Ithaka S+R, a not-for-profit strategic consulting and research service for the academic and cultural heritage community, released today its Library Survey 2010: Insights from U.S. Academic Library Directors, offering a strategic analysis on the state of the library to help library leadership plan for the future. Over 200 library administrators from U.S. based four year colleges and institutions weighed in on issues related to the strategies they are pursuing for their libraries, the management of library collections, the development of new digital collections, and the creation of new services to meet changing user needs.
“The survey is genuinely revelatory,” commented Charles Henry, president of Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). “And, I also hope it will serve as a catalyst for the kind of thoughtful discussion on library strategy and leadership that is urgently needed.“
The survey findings indicated that there is a consensus on key strategic issues, including the clear shift away from print to digital journals and the prioritization of teaching and instruction as core library functions. But, some findings suggest broad divergences not only among library directors but also among library directors and faculty members, as made evident through a comparison with data from the Ithaka S+R Faculty Survey 2009.
“This is a stunning and useful set of data,” said Bill Mayer, university librarian at American University. “From my perspective, the most important issue is the dichotomy of opinion between university faculty and library directors on the value of the librarian role in teaching and learning.”
Library directors as well as faculty members continue to emphasize the library’s role as a buyer of materials, as seen in the way library directors prioritize their spending and how faculty members view the library. However, the survey findings also reveal that many library directors are not confident they have conducted sufficient strategic planning to meet changing user needs and to optimally manage collections.
You can also read about methodology, find direct links to several related reports, and learn the dates/times of three upcoming webinars that will discuss the report on this web page .