JISC Attitudinal Survey 2008: Head and Senior Learning and Librarian Staff
An annual survey conducted on behalf of JISC by the JISC Monitoring Unit at the University of Kent, shows that senior academic librarians believe that managing and promoting e-resources and e-content will be their main challenges over the next few years.
The research, supported by SCONUL, found that in both the higher (HE) and further education (FE) sectors, the perceived shift away from print to a dependence on e-resources creates other challenges such as how to manage the volume of material, how users can access it and how libraries and learning resource centres (LRC) can provide or promote such resources. It also highlights financial issues such as potential funding sources for the increasing amounts of new technology, electronic materials and subscriptions likely to be needed by the learning institutions of the future.
'Balancing limited budgets against growing demands for a huge variety of content'
Head Librarian, HE
Other challenges included keeping abreast of and incorporating new technologies, pressure on space and information skills and literacy.
'Debate whether students should be taught information literacy as a separate accredited skill or whether it would be better to teach them to research main subject-based resources'
Head of LRC, FE
'Need to offer flexible learning spaces in a context of pressure on space and financial resources'
Head Librarian, HE
These findings complement those from the recently released SCONUL Top Concerns Survey 2008 summarising the key concerns currently facing directors of library and information services.
The survey covered content, licensing, digitisation and communication issues.
Other key findings included:
- The SCONUL Top Concerns survey highlighted access management as a key issue among this audience. Encouragingly, the JISC survey shows the proportion feeling informed about access management issues has increased significantly since 2007 along with awareness and knowledge of JISC activity in this area and the UK Access Management Federation
- 61% of HE and 43% of FE libraries/LRCs report having digitised their own collections but relatively few currently have a digitisation strategy in place. A quarter of HEIs are planning to put one in place compared with one in ten in FE
- Around one in four HE libraries have collaborated with one another on jointly procuring collections, and a further 12% jointly digitising their collections
- Around one third agreed that academic libraries/LRCs could use social networking opportunities to engage students with their services but most were unsure especially in HE
The fieldwork conducted annually on behalf of JISC by the Monitoring Unit, surveyed around 300 key librarian and LRC staff from 83 higher and 201 further education institutions across the UK.
JISC is combining this survey with its existing annual network infrastructure survey of heads, directors and managers of ICT/networks to form a single annual Key Audience Survey in November 2008 administered by the JISC Monitoring Unit. As in previous years, the survey will go out to invited stakeholders across the community and we hope those invited will continue to support the survey as strongly in future years.