Developing an assessment index for collection-user suitability: Application of information entropy in library science

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What is lacking from the literature and practice of library print collection assessment is a mathematical function that can integrate variables and quantify the overall measurement of the collection as a final score for the library science practitioners and administrators. The study uses the information entropy to explain a mathematical procedure on how to define variables from the regular circulation statistics. Based on the assessment concepts of circulation statistics and user behavior, the study explores to develop mathematical functions and proposes a Collection-User Suitability index to quantify the suitability measurement of the overall collection and the user intention. The study then considers the extreme conditions to validate the functions and verifies the application of the function via empirical and simulated data. Finally, the authors developed a computing tool and uploaded it to GitHub for free access based on the study's results. It is hoped that library science practitioners and administrators can utilize the mathematical function.

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Journal of Academic Librarianship



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