One of the aims of
the Newsplan 2000 project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund is
to increase public awareness to local newspaper files by microfilming
the original copies and having microfilm copies more readily available
The Heritage Lottery
Fund ruled that there should be some kind of baseline measure against
which any increase or decrease in public interest could be judged.
All ten Newsplan regions of the UK were asked to conduct a spot-survey
of present newspaper use in 2001/2002 and, to date, eight out of
the ten regions have complied.
At the end of the
Newsplan 2000 project a similar survey will be undertaken and the
results of this will be compared with the first set of statistics.
The Yorkshire and
Humberside Use of Newspapers Survey was conducted during the first
fortnight of October 2001. Kate Holliday of Yorkshire Libraries
and Information co-ordinated the exercise with the assistance of
the fifteen library authorities in the region.
for the public was based on the original LASER survey questionnaire,
slightly adapted by the regional Newsplan committee. Kate Holliday
and her team at Wakefield Libraries produced the questionnaire,
distributed it to the library authorities and aggregated the results
by computer counting. Two reports were created:
a report for each individual authority taken from their returns
a combined regional report
analysis for Yorkshire and Humberside is shown here for interest:-
It is calculated that in the region c669 valid responses were returned.
North Yorkshire, for example, returned 137 responses from a bulk
delivery of 300 questionnaires
Most researchers in the region travelled under 20 miles to look
at microfilmed newspapers
The most popular subject for research was 'local history', followed
The least popular subject from the given headings was 'house history'
survey results from Yorkshire and Humberside
are to be amalgamated with those of the other UK regions. By doing
this, the British Library Newspaper Librarian, Ed King, hopes to demonstrate
how the local and national press is appreciated by researchers and
the general public.
Yorkshire and Humberside Newsplan Committee