A List Apart, the ne plus ultra site and community for people who make websites is doing an annual survey to learn more about the people in the larger web community. If you make websites, please take their survey.
I was asked to fill out a Predictions Survey by the Pew folks. In it, they describe the modern-day status quo of technology and ask for predictions on where these technologies are going and how society uses them. At the end, they ask if anyone has friends or colleagues whose input might be useful. My input was along the lines of “I don’t even agree with your status quo statements” so I figure it might be useful for them to get other opinions. The link to the survey is http://www.psra.com/experts and you have to use the pin 9000 to log in to it.
The ALA-APA has put their rural library salary survey (pdf) online. This comes from the ALA Committee on rural, native and tribal libraries of all kinds. Here are some highlights.
- The libraries themselves define what rural means. This can be tiny towns or larger towns that are very remote or just outside the city limits. The responding libraries were in Alaska, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas Montana, Pennsylvania and Soth Carolina. