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Academic Library Website Intentions

I picked this up from the SLA IT Division list and thought that it was interesting:
Primary Research Group has published Academic Library Website Benchmarks (ISBN #: 1-57440-094-0). The report presents data from 82 North American college libraries about their library website policies and development plans.
Some of the report’s findings are that:
More than three quarters of all respondents plan a major redesign of the library website within the next two years. Nearly 85% of research universities (84.6%) planned a website redesign in this period. A high percentage of colleges with FTE enrollments below 2,000 (82%) planned to redesign their website within the next two years, compared to 72.7 to 78.3% of colleges with higher enrollments.
The library information technology or web staff accounted for over 76% of the total man-hours spent running the college library websites for the colleges in the sample. College-wide IT or web staff performed an average of just 15.76% of the labor necessary to run the college library websites in the sample
Nearly 42% of survey participants used a content editing system provided by the central college web staff.
Of the libraries that do use a content management system, just over a quarter expressed satisfaction for the most part and had no plans for changing software or management methods in the future. Another 31.4% reported that they were not completely satisfied and might change content management systems or their policies.
The mean number of library staff or personnel who entered content into the college library website in the last full semester was 13.24. Community colleges had just 2.5 library employees entering content, compared to 5.2 employees at 4-year/MA granting institutions and 11.1 at PhD-level granting institutions. Research universities reported the highest number of library staff entering data, at 51.8, and a maximum of 200.
Nearly half of survey participants selected JavaScript as their most commonly used scripting language on the college website.
For a shade less than two thirds of the libraries (64.9%) the library website budget was part of the library IT budget, and not separately broken out; 35.1% considered it part of the college IT budget.
More than 8 out of 10 college libraries use cascading style sheets at least to some degree.
Approximately one in ten college libraries have a presence on the social networking site MySpace.
The mean number of interactive tutorials on how to use the library or its services made available on the library website was 3.84, with a maximum of 50. Community colleges reported the fewest available interactive tutorials with a sample mean of just 0.82, while other institution types reported an average of between four and five. The mean number of end users who have visited or used these interactive tutorials in the past year was 3,757 with a maximum of 33,657.
Over three quarters of the libraries in the sample (76.8%) do not have a “My Library” type of service for users to log in to, save research or favorite places, and bookmark other commonly used library resources.
The mean number of files on the library website was just over 5,400.
Just over a third of the sample responded that they were currently offering federated search capabilities from the website, so that a broad range of library databases could be searched at once. Three out of four research universities had federated search capabilities, compared to just 53.33% of PhD-level granting institutions, 29.27% of 4-year/MA granting institutions, and just 8.33% of community colleges. The mean number of subject-specific search windows offered through federated searches was 19.72.
The study gives detailed data about budgets, technology, personnel, policies, use of consultants, relations with the college IT department and many other issues of interest to college library webmasters or staff. Data is broken out separately by level of overall enrollment, Carnegie Class or type of college, and for colleges with and without academic library website webmasters, and for public and private colleges. For a list of colleges that participated in the report and further information contact Primary Research Group at or call 212-736-2316.
They seem to havde a lot of research of interest to libraries. Recent reports include: Academic Library Website Benchmarks,The Survey of Library Database Licensing Practices, Fundraising, The International Survey of Institutional Digital Repositories, Survey of Library Cafes, Survey of Distance Learning Programs in Higher Education, Corporate Library Benchmarks, Best Practices of Academic Library Information Technology Directors, Emerging Issues in Academic Library Cataloging & Technical Services, Creating the Digital Art Library, Trends in the Management of Library Special Collections in Film and Photography, and Current Practices and Future Plans of Public Library Webmasters. They seem to run from $90-500.

Posted on: December 19, 2007, 11:56 am Category: Uncategorized

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