and in addition a third group, the library staff was included in the research in order to compare their attitudes with the groups that they serve.

The research finding provided a great deal of information that could prove very useful to the administrators. Probably the most salient facts were the differences between the three groups surveyed.

The faculty , staff and students varied in three main areas. First, the attitudes varied concerning what the library is. Second, there were differences in the appraisal of the quality of the services provided by the library. Third, the three groups varied concerning the adequacy of the material available from the library.

In addition, this research provided extensive information about the attitudes of those who use and depend on the library, as well as those on whom the library depends in order to function.