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Survey of Academic Library Leadership: Evaluation of the Virtual Reference Service

  • ID: 4827902
  • Report
  • Primary Research Group
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The report presents data from a survey of 116 directors, deans and other high level officials of academic libraries about how they feel about their library’s virtual reference service.  The report presents data on the type of service provided, the service provider, if applicable, library staff time expended on the service, the overall satisfaction level with the service, as well as future plans for the virtual reference service.

Data in the report is broken out by many personal and institutional characteristics of the survey participants including but not limited to college Carnegie class or type, public and private status, enrollment levels as well as for various personal characteristics such as age and gender of the survey respondent. The report includes 35 tables and10 charts or diagrams.

Just a few of the report’s many findings are that:

  • 43.75% of participants with fewer than 2,000 students reported providing synchronous reference services, while that number increased to 68.75% for 2,000-4,999 students, 76.92% for 5,000-10,000 students, and 84.62% for more than 10,000 students.
  • Research universities in the sample had a mean of 9.58 librarians who worked on the virtual reference service in the past year.
  • Overall, the libraries in the sample spent a mean of 57.26 staff hours on the virtual reference service in the past month.
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1. THE QUESTIONNAIRE  

2. LIST OF THE INSTITUTIONAL AFFILIATION OF THE SURVEY PARTICIPANTS

3. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SAMPLE

4. SUMMARY OF MAIN FINDINGS

  • Are you currently providing any of the following types of reference services through the library? (synchronous (chat/text), asynchronous (email/submission form), virtual reference from specialized subject specialists in addition to general reference)  In the past year, approximately how many librarians have served, even briefly, on the virtual reference service?  
  • Which software are you currently using for virtual reference (chat / text, email etc.) services at your university? .
  • In a typical month, how much staff time is spent, in total staff hours, on the virtual reference service?
  • If you use any software or application to assess your virtual reference service which one do you use and why?  
  • What are your library's plans for the virtual reference service?  
  • How satisfied are you with your library's virtual reference service?  

5. DATA AND COMMENTARY

  • Are you currently providing any of the following types of reference services through the library? (choose all that apply)
  • In the past year, approximately how many librarians have served, even briefly, on the virtual reference service?

List of Tables
Table 2.1 In the past year, approximately how many librarians have served, evenbriefly, on the virtual reference service?
Table 2.2 In the past year, approximately how many librarians have served, evenbriefly, on the virtual reference service? Broken out by personal age range
Table 2.3 In the past year, approximately how many librarians have served, evenbriefly, on the virtual reference service? Broken out for public and privateinstitutions  
Table 2.4 In the past year, approximately how many librarians have served, evenbriefly, on the virtual reference service? Broken out by Carnegie class ortype of college
Table 2.5 In the past year, approximately how many librarians have served, evenbriefly, on the virtual reference service? Broken out by enrollment .
Table 2.6  In the past year, approximately how many librarians have served, evenbriefly, on the virtual reference service? Broken out by tuition, $ .
Table 2.7 In the past year, approximately how many librarians have served, evenbriefly, on the virtual reference service? Broken out by Carnegie class ortype of college Which software are you currently using for virtual reference (chat / text, email etc.)services at your university? .
Table 3.1 Which software are you currently using for virtual reference (chat / text,email etc.) services at your university?.
Table 3.2 Which software are you currently using for virtual reference (chat / text,email etc.) services at your university? Broken out by personal age range  
Table 3.3 Which software are you currently using for virtual reference (chat / text,email etc.) services at your university? Broken out for public and privateinstitutions  
Table 3.4 Which software are you currently using for virtual reference (chat / text,email etc.) services at your university? Broken out by Carnegie class ortype of college
Table 3.5 Which software are you currently using for virtual reference (chat / text,email etc.) services at your university? Broken out by enrollment
Table 3.6 Which software are you currently using for virtual reference (chat / text,email etc.) services at your university? Broken out by tuition, $
Table 3.7 Which software are you currently using for virtual reference (chat / text,email etc.) services at your university? Broken out by Carnegie class ortype of college In a typical month, how much staff time is spent, in total staff hours, on the virtualreference service? .
Table 4.1 In a typical month, how much staff time is spent, in total staff hours, on thevirtual reference service?  
Table 4.2 In a typical month, how much staff time is spent, in total staff hours, on thevirtual reference service? Broken out by personal age range
Table 4.3 In a typical month, how much staff time is spent, in total staff hours, on thevirtual reference service? Broken out for public and private institutions  
Table 4.4 In a typical month, how much staff time is spent, in total staff hours, on thevirtual reference service? Broken out by Carnegie class or type of college  
Table 4.5 In a typical month, how much staff time is spent, in total staff hours, on thevirtual reference service? Broken out by enrollment
Table 4.6 In a typical month, how much staff time is spent, in total staff hours, on thevirtual reference service? Broken out by tuition, $
Table 4.7 In a typical month, how much staff time is spent, in total staff hours, on thevirtual reference service? Broken out by Carnegie class or type of college  How satisfied are you with your library's virtual reference service?  
Table 5.1 How satisfied are you with your library's virtual reference service?
Table 5.2 How satisfied are you with your library's virtual reference service? Brokenout by personal age range
Table 5.3 How satisfied are you with your library's virtual reference service? Brokenout for public and private institutions
Table 5.4 How satisfied are you with your library's virtual reference service? Brokenout by Carnegie class or type of college
Table 5.5 How satisfied are you with your library's virtual reference service? Brokenout by enrollment
Table 5.6 How satisfied are you with your library's virtual reference service? Brokenout by tuition, $
Table 5.7 How satisfied are you with your library's virtual reference service? Brokenout by Carnegie class or type of college

List of Charts
Chart 1.1.1 Are you currently providing synchronous (chat / text) through the library?
Chart 1.1.2 Are you currently providing synchronous (chat / text) through the library? Broken out for public and private institutions
Chart 1.1.3 Are you currently providing synchronous (chat / text) through the library? Broken out by Carnegie class or type of college
Chart 1.1.4 Are you currently providing synchronous (chat / text) through the library? Broken out by tuition, $
Chart 1.2.1 Are you currently providing asynchronous (email/submission form) through the library?
Chart 1.2.2 Are you currently providing asynchronous (email/submission form) through the library? Broken out for public and private institutions
Chart 1.2.3 Are you currently providing asynchronous (email/submission form) through the library? Broken out by Carnegie class or type of college
Chart 1.2.4 Are you currently providing asynchronous (email/submission form) through the library? Broken out by tuition, $
Chart 1.3.1 Are you currently providing virtual reference from specialized subject specialists in addition to general reference through the library?
Chart 1.3.2 Are you currently providing virtual reference from specialized subject specialists in addition to general reference through the library? Broken outfor public and private institutions
Chart 1.3.3 Are you currently providing virtual reference from specialized subjectspecialists in addition to general reference through the library? Broken outby Carnegie class or type of college
Chart 1.3.4 Are you currently providing virtual reference from specialized subjectspecialists in addition to general reference through the library? Broken outby tuition, $  
Chart 2.1 In the past year, approximately how many librarians have served, even briefly, on the virtual reference service?
Chart 2.2 In the past year, approximately how many librarians have served, even briefly, on the virtual reference service? Broken out for public and privateinstitutions  
Chart 2.3 In the past year, approximately how many librarians have served, evenbriefly, on the virtual reference service? Broken out by Carnegie class ortype of college
Chart 2.4 In the past year, approximately how many librarians have served, evenbriefly, on the virtual reference service? Broken out by tuition, $
Chart 3.1 Which software are you currently using for virtual reference (chat / text, email etc.) services at your university?
Chart 3.2 Which software are you currently using for virtual reference (chat / text, email etc.) services at your university? Broken out for public and privateinstitutions  
Chart 3.3 Which software are you currently using for virtual reference (chat / text,email etc.) services at your university? Broken out by Carnegie class ortype of college
Chart 3.4 Which software are you currently using for virtual reference (chat / text,email etc.) services at your university? Broken out by tuition, $
Chart 4.1 In a typical month, how much staff time is spent, in total staff hours, on the virtual reference service?  
Chart 4.2 In a typical month, how much staff time is spent, in total staff hours, on the virtual reference service? Broken out for public and private institutions  
Chart 4.3 In a typical month, how much staff time is spent, in total staff hours, on the virtual reference service? Broken out by Carnegie class or type of college  
Chart 4.4 In a typical month, how much staff time is spent, in total staff hours, on the virtual reference service? Broken out by tuition, $
Chart 5.1 How satisfied are you with your library's virtual reference service?
Chart 5.2 How satisfied are you with your library's virtual reference service? Broken out for public and private institutions
Chart 5.3 How satisfied are you with your library's virtual reference service? Broken out by Carnegie class or type of college
Chart 5.4 How satisfied are you with your library's virtual reference service? Broken out by tuition, $    

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