Use of printed books in large North American research libraries is falling even faster than we think.
In 1979, a study at the University of Pittsburgh Library found that 40% of the books added in the previous six years had not circulated. 37 years later, we librarians still cite that number and many of us use it (among other factors) to justify moving in the direction of patron-driven acquisition. A critic of that practice argues that many subsequent circulation studies contradict the Kent Study. But do they?
Two great examples of books that contain more error than fact raise some important questions of what belongs in a library, and the purpose of acquisitions practices.