The shelves of the library or How to gather honey

Here are the results of an inquiry conducted about the reading habits of constant visitors in four public libraries in Paris area. The results show that each socio-cultural group follows his own classification methods (often implied) and his reading habits are more centred round a subject than following a specific line; the barrier between fiction and documents is not very clear. It appears that the shelf remains the most used access means. The other means are used according to the educational and social levels (catalogues, information from the librarians). The advantages of a presentation « in bulk » - the « return » and new books tables - are once more contested here. On the contrary, people at a loss will rely on the existence of information and explanations to reach the books. So, public spaces will be really « open » only when the cultural supply is readable and available with the help of a clear and massiye signalling.