The task of the librarian is to achieve his library's objectives. A simplistic statement, perhaps, but it is rare that a library's objectives are defined in any terms other than the broadest—for example, ‘to meet the needs of its users’. In fact, the definition of objectives in any service organization is likely to be an iterative process, but the explicit commitment to users‘ needs (however mystical this concept may be) requires the librarian to examine users’ behaviour as a first step to determining policy. Since a complete state‐of‐the‐art in user behaviour would fill a substantial book, this survey is restricted to drawing together some threads of research of potential application in university libraries. Methodological problems are not discussed here, since these are adequately reviewed elsewhere.
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