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Librarian Perceptions of the Function of the Academic Library: SummerFall 2006 Kevin Guthrie Roger C

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Title: Librarian Perceptions of the Function of the Academic Library: SummerFall 2006 Kevin Guthrie Roger C


1
Librarian Perceptions of the Function of the
Academic Library Summer-Fall 2006Kevin
GuthrieRoger C. SchonfeldDecember 4, 2006
2
Who did we ask?
  • Collection development directors
  • We also surveyed library directors at research
    universities such responses are used for
    comparison purposes
  • US only
  • Colleges and universities that grant the
    Bachelors Degree or higher

3
The Respondents
  • Surveys were completed by the following
    individuals

4
Level of Importance Assigned to Library Functions
5
At your institution, how important are each of
the following functions of the library?
  • Five functions are viewed as very important by
    more than 80 of respondents
  • Maintaining a comprehensive electronic catalog of
    the librarys collection
  • Purchasing/licensing electronic research
    resources and making them available to faculty
    and students
  • Being a starting point or gateway for locating
    scholarly information
  • Working with faculty to incorporate information
    resources into their lectures and curricula
  • Partnering with faculty to promote more efficient
    and effective use of electronic research
    resources

6
At your institution, how important are each of
the following functions of the library?
  • Five functions are viewed as very important by
    less than 30 of respondents
  • Helping researchers to manage datasets and other
    research byproducts (28)
  • Facilitating access to wikis, blogs, podcasts and
    other user-generated content alongside our
    scholarly materials (28)
  • Performing research and publishing the results in
    library and information science journals (20)

7
The Library as the Gateway?
8
Gateway Functions Are Seen to Decline Modestly
How important are each of the following
functions of the library? Percent answering very
or extremely important
9
Comprehensive Cataloging Is Less Important and
Declining More Rapidly at Universities
How important are each of the following
functions of the library? Percent answering very
or extremely important to Maintaining a
Comprehensive E-Catalog
10
Similarly, Serving as a Gateway Is Less
Important and Declining More Rapidly at
Universities
How important are each of the following
functions of the library? Percent answering very
or extremely important to A Gateway for Locating
Scholarly Information
11
At Universities, Library Directors See Less
Decline as a Gateway
How important are each of the following
functions of the library? Percent answering very
or extremely important to A Gateway for Locating
Scholarly Information
12
And Similarly See Less Decline for Comprehensive
Cataloging
How important are each of the following
functions of the library? Percent answering very
or extremely important to Maintaining a
Comprehensive E-Catalog
13
A Decline in the Gateway Function?
  • Why do library leaders not perceive a significant
    decline in the gateway functions?
  • Would such a decline in the gateway function be a
    strategic shift?
  • How should libraries plan to manage this
    strategic shift, if in fact it is anticipated?

14
Transitioning to an Electronic-Only Journals
Environment
15
Librarians are ready for the transition to an
electronic environment but are not quite there
yetPercent agreeing strongly with each statement
16
Librarians are ready for the transition to an
electronic environment but are not quite there
yetPercent agreeing strongly with each statement
17
Librarians are ready for the transition to an
electronic environment but are not quite there
yetPercent agreeing strongly with each statement
18
Librarians are ready for the transition to an
electronic environment but are not quite there
yetPercent agreeing strongly with each statement
19
General Consistency Across Classes, but More
Immediacy at the UniversitiesPercent agreeing
strongly with each statement
20
Anticipating the Transition?
  • Librarians anticipate a major transition, but is
    it coming sooner than they realize?
  • Why do the research universities anticipate this
    transition sooner than the colleges and teaching
    universities?
  • How should libraries plan for and manage this
    transition?

21
Preservation and Archiving
22
Library Functions Now and Five Years from Now
How important are each of the following
functions of the library? Percent answering very
or extremely important
23
Print Preservation Is More Important at Smaller
Institutions
How important are each of the following
functions of the library? Percent answering very
or extremely important to preserving traditional
library resources (e.g. hard copies, reference
materials and periodicals)
24
Library Directors View Print Preservation as More
Important, but All Perceive It to Be in Decline
How important are each of the following
functions of the library? Percent answering very
or extremely important to preserving traditional
library resources (e.g. hard copies, reference
materials and periodicals)
25
Local Hard-Copies Are Declining in Importance at
the Universities
How important are each of the following
functions of the library? Percent answering very
or extremely important to Ensuring the continued
availability of our local hard-copy collections
of scholarly journals
26
But at Universities, Library Directors Do Not See
a Decline in the Importance of Local Hard-Copies
How important are each of the following
functions of the library? Percent answering very
or extremely important to Ensuring the continued
availability of our local hard-copy collections
of scholarly journals
27
For Electronic-Archiving, the Pattern Is Reversed
How important are each of the following
functions of the library? Percent answering very
or extremely important to Ensuring that
electronic scholarly journals are carefully
archived and available for the long-term
28
At Universities, Library Directors See the
Importance of Electronic Archiving Today
How important are each of the following
functions of the library? Percent answering very
or extremely important to ensuring that
electronic scholarly journals are carefully
archived and available for the long-term
29
Preservation
  • The importance of hard-copies, and the importance
    of their preservation, are in decline, especially
    at the universities
  • They are beginning to become more focused on
    preservation of electronic materials
  • How should this shift be managed strategically,
    to avoid some of the challenges that arose from
    the massive reformatting of newspaper collections?

