This is part of a series of blog posts on the end of project fact finding survey.
We added some additional categories to the question about barriers/challenges based on the open responses to the last survey. We also asked an additional question about the primary barrier to discover which are the biggest barriers at present.
As can be seen from the graph, resource constraints are experienced by the majority of respondents (79%), with infrastructure/policy constraints being experience from almost half of respondents (47%). Other barriers and challenges were also present to a varying degree, and some added other barriers, including:
- Traditional mindset of library staff/management resulting in risk averse culture and a steep learning curve if staff were to get involved
- Vendors investing in separate apps rather than supporting access via library websites
- Lack of third party support for mobile resources (e.g. catalogue, e-journals and databases)
When asked what the primary barrier was, the following pie chart shows the results:
As shown, resource constraints are the primary barrier for a large proportion (46%) of respondents. Infrastructure/policy constraints are the primary barrier for 17% of respondents, whilst licensing concerns, lack of technical support and not an organisation priority are also primary barriers for over 5% of respondents each.
A number of solutions were suggested to overcome barriers and challenges to utilising mobile technologies. These included:
- Quick wins/low cost solutions
- Demonstrating a clear business case
- Staff changes (additional staffing or re-assigning staff duties)
- Partnerships (internal and external)
- Staff training
- Learn from best practice of other libraries
Comments and plans recommending ways for the barriers to be overcome included:
initially go for quick wins, using apps/services that are free or low cost, whilst beginning to embed mobile considerations into university processes and projects
We hope that clearly demonstrating the potential benefits for the student experience may result in funding being made available for mobile app development
We recently created a new position for a Digital Branch Manager, which helps shape our vision for all digital services, mobile included, and added 1 FTE to our IT staff
Utilising expertise from other departments (e.g. IT department) and other institutions
We are actively seeking partnerships with other businesses in the form of affiliate partnerships, donations, and advertising revenue
Keep trying to acquire good practice from others to save on development costs