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Libraries in the U.S.: A Snapshot of Priorities & Perspectives

These reports detail findings from a study OCLC conducted with libraries in mid-2011 to learn about their priorities, initiatives, thoughts on the future of their service points and the sources they use to keep up with developments in the library field.

See other reports in the Priorities & Perspectives series for libraries in Germany | Netherlands | UK.

Select Key Findings for Academic Libraries

U.S. Academic Libraries: A Snapshot of Priorities and Perspectives

  • Most academic library staff:
    • Consider licensed e-collections to be a top priority
    • Are focusing on e-books, other e-resources and discovery tools as top current initiatives
    • Believe their current library location structure will be the same in five years
    • Rely mostly on listservs and email to stay current—a few use social media

Nearly 2,000 academic library staff including directors, managers and librarians participated in the study.

Select Key Findings for Community College Libraries

U.S. Community College Libraries: A Snapshot of Priorities and Perspectives

  • Most community college library staff:
    • Consider licensed e-collections and e-books to be their top priority and current initiative
    • Believe their current library location structure will be the same in five years
    • Rely mostly on listservs and email to stay current—a few use social media.
  • Community college library staff are less likely than other academic library and public library staff to expect that a national digital library will exist in the next five years.
  • Community college libraries are distinctively putting more focus on outreach and library instruction and their back-end office technology compared to other academic libraries.

Nearly 200 community college library staff including directors, managers and librarians participated in the study.

Select Key Findings for Public Libraries

U.S. Public Libraries: A Snapshot of Priorities and Perspectives

  • Most public library staff:
    • Are focusing their priorities on Internet access, demonstrating value to funders and delivering e-content
    • Are concentrating on e-books as their top current initiative
    • Rely mostly on listservs and email to stay current—while just a few use social media
  • Opinions are split on the make-up of service points in the future
  • The top priority for public library directors is demonstrating the library's value to funders

Nearly 1300 public library staff including directors, managers and librarians participated in the study.

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