[Web4lib] Academic Library Website Benchmarks Published
Primarydat at aol.com
Primarydat at aol.com
Fri Dec 14 11:29:58 EST 2007
Primary Research Group has published Academic Library Website Benchmarks
(ISBN #: 1-57440-094-0). The report presents data from 82 North American college
libraries about their library website policies and development plans.
Some of the report’s findings are that:
* More than three quarters of all respondents plan a major redesign of
the library website within the next two years. Nearly 85% of research
universities (84.6%) planned a website redesign in this period. A high percentage
of colleges with FTE enrollments below 2,000 (82%) planned to redesign their
website within the next two years, compared to 72.7 to 78.3% of colleges with
* The library information technology or web staff accounted for over
76% of the total man-hours spent running the college library websites for the
colleges in the sample. College-wide IT or web staff performed an average of
just 15.76% of the labor necessary to run the college library websites in the
* Nearly 42% of survey participants used a content editing system
provided by the central college web staff.
* Of the libraries that do use a content management system, just over
a quarter expressed satisfaction for the most part and had no plans for
changing software or management methods in the future. Another 31.4% reported that
they were not completely satisfied and might change content management
systems or their policies.
* The mean number of library staff or personnel who entered content
into the college library website in the last full semester was 13.24. Community
colleges had just 2.5 library employees entering content, compared to 5.2
employees at 4-year/MA granting institutions and 11.1 at PhD-level granting
institutions. Research universities reported the highest number of library staff
entering data, at 51.8, and a maximum of 200.
commonly used scripting language on the college website.
* For a shade less than two thirds of the libraries (64.9%) the
library website budget was part of the library IT budget, and not separately broken
out; 35.1% considered it part of the college IT budget.
* More than 8 out of 10 college libraries use cascading style sheets
at least to some degree.
* Approximately one in ten college libraries have a presence on the
social networking site MySpace.
* Over three quarters of the libraries in the sample (76.8%) do not
have a “My Library” type of service for users to log in to, save research or
favorite places, and bookmark other commonly used library resources.
* The mean number of files on the library website was just over 5,400.
* Just over a third of the sample responded that they were currently
offering federated search capabilities from the website, so that a broad range
of library databases could be searched at once. Three out of four research
universities had federated search capabilities, compared to just 53.33% of
PhD-level granting institutions, 29.27% of 4-year/MA granting institutions, and
just 8.33% of community colleges. The mean number of subject-specific search
windows offered through federated searches was 19.72.
The study gives detailed data about budgets, technology, personnel,
policies, use of consultants, relations with the college IT department and many other
issues of interest to college library webmasters or staff. Data is broken
out separately by level of overall enrollment, Carnegie Class or type of
college, and for colleges with and without academic library website webmasters, and
for public and private colleges. For a list of colleges that participated in
the report and further information contact Primary Research Group at
_www.primaryresearch.com_ (http://www.primaryresearch.com/) or call 212-736-2316.
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