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Anthony Chow, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Library and Information Studies The University of North Carolina at Greensboro --

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Presentation on theme: "Anthony Chow, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Library and Information Studies The University of North Carolina at Greensboro --"— Presentation transcript:

1 Anthony Chow, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Library and Information Studies The University of North Carolina at Greensboro -- Christian Burris Head of Serials Acquisitions, Wake Forest University -- Chase Baity -- David Rachlin

2 Overview Study Introduction Literature Review Research Method Findings Discussion and Recommendations 2 of 34

3 Introduction UNCG New Faculty Grant 1. What impact will the use of positive reinforcement have on patron behavior in returning library resources on time? 2. Will the use of positive reinforcement lead to more positive user perceptions of the library? 3. Will the use of positive reinforcement lead to higher circulation of library resources per patron? 3 of 34

4 Literature Some libraries are starting to rethink the use of fines as there is a growing concern about its negative effect on public perception and library patrons (Towsey, 2008) A recent study found that 41% of year old youth surveyed no longer visited the library because they owed over due fines (Heeger, 2007). When amnesty programs are implemented that allow creative ways for previous patrons to “exonerate” themselves by reading to kids, donating to a good cause, or use of an anonymous “fine” jar, they are often extremely successful (Green, 2008; Heeger, 2007; US Fed News, 2005; Ries-Taggart, 2004). 4 of 34

5 Reinforcement & Punishment From a behavioral psychology stand point, fines serve as both a punishment (adverse stimulus intended to decrease undesirable behavior – returning books late) and as negative reinforcement (threat of punishment is removed if library resources are returned on time). Either way, ironically, the actual desired behavior of returning a library resource on time is usually never rewarded or even acknowledged for that matter by the library. Turning library resources in on time is expected and assumed; it is only when something is overdue that patrons are contacted by the library. This situation is counterintuitive to several research grounded tenets about human behavior and rewards and punishments – desired behaviors to be strengthened and increase should be positively reinforced, undesirable behaviors to be decreased should be punished, reinforcement in general is stronger and more effective then punishment, and using them both (rewards to increase desired behavior, punishments to reduce undesired behavior) is the most powerful combination of all. 5 of 34

6 Reinforcement Theory Carrot and the Stick Both stimulate the medial orbitofrontal cortex Carrot or stick? It’s the same… Apply Reinforcement Withhold Reinforcement Encourage Behavior Positive Reinforcement Extra attention Extra attention Praise Praise Money Money Negative Reinforcement Remove punishment Remove punishment Discourage Behavior Punishment Reprimands Reprimands Ignore completely Ignore completely Criticism CriticismExtinction Consistently ignore Consistently ignore No pay raises No pay raises “No nothing!” “No nothing!” 6 of 30

7 Fines and Reinforcement Theory Carrot and the Stick Both stimulate the medial orbitofrontal cortex Carrot or stick? It’s the same… Apply Reinforcement Withhold Reinforcement Encourage Behavior Positive Reinforcement Extra attention Extra attention Praise Praise Money Money Negative Reinforcement Remove punishment Remove punishment Discourage Behavior Punishment Reprimands Reprimands Ignore completely Ignore completely Criticism CriticismExtinction Consistently ignore Consistently ignore No pay raises No pay raises “No nothing!” “No nothing!” Return 7 of 30

8 Rewards and Avoiding punishment are equals Avoiding or “dodging” punishment is its own reward In other words fear of a fine and joy of “not paying it” are equals: 1-1=0 8 of 34

9 Rationale for fines Get resources back on time Revenue generator “Teach” responsibility 9 of 34

10 Study Hypotheses H1: G1 and G2 will check out more items than G3 H2: G1 and G2 will have less overdue items than G3 H3: G1 and G2 will have less fines than G3 H4: G1 and G2 will be more satisfied than G3 H5: G1 will be most satisfied H6: G2 overall will have less overdue items and fines 10 of 34

11 Let’s empirically test it GroupResources Checked Out Over Due Instances Over Due Fines Satisfaction Rating 1 – + only 2 – +/- 3 – - only 1.What impact will the use of positive reinforcement have on patron behavior in returning library resources on time? 2.Will the use of positive reinforcement lead to more positive user perceptions of the library? 3.Will the use of positive reinforcement lead to higher circulation of library resources per patron? 11 of 34

12 Method 85 university undergraduate students were randomly sampled and stratified into new and returning student groups: GroupReturningNewTOTALS #%#%#% (1) + only 1518%1619%3136% (2) +/- 1416%1416%2833% (3) - only 1214%1416%2631% TOTALS 4148%4452%85100% 12 of 34

13 Method (2) Randomly sampled through institutional research Group 1 – Rewards only If checked out and returned items on time with no over dues: “Get out of jail free card” “Thank you” Invitation to MVP reception Extended one week checkout privileges Group 2 – Same as G1 along with traditional fines Group 3 – Control group (no change) Three data collection points of circulation history and fines Baseline – 10/09 Set 2 – 12/09 Set 3 – 2/10 13 of 34

