End of project survey – overview

Thanks again to those of you who completed the end of project fact finding survey we ran earlier this year. As before (see blog posts from previous fact finding survey), we’ll be publishing summary blog posts over the next couple of weeks sharing the findings from the different parts of the survey.

There were 138 responses to the survey, primarily from the academic library sector (68%).

Respondents by sector

Respondents by sector

The ‘other’ responses included health or hospital libraries, government libraries and law libraries.

The majority of respondents were from the UK (65%), with other respondents from the USA (28.9%), Canada (2%), Australia, Belgium and Turkey.

The majority of the respondents’ libraries either already have m-library initiatives (92%), or are currently working on m-library projects or services (61%) – unsurprising due to self-selected nature of sample. Common uses at present included (in order of frequency):

  • QR codes
  • Mobile catalogue
  • Mobile website
  • Guides to support the use of mobile services/apps
  • Mobile app for the institution
  • Using mobile devices to support roving reference
  • Loaning mobile devices
  • Mobile app for the library
  • SMS communication about borrower record

82% of respondents plan to implement additional m-library initiatives in future, though many did not have concrete plans in place and would follow developments to see which would be most relevant for their library. For those who did have plans, many included initiatives already mentioned. More innovative ideas included a mobile enquiry service, augmented reality, NFC/RFID, and supporting bring your own device (BYOD).

Barriers to development of m-library initiatives were experienced by a large proportion of respondents (95% gave at least one barrier). When asked to indicate the primary barrier, the main issues were resource constraints (46%) and infrastructure constraints (17%). A number of suggestions were made with regards to overcoming barriers, including quick wins/low costs solutions, a strong business case, staffing changes, and internal or external partnerships.

Though there are still some who do not feel at all confident implementing mobile technologies at their library, 72% felt confident or very confident. Confidence correlated with having infrastructure in place, support from management, and the resources to work on development.

Respondents planned to inform developments in a number of different ways, planning to keep up-to-date with mobile technologies, use case studies, attend or follow events, read or follow existing research, sharing and reading social media, library/librarian blogs, social media discussion, how-to guides, and mailing lists.

More detailed analysis for specific sections of the survey will follow next week using the using the end of project survey tag.

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