Tag Archives: end of project survey

End of project survey – methods to support current and future m-library initiatives

This is part of a series of blog posts on the end of project fact finding survey.

Respondents were asked to indicate from a pre-determined list the methods that they would use to support current and future m-library initiatives in their library/information service. Most respondents plan to use a selection of sources, including (in order of popularity):

  • Keeping up-to-date with mobile technology
  • Case studies
  • Attending and following events
  • Reading/following existing research
  • Sharing and reading information via social media
  • Library/librarian blogs
  • Social media discussions
  • How-to guides
  • Mailing lists
  • Conducting own research
  • Project blogs

Other responses included collaborative projects (with other organisations or others within the organisation who may be more knowledgeable), dicsussion with/learning from colleagues, in house training/awareness sessions, creating your own m-library initiative, video demonstrations, and support from suppliers.

Some comments gave a little more detail:

Practical demos and sessions are always the most fulfilling so you can see the technology in action. This is what people remember.

Good case studies in relevant types of libraries (in our case engineering and industrial) might help.

Hopefully this blog will be one place to help signpost to these sources of information.

End of project survey – confidence in implementing mobile technologies

This is part of a series of blog posts on the end of project fact finding survey.

We were interested to find out the confidence level in implementing mobile technologies. The figure below shows the results:

Bar chart to show level of confidence in implementing mobile technologies

Bar chart to show level of confidence in implementing mobile technologies

Fortunately, the majority of respondents (72%) felt confident or very confident about implementing mobile technologies in the libraries. However, 26% did not feel confident, and 2% did not feel at all confident.

The comments explaining the reasons for these responses tended to relate to:

  • infrastructure
  • knowledge and skills
  • support from management
  • resources (e.g. time and money) to work on development

Lack of support at senior manager level as well as IT refusing to support mobile technologies (not confident response)

We have the knowledge & skills available, it’s just a case of implementation when we have time (confident response)

We are confident in our ability to offer these services once we have the technology and time to do so, but we’re not so confident that we will be able to find the time to implement these initiatives (confident response)

Flexible strategy in place with full senior management backing and growing expertise among Library staff (very confident response)

The responses emphasise the importance of having these elements in place in order for the staff to feel confident to implement mobile technologies.

End of project survey – barriers/challenges to implementation

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.

Barriers/challenges to utilising mobile technologies

Barriers/challenges to utilising mobile technologies

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:

Primary barrier to utilising mobile technologies

Primary barrier to utilising mobile technologies

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
  • Outsourcing

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

End of project survey – future m-library initiatives

This is part of a series of blog posts on the end of project fact finding survey.

Interestingly, when asked if their library was considering using mobile technologies to support any aspect of the service or resources provision in future, less people responded yes (81.8%) than in the first survey (90.4%). This still shows the majority intend to incorporate mobile technologies in future plans, though may represent a slight decrease in planning (or could be due to a different sample of respondents.

Is your library/information service considering using mobile technologies to support any aspect of the service or resource provision in future?

Is your library/information service considering using mobile technologies to support any aspect of the service or resource provision in future?

Many of those who planned to use mobile technologies in this way in future did not yet know how they planned to use them (probably a sensible approach with things changing so rapidly!). Those who had started planning for future included the following (in order of popularity):

  • Roving support (using tablets for reference enquiries, demonstrations and supporting teaching)
  • Mobile catalogue
  • Mobile app
  • Mobile website
  • Mobile access to resources
  • SMS
  • Loaning mobile devices
  • Social media
  • QR codes
  • Mobile web chat/enquiry service
  • Augmented reality
  • Strategy development
  • Near Field Communication/Radio-Frequency Identification
  • Supporting Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
  • Bibliographic management

Many of these are similar to the existing or current m-library initiatives, though it is interesting to note a few additions to the usual list such as mobile web chat, strategy development, near field communication and radio-frequency identification, supporting bring your own device, and bibliographic management.

End of project survey – current m-library initiatives

This is part of a series of blog posts on the end of project fact finding survey.

In the first fact finding survey, we discovered a number of different areas libraries were working on. Using the broad categories from the results of the first survey, we used the end of project survey as an opportunity to see which were most popular. The results are shown below:

Current m-library services offered

Current m-library services offered

Those who selected ‘other’ included additional explanation on the categories selected as well as the following areas:

  • Social media (Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare)
  • Location of free PCs in library
  • Status of printers in library
  • Mobile discovery tool
  • SMS reference service
  • Access to mobile content (e.g. ebooks, audiobooks, music)
  • Mobile e-learning website or VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)
  • Mobile chat (enquiry service)
  • Newswire from news agencies
  • Teaching/instruction on mobile devices
  • SMS to send bibliographic data from website to phone
  • Mobile LibGuides

When asked if they were currently involved in any m-library iniative projects, 61% of survey respondents said yes. In order of popularity, areas which were currently being worked on were as follows:

  1. Mobile access to resources
  2. Mobile apps (for library or wider organisation)
  3. Mobile website
  4. Mobile catalogue
  5. Using mobile devices to support roving reference
  6. QR codes
  7. SMS
  8. Loaning mobile devices
  9. Augmented reality
  10. Social media

The results from these two section of the survey suggest that perhaps QR codes are already well used in libraries, and are therefore not a main priority for further development in many libraries (though are still being developed in others). Mobile catalogue is also available for a number libraries, but this is still being added for other libraries. Mobile access to resources is a main priority for many libraries in terms of current projects and initiatives, as shown by a sample of comments:

Ensuring all online services are mobile-friendly

Developing a web page which details mobile versions of information resources.

We’re just finishing a project to address the challenges involved in providing mobile access to eresources through a discovery tool

I have asked our systems team to promote the implementation of a mobile version of our discovery service for the coming academic year

The results also suggest that more libraries are looking at utilising mobile devices to support roving reference (i.e. staff using tablet computers to help users at the point of need) and also loaning mobile devices (primarily Kindles or iPads).

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.

Mobile technologies in libraries – end of project survey

The m-libraries support project is part of JISC’s Mobile Infrastructure for Libraries programme running from November 2011 until September 2012.

The project aims to build a collection of useful resources and case studies based on current developments using mobile technologies in libraries, and to foster a community for those working in the m-library area or interested in learning more.

At the beginning of the project we ran a survey to gather information, to discover what was needed to help libraries decide on a way forward, and to begin to understand what an m-libraries community could offer to help (full report available). It’s now time to revisit these areas to see how things have changed.

Please answer the following few questions – they should only take 5-10 minutes and all questions are optional.

This is an open survey – please pass the survey link on to anyone else you think might be interested via email or social media: http://svy.mk/mlibs2