Reference research webinar for SLA, 2014


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Results from the 2013 reference survey

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Reference research webinar for SLA, 2014

  1. 1. Tell us what you want, what you really, really want Select results of the global reference survey Elisabeth Leonard, MSLS, MBA Market Research Analyst, SAGE Publications, Inc.
  2. 2. Agenda  Budgets  Perceptions of reference  Questions and comments
  3. 3. What I did  Invitations to complete the survey were sent to various listservs, including publib, colldev, acqnet, and SLA chapter lists globally.  Email invitations were sent to 800 reference, collection development, and acquisition librarians.  There were 32 questions.  Completed surveys were eligible to win an iPad mini.  Followed up with interviews and focus groups.
  4. 4. Demographics Demographics  471 responses (600+ came to the first page)  90% came from North America, 6% from Asia Pacific, 2% from Europe, 1% from South America, and 0.5% from Africa.  58% were from academic libraries, 13% from corporate libraries, 12% from medical libraries, 10% from government or military libraries, 6% from public libraries, and 1% from school libraries.
  5. 5. Trends: budgets
  6. 6. Reference budgets: last 5 years Academic Public Special Increased 10% 15% 12% Stayed the same 34% 15% 29% Decreased 49% 65% 49% Don’t know 7% 5% 9%
  7. 7. Reference budgets: next 5 years Academic Public Special Increase 10% 6% 18% Stay the same 34% 44% 32% Decrease 54% 50% 44% Don’t spend now 1% 0% 5% Eliminated 0.6% 0% 0.9%
  8. 8. Comparing trends in special libraries 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Increased Stayed the same Decreased Don’t know Last 5 years Next 5 years
  9. 9. General trends: budgets Libraries are consolidating their budget lines, with some no longer including a separate budget line for reference Spending often comes out of subject funds and e-resources fund A preference for e-reference Growth to support new programs Reduction because of journals spend and increased e-resources spend Importance of one time funds
  10. 10. Spending comes from subject funds “We have not had a reference budget for some time now. Reference resources that are acquired now come out of subject area budgets along with any resources needed for that area.”
  11. 11. Funds move to e-resources line  “Although the amount of the reference budget is probably about the same, the type of materials purchases are quite different. We used to spend considerable money on paper monographs, standing orders, and reference serials. We spend very little on any of those, but much of the money we spent has now been transferred into the budget for online resources.”
  12. 12. Consolidation of budget lines “We continue to purchase reference materials but we don't have a separate "reference" budget line. We engaged in some reorganization a few years ago, and that included folding many separate small budget lines into fewer, larger, ones.”
  13. 13. A preference for e-reference “We have a shared fund for purchases of online resources - many of which are A&I databases and thus 'reference'. But they are not charged to our 'reference' fund. Our 'reference' fund is only for print material. So our online reference buying is increasing each year. Our print reference buying is holding steady or decreasing.”
  14. 14. Growth from new programs “Our budget was cut last year, but we will be gaining 3 new residency programs. Therefore, in certain areas, I think our budget will increase to meet GME requirements.”
  15. 15. Importance of one time funds “We've seen fluctuations in our reference purchasing because, though we have definitely seen cuts in the amount of monies we spend, we've also been the beneficiaries of one-time money which has then been used to purchase all sorts of materials, including reference materials. This has had the overall effect of off-setting cuts in the budget.”
  16. 16. “E” (and a little print) Academic Public Special Print only 0.5% 0% 3% Print preferred 4% 5% 6% Online only 7% 0% 11% Online preferred 68% 35% 50% No preference 22% 60% 31% No longer purchase reference 1% 0% 5%
  17. 17. Perceptions of reference
  18. 18. People still ask for  Subject handbooks  Databases,  Encyclopedias  Dictionaries  Updated editions As well as journals, articles and textbooks
  19. 19. “Sometimes the requests come from patrons, but more often from colleagues (after dealing with patrons and noticing a need) and professors.”
  20. 20. Comments  The proliferation of single-volume encyclopedias is incredible, given the shrinking demand.
  21. 21. % of patrons librarians believe are aware of reference resources
  22. 22. Librarian satisfaction with perceived patron awareness
  23. 23. Top ways librarians think patrons discover reference resources  Following the direction of a librarian  Following the direction of an instructor  Searching online (eg. Google)
  24. 24. Are librarians satisfied with the use reference resources get?
  25. 25. Why?  It can always be better (I feel usage is good, but could be better/ I always want people to read more, research more. I will never be fully satisfied!)  Free alternative resources (It is an uphill battle to get them to use the library instead of Google or other search engine as their starting place.)  Faculty not on board (Many faculty discourage students from using reference materials when they are a great place to start the process.)  Not enough value for the money (Aren't used heavily enough, based on their research value.)  Not enough promotion (We need to promote our reference resources. These resources are basically underused and we are increasingly selective about acquiring them in print; Usage does drive renewals)  The value is in the answer (IMO, it doesn't matter if a Ref is used exactly once, IF with that use it provides precisely what the patron needs.)  C’est la vie (People are usually either library users, or they are not. Some people just don't give priority to such things, and they probably won't set the world on fire.)
  26. 26. Issues with discovery  The Discovery service doesn't make it possible to filter for this content. Our catalog does a great job, but the students don't start there. Our major reference vendor's content isn't in the Discovery service (yet). Reference Universe, the index to reference content, does not work well enough in the Discovery Layer or even on its own to get students to that content. A problem that needs to be fixed.
  27. 27. Questions? Comments? Elisabeth Leonard, MSLS, MBA Twitter: ElisabethAnn Email: