Readers and reading practices at the Bibliothèque de la Cité des sciences et de l'industrie (BSI)

The BSI, located within a busy museum, is open to all readers. It is particularly used by visitors to the museum and readers working on research projects. Five user categories can be identified, the three largest of which are students, high-school pupils, and adults in employment, often on training courses. The user survey highlighted a number of points of contention between the various user categories, particularly the levels of noise generated by the school pupils. The fact that pupils and students use the BSI for their research projects also raises the question of the library's role. Should it help teach people how to learn? Trials have been carried out in this arena with some success. A further question is raised by the need to adapt to readers' expectations that internet will be freely available in all premises. The BSI is unusual in having a number of different sites, offering documents on employment in the Cité des métiers, on health in the Cité de la santé, and on digital issues in the Carrefour numérique. The survey currently reveals varying patterns of use depending on the hour of day, which means further work needs to be done bringing the services closer together, as many readers are unaware of the services offered by these sites in conjunction with the BSI.