30
The Future of Books
31
E-Books Are Not Seen As Transformative
32
E-Books Are Not Seen As Transformative
33
E-Books Are Not Seen As Transformative
34
E-Books Are Not Seen As Transformative
35
Although There Is More Enthusiasm for E-Books
at Research Universities
36
The Future of E-Books
  • E-Books are not yet seen as transformative, so
    why is the importance of collecting e-books not
    lower today and also expected to grow
    significantly over the next five years?
  • Is the relatively higher enthusiasm for e-books
    at the universities a harbinger of the new order
    or are the research libraries out of touch?
  • If e-books will prove to be transformative, or at
    least of growing importance, how should their
    development and role be managed? If they will
    not, how should enthusiasm for them be contained?

37
Digital Repositories
38
Existence of Digital Repositories
  • Some colleges and universities are creating
    digital repositories to store, archive, and/or
    make available certain kinds of scholarly
    information, which are sometimes called
    institutional repositories or digital asset
    management systems. Does your institution have
    such a digital repository for any kind of
    scholarly material?

39
Repositories Are Most Widely Available at
Universities
40
Yet in Terms of Importance, the Variation across
Institutions Is Modest
How important are each of the following
functions of the library? Maintaining our
institutional repository and other campus systems
containing electronic research resources.
Percent answering very or extremely important
41
The Goals that Exist for These Repositories
  • Top goal Archiving and preserving your
    institutions intellectual assets (87 view it as
    very important)
  • Maintaining an organized collection of your
    institutions intellectual assets (79)
  • Promoting the knowledge generated at your
    institution for external scholars and readers
    (72)
  • Promoting the knowledge generated at your
    institution for your own scholars and students
    (71)
  • Ensuring that scholars have a location to deposit
    materials that they create in the course of their
    research (60)
  • Contributing to the creation of a new framework
    for scholarly communication, in place of the
    existing system of publishers (47)

42
And Universities Are Most Interested in Changing
Scholarly PublishingOf institutions with
repositories, importance of Contributing to the
creation of new framework for scholarly
communication, in place of the existing system of
publishers Percent responding very important
43
Journal Content Is Held in Universities
Repositories
44
Images Lead in Multimedia Holdings
45
Special Collections Are Very Important, but
Local Collections Are More Important at Larger
Institutions
46
Datasets Have Yet to Make Much of an Impact
47
The Future of Repositories
  • Repositories are far more common at universities
    than at smaller schools, although there is
    widespread interest in them
  • Their main use to date is for images and special
    collections, where there is significant interest
    in sharing these materials across institutions
  • This fits with the goals that exist for these
    repositories, which are to control and preserve
    the institutions intellectual assets and
    locally-generated knowledge
  • How should repositories be managed and when
    should they be managed on a cross-institutional
    basis?

48
Some Questions for Discussion
49
Some Questions for Discussion
  • The Library as the Gateway?
  • If the gateway role is in decline, should
    libraries manage a strategic retreat or mount a
    counterattack?
  • Transitioning to an Electronic-Only Journals
    Environment
  • Is the transition happening sooner than is
    realized and how should it be managed?
  • Preservation and Archiving
  • How will the system meet its responsibilities for
    print preservation while attention is focusing,
    appropriately, on electronic-archiving?
  • The Future of Books
  • If librarians are correct in seeing e-books as
    over-hyped, how can they avoid adding another
    expensive function to their portfolios?
  • Repositories
  • How should repositories fit into library
    strategic planning, given the desire to focus on
    institutional knowledge assets?

50
Librarian Perceptions of the Function of the
Academic Library Summer-Fall 2006Kevin
GuthrieRoger C. SchonfeldDecember 4,
2006kg_at_ithaka.org(212) 500-2600rcs_at_ithaka.org
(212) 500-2338
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