CIBER Announces Results of Global Library Survey, Findings to Be Discussed at ALA Midwinter

From an ebrary press release:

Final survey report now freely available courtesy of Charleston Conference, YBP, and ebrary

December 21, 2009London, UKCIBER research group at University College London today announced the availability of the final report for its global library survey that concerns challenges, trends, and best practices during tough economic times. Co-sponsored by Charleston Conference, Baker & Taylor’s YBP Library Services, and ebrary®, a leading provider of digital content products and technologies, the survey was completed by 835 institutions around the world. Anyone may receive a complimentary copy of the final report by registering at

“What comes through, both in the key findings and in the many unsolicited comments from librarians, is not depression or even resignation, but a much more positive and realistic assessment,” said Professor David Nicholas, Director of the Department of Information Studies, UCL Centre for Publishing, and CIBER research group. “Library managers see the current difficulties as being an opportunity to rethink what ‘library’ means in the twenty-first century, and to go beyond measuring activity (through benchmarking and performance indicators) to thinking more about the positive impacts of formal information provision on student learning, research performance and other key aspects of organizational missions.”

Key findings of the survey include the following:

* The current financial year is a tough one for academic libraries, with 34.7% of institutions receiving a total library budget that is at least 5% smaller than the previous year (excluding inflation).
* The outlook in two years’ time is mixed, with 31.4% expecting their total library budget to be smaller than in the current financial year, 40.1% about the same, and 28.4% expecting an increase.
* Overall, resource budgets are more vulnerable than personnel, services or infrastructure, with monographs and print journals being the most vulnerable to cutbacks.
* When trimming their resources budget, libraries were least likely to cut e-books, followed by electronic-only serials and database subscriptions.
* 52.5% of libraries view the acceleration of print to digital as the most effective option for balancing their budgets, with subscription as the most popular method.
* Just under half of all libraries see the demonstration of value through usage and outcomes data as the smartest way to manage the cost of resources.

Discuss the Survey at ALA Midwinter

Dr. Allen McKiel, Dean of Library and Media Services at Western Oregon University, will lead an interactive presentation of the final results at ALA Midwinter on Saturday, January 16, 2010, from 10:30am to 12pm at the Boston Park Plaza (Whittier Room) in Boston, MA. All are invited to discuss what the findings mean for libraries as well as possible responses and solutions. To RSVP, please go to Printed copies of the final report will also be available at ebrary’s booth (#1800).

Librarians, faculty members, publishers, and others are encouraged to write papers on the survey. For more information, please email A listing of additional ebrary surveys on libraries, faculty, and students is available at


CIBER’s expertise lies in the mapping, monitoring and evaluating of digital information systems, platforms, services, roll-outs and environments, using robust, big picture and innovative research methods, especially deep log analysis. CIBER has published a number of studies regarding digital information use, ejournal use and impact, cultural heritage online, impact of electronic course texts, information-seeking behavior of business students, and the like. For a full listing visit

About the Charleston Conference (

The Charleston Conference is an informal annual gathering of librarians, publishers, electronic resource managers, consultants, and vendors of library materials in Charleston, SC, in November, to discuss issues of importance to them all. It is designed to be a collegial gathering of individuals from different areas who discuss the same issues in a non-threatening, friendly, and highly informal environment. Presidents of companies discuss and debate with library directors, acquisitions librarians, reference librarians, serials librarians, collection development librarians, and many, many others. Begun in 1980, the Charleston Conference has grown from 20 participants in 1980 to over 1,000 in 2005.

About Baker & Taylor

Baker & Taylor, Inc. ( is a global information and entertainment services company that offers print and digital books and entertainment products along with value-added services to libraries, educational institutions and retailers. Based in Charlotte, N.C., the company has been in existence for more than 180 years, developing long-term relationships with major suppliers, including book publishers, movie studios and music labels. Baker & Taylor maintains one of the largest combined in-stock book, video and music inventories in the United States, and services the broadest customer base in the industry. Baker & Taylor is majority owned by Castle Harlan Partners IV, L.P., a leading private equity investment firm.

About ebrary (

ebrary helps libraries, corporations, publishers, and consumers get the most out of their digital content. The company offers a growing selection of more than 170,000 digital books, handbooks, reports, maps, journals and other valuable content from over 350 of the world’s leading publishers under flexible subscription, purchase, and usage-based models. Additionally, ebrary offers content services (SaaS and licensed) for customers to cost-effectively distribute their own PDF content online.

All ebrary products and services can be integrated and delivered via a single easy-to-use interface that includes powerful tools for finding, discovering, and managing information. With ebrary InfoToolsâ„¢, every word in the ebrary system is a network to other online resources of the customer’s choice, extending content value while increasing end-user knowledge and efficiencies.

Founded in 1999, ebrary is privately held and is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, USA.

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