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Ny rapport om FFU-biblioteker i USA

Analysefirmaet Ithaka har udgivet en ny rapport om FFU-biblioteker i USA. Den foregående tilsvarende rapport kom i 2010. Rapportem handler om de strategiske og ledelsesmæssige perspektiver som en stor gruppe af bibliotekslederne ser dem.

Hele rapporten kan ses her.

Executive sumary følger nedenfor:

Executive Summary

The Ithaka S+R Library Survey 2013 examines strategy and leadership issues through the eyes of academic library deans and directors. In fall 2013, we fielded the Library Survey to the dean or director of the general or principal library at each four-year college and university in the United States. The survey did not include community colleges. We received 499 responses, or a response rate of 33%. Our aim in this project was to learn about chief librarians’ visions and the opportunities and constraints they face in leading their organizations.

This cycle of the US Library Survey illustrates the pronounced differences in academic library leaders by institutional type. Views on collections, services, and organizational positioning differ notably across Carnegie classifications. While there are also many areas of broad commonality, this diversity appears to be a key and perhaps growing characteristic for this community.

On vision and strategy:

•• With almost complete unanimity, library directors showed a very strong commitment to the role that their libraries play in research skills and information literacy education for undergraduate students. Academic libraries’ strong alignment around teaching and undergraduate education may have far-reaching implications for how they prioritize their other functions.

•• Outside the doctoral universities, there was an especially steep decline in the share of respondents invested in the research support role.

•• As in 2010, only a minority of respondents agreed that their library has a welldeveloped strategy for serving the changing needs of users. Those respondents whose libraries have taken on evidence gathering and other forms of assessment are more likely to be confident in their strategy for serving user needs.

On organizational leadership and constraints:

•• Library directors’ roles within their institution vary widely, with directors at larger institutions much more likely to feel themselves to be part of the senior academic administration than do directors elsewhere.

•• There is a broad sense that directors’ supervisors are at least somewhat less likely to support all library functions than are the directors themselves. The gap is pronounced in two areas: the preservation and archiving role outside of the research universities, suggesting possible tension between an expressed value of the library profession and the organizational priorities of smaller and less research-intensive colleges and universities; and the instructional support role at the doctoral institutions, where library leaders seem to have less institutional support for focusing resources on undergraduate needs than presents itself at other types of institutions.

On collections and formats:

•• A minority of respondents, even at doctoral institutions, believes that purchasing print books to build research collections is important, while the large majority believes that building local print collections has declined in importance. By comparison, the vast majority of respondents see resource sharing as an important library function and there is ample evidence across institutional types of the importance of collaborative approaches to serving users’ information needs.

•• For journals, the shift from print to electronic collecting has been, from a budget allocation perspective, nearly completed. Library directors tend to be more comfortable than are faculty members with the print to electronic transition for scholarly journals.

•• A possible format shift from print books to ebooks appears to be occurring at a more measured pace, with relatively small projected increases in ebook spending. Views about the importance of ebooks in their libraries have not measurably changed over the past three years. With respect to books, library directors may if anything be less aggressive in moving towards electronic formats than are faculty members.

On budget and staffing:

•• Library directors see limited financial resources as a major constraint. Many of them concur about how they would spend new funds, if they were available. Along with staffing, investing more money in online or digital content, including both journals and ebooks, is of strong interest at all types of libraries. Other areas, such as increasing staffing in special collections and building repository- or publishing-related services for faculty members are more likely to be priorities at the doctoral institutions.

•• Library directors’ responses signaled the continuing and perhaps growing importance of staff relative to other major categories of expenditure. Many directors are concerned about limited staff capacity and skills and would spend newly available funding on staff positions or salary increases for existing staff.

•• New hires are expected to concentrate in emerging and growing areas such as web services; digital preservation; and instruction, instructional design, and information literacy services, with declines expected in more established areas such as reference, technical services, and print collections management. On undergraduates and information literacy:

•• The near-unanimity in feeling that teaching undergraduate research skills and information literacy is an important library function is reflected in library directors’ widespread confidence that it is principally the library’s responsibility to foster these skills. Faculty members have a more mixed view of where this principal responsibility may reside.

•• Two core undergraduate services of widespread importance were “providing reference instruction to undergraduate classes” and “providing a physical space for student collaboration.” Beyond these, we did not identify other learning support services that have taken hold to the same degree.

•• At those institutions that provide some form of academic instruction online, a substantial share of directors do not feel that their libraries are fully prepared to provide support students in online courses.