Toraki, Katerina. “Remote Users in the Virtual Library: A Need for Diversification?” In Libraries Without Walls 4: The Delivery of Library Services to Distant Users, edited by Peter Brophy, Shelagh Fisher, and Zoë Clarke. London: Facet Publishing, 2002, 208-216.
The Athens Library in Greece serves professional engineers. This study investigated the preferred forms of communication by engineers as remote library users of the library. The study looked at the e-mail and fax messages sent to the Library in 2000 and 2001. Request categories include requests for specific items, photocopies of articles, bibliographies on a particular topic from the library catalog or from foreign databases, and legislation or standards. The number of e-mail messages was about one-third the number of fax messages. The study looked at location of user, type of professional involvement, and years of professional experience. While younger engineers were more likely to use email, the difference was not great. Fax messages from users outside Athens were twice the number of e-mail messages. Librarians may want to look at ways to make e-mail more user-friendly. The Library received more requests from users who did not have ready access to one of the other regional libraries serving engineers. Engineers ranked access to standards, legislation, handbooks, etc. as the most important. Engineers surveyed were willing to pay fees for legislation and standards and economic data (prices of materials and services), but not for other library services. I. Frank.