Hundreds of public, academic and special libraries provide dial-up access to their data bases, but most have experienced only modest usage. More than 80 percent of all institutions find that the average number of concurrent users is three or fewer. A most notable exception is Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library. This Library introduced dial-up service in 1989 and logged over 66,000 calls in the first year. While that number is impressive, it still is only 7.5 calls per hour. The 1991 pace has increased dramatically, with the calling rate now more than 215,000 per year. Not only is that nearly 25 calls per hour when averaged over all of the hours of access, but during many busy hours it sometimes reaches 100 calls per hour.
While libraries should continue to be cautious in estimating the probable level of demand for dial-up access; they should be prepared for dramatic increases such as experienced at Cuyahoga County. Not only is it wise to have some spare ports, but to demand that the system is field-upgradable by 100 percent or more. As dial up access grows, it also is necessary to deal with an increasing number of telephoned requests for reserves or holds.