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Innovative survey finds online library access 'most important'

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Innovative has announced the publication of survey results from more than 4,000 library users at seven academic libraries in the UK.

'We Love the Library, but We Live on the Web' – which centres around how academic library users view online resources and services – reports on how online users interact with library-related services and what the key challenges are for libraries to meet these expectations.

The study found that user behaviours and attitudes are increasingly uniform and that the ‘digital-native’ is no longer a subset of library users. Although most access online library resources in the library, users see access from anywhere – on any device – as the 'most important' consideration.

The results suggest that libraries can meet the needs of their users by including all manner of library resources – including multimedia – in a single, effective discovery source; providing more direct workflows geared toward electronic research; enabling social features; and empowering users with apps. In addition, the report suggests libraries should seize the opportunity to engage users by surfacing their data on the greater web (through linked data, for example).

'Innovative was proud to sponsor this independent survey because we are dedicated to enabling libraries to provide the best possible experience to their users on the Web,' says Innovative's vice president of global marketing, Gene Shimshock.

'User behaviour and the larger technology system are rapidly changing, so the library community has to ‘take the pulse’ of its user base in order to sustain a high level of service. We’d like to salute the staff at these academic libraries for their efforts and participation in the study.'

The report includes results from survey findings at: University of Glasgow; University of Hull; University of Keele; London South Bank University; Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh; Queen’s University, Belfast; and the Wellcome Library. The survey and report were managed by Sero Consulting (www.serohe.co.uk).