Collections > Master's Papers > School of Information and Library Science > "Can't I Just Listen to that Online?" Evaluating Electronic Access to Audio for Music Libraries

There has been little published research on the use of electronic audio reserves and music libraries. There have been several studies published to date regarding the use of electronic print document reserves. User responses in these studies are very positive in that they appreciate 24-hour access from any computer with an internet connection. It is likely that what holds true for electronic print resources will also hold true for electronic audio reserves. This paper seeks to determine how electronic audio reserves are being used now and what their use might mean for the future of the physical musical library. This and other questions are addressed through analysis of written surveys given to students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who use electronic access to audio and analysis of usage statistics on the audio file server. It was determined that students greatly prefer to use electronic audio reserves to those physical sound recordings found on reserve in the Music Library. 24-hour access was indeed the largest factor in choosing a preference, though the ability to listen to reserve recordings from a location other than the Music Library was also a factor.