Librarians Online Survey

I hinted at doing this over a week ago, but I finally got time to write out a short survey in Google Docs about librarians and their activities online. This is what I would call a ‘tester’ survey in that I want to see how eclectic the librarian community is when it comes to their online conversation spaces. From this survey, I’ll be looking design another one that probes further into the online services, sites, and tools that librarians use. But first, I want a little data to give me some direction.

In the meantime, please click on the link, take the survey, and share it as widely as you can. I’d like to get a decent sample size so I’ll be sending it out on all of my social networks but I could always use a hand from the readership. If you’d be so kind to send it to your social networks, your library staff, library system, state association, or whatever mailing lists you belong to, I’d be much obliged.

Librarians Online Survey

I’m looking forward to people’s responses! I’ll be reporting the survey results in a few weeks.

6 thoughts on “Librarians Online Survey

  1. I passed this link onto many and many have participated. One reply i got from a colleague was disappointing —

    “I tried to answer his survey but it won’t accept my response since I don’t use any of those sites for my professional development. Typing in “none” in the freeform box apparently isn’t considered an answer to the question. The lesson learned – don’t do a survey without offering “none” or “other” as an option.

    Truthfully, I can’t imagine that very many librarians use any social media site for professional development – for connecting with patrons maybe.”

    Disappointed in the final statement, not that you couldn’t respond “none/other”…oh well. I responded to her about my daily experiences w/using various forms of social media and how beneficial it can be to me personally and to my library and it’s patrons by keeping us up to date and maintaining a relevancy in the lives of those we want to walk through our physical and virtual doors on a daily basis.

    Looking forward to hearing about this. Good luck!

    • “Truthfully, I can’t imagine that very many librarians use any social media site for professional development – for connecting with patrons maybe.”


      I’m glad you offered your take on the social media sites.

    • That comment actually brings to light one problem of these types of surveys (people do this on list-servs all the time and probably don’t realize it): snowball sampling. It can dramatically skew your results and basically produce the very results you predict. My wife works in a field that does a lot of heavy demographic and psychometric research and they usually try to avoid this.

      But it also brings up something that I always harp about: librarians have an online echo chamber that is probably only rivaled by the tech industry. Those of us who live in the Facebook, who spend all our days twooting (::raises hand::), forget that *it is not normal* and, for many people, *not desirable.*

      One librarian at MPOW that I admire and respect to no end once told me, “For every minute you spend online talking to other ‘professionals’ (she used air quotes), there are 5 patrons who are not getting your attention.” I responded, “but what about during down times?” To which she replied, “So instead of taking 5 minutes to start building something useful, something that could benefit a user, you went online to check your Twitter stream?” o.O

      /rant. This has been coming up a lot at work. Ugh. In any case, I look forward to seeing the results of the survey, if anything to see how online librarians spend their time. =)

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