Quantitative and qualitative surveys, ethnographical observation: three methods of reaching the public

Social sciences offer three types of studies to help libraries to better integrate their public into their projects. The quantitative studies (opinion polls) are used to understand the make up of the public, its satisfaction and its expectations. The qualitative study (interviews of between 1h.15 to 1h.45) permits the understanding of the mechanisms of opinion and the definition of the reality of practices and special needs. The ethnographical analysis (of one person or of a group) defines the laws of behaviour - notably during a library journey - and in this way allows for the establishment of an apposite schedule of conditions in terms of the organization of space and the orientation of readers.