14 Findings Usage and Return Rates (Sept. – Dec. 2009) GroupReturningNewTOTALSOverdue% Overdue% Ontime 1 – + only %81% 2 – +/ %85% 3 – - only %73% TOTALS %80% 14 of 34

15 Findings (2) – Resources and Overdue Items GroupResources Checked out Over Due%FinesSatisfaction RNRNRNRN (1) + only % $172.00$ (2) +/ % $16.00$ (3) - only % $51.00$ TOTALS $239.00$ of 34

16 Findings (3) GroupResources Checked out Over Due%FinesSatisfaction RNRNRNRN (1) + only % $172.00$ (2) +/ % $16.00$ (3) - only % $51.00$ TOTALS $239.00$ H1: G1 and G2 will check out more items than G3 16 of 34

17 Findings (4) GroupResources Checked out Over Due%FinesSatisfaction RNRNRNRN (1) + only % $172.00$ (2) +/ % $16.00$ (3) - only % $51.00$ TOTALS $239.00$ H2: G1 and G2 will have less overdue items than G3 17 of 34

18 Findings (5) GroupResources Checked out Over Due%FinesSatisfaction RNRNRNRN (1) + only % $172.00$ (2) +/ % $16.00$ (3) - only % $51.00$ TOTALS $239.00$ H3: G1 and G2 will have less fines than G3 18 of 34

19 Findings (6) GroupResources Checked out Over Due%FinesSatisfaction RNRNRNRN (1) + only % $172.00$ (2) +/ % $16.00$ (3) - only % $51.00$ TOTALS $239.00$ H4: G1 and G2 will be more satisfied than G3 19 of 34

20 Findings (7) GroupResources Checked out Over Due%FinesSatisfaction RNRNRNRN (1) + only % $172.00$ (2) +/ % $16.00$ (3) - only % $51.00$ TOTALS $239.00$ H5: G1 will be most satisfied 20 of 34

21 Findings (8) GroupResources Checked out Over Due%FinesSatisfaction RNRNRNRN (1) + only % $172.00$ (2) +/ % $16.00$ (3) - only % $51.00$ TOTALS $239.00$ H6: G2 overall will have less overdue items and fines 21 of 34

22 Findings (9) – Participants believe rewards would have impact…. Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree 22 of 34

23 Findings (10) – Reward effectiveness? Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree 23 of 34

24 Which is more effective? 24 of 34

25 Should libraries offer rewards? 25 of 34

26 Would rewards positively impact perceptions of libraries? 26 of 34

27 What do librarians think? Good idea, hard to implement Noticed no impact of participating students No one used fine waiver certificates 27 of 34

28 Conclusions & Recommendations Study’s hypotheses were supported RQ1: What impact will the use of positive reinforcement have on patron behavior in returning library resources on time? Positive impact Patrons and Librarians agree a combination would be more effective RQ2: Will the use of positive reinforcement lead to more positive user perceptions of the library? Yes, overall satisfaction rating for G1 was statistically significantly higher 28 of 34

29 RQ3: Will the use of positive reinforcement lead to higher circulation of library resources per patron? Yes – G2 (6.0), G1 (5.2), and G3 (4.7) Conclusions & Recommendations (2) 29 of 34

30 Reinforcement only – higher satisfaction, more items, more overdue and higher fines Reinforcement plus fines – less overdue, less fines, lower satisfaction than reinforcement only Fine only – less items, more overdue, less satisfaction Conclusions & Recommendations (3) 30 of 34

31 Rewards were not very effective: Intrinsic more than extrinsic motivations for checking out items MVP receptions were poorly attended Suggestions: “First dibs” Advisory board or online survey to help choose books Extended check-outs “Thanks” is nice Free raffles Conclusions & Recommendations (4) 31 of 34

32 Rewards and Avoiding punishment are equals In other words fear of a fine and joy of “not paying it” are equals: 1-1=0 (neutralizes) Adding a reward: 1-1+1= 1 !!! Overdue fine Not Paying it Reward Motivation to RETURN is stronger!!! 32 of 34

33 Thank You!! Anthony Chow – Christian Burris – 33 of 34

34 References 34 of 34 Green, E.R.(2008). The lighter side of the bookshelves: Should libraries fine for late books? Colorado Libraries v. 34 no. 3 (2008) p. 62, Heeger, P.B. (2007). Better Late Than Never. School Library Journal, 53(2), Retrieved January 26, 2009, from Research Library database. Oder, N. (2006). Philadelphia Backs Off Fine Policy. Library Journal, 131(3), Pew Internet & American Life Project (2004). New Report Finds Libraries Help Close Digital Divide but Struggle to Sustain Public Access Computing Services. Retrieved on January 29 th from Ries-Taggart, J.T. (2004). Columbus Metropolitan Library Allows Kids to Read Off Fines. Public Libraries, 43(1), 16. Rodney, M. J., Lance, K. C., and Hamilton-Pennell, C. (2003). The Impact of Michigan school librarians on academic achievement: Kids who have libraries succeed. Lansing, MI: Library of Michigan. Towsey, M. (2008, July). Abolish public library fines!. Library & Information Update, 7(7/8), US Fed News Service (2005). Library Fines Headed To Tsunami Relief. Retrieved January 26, 2009, from Research Library database.


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