Librarian survey shows changing priorities

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Librarians expect changes in user behaviour over the next five years, according to a survey carried out by OCLC earlier this year. In the survey of librarians from the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, around three quarters expected a rise in online visits within the next year but they expected low growth in physical visits.

About two-thirds of those who responded anticipate a change in the primary reason to visit the library in the next five years. Although the borrowing of physical items is still the primary reason for visiting libraries today, access to online databases and journals is expected to increase in popularity as a primary reason in 2017 for ‘visits’. 

The top priorities for libraries to focus their activities on, according to the survey, include delivering e-content, forming community partnerships, the library’s role in the future of higher education, visibility of the library’s collection and demonstration of the library value to its funders.

The survey involved 279 librarians from the UK, 143 librarians from Germany and 152 librarians from the Netherlands. Libraries: A Snapshot of Priorities and Perspectives is now available on the OCLC website, where reports for the UK, Germany and the Netherlands can be downloaded.OCLC conducted a similar study among librarians in the USA in 2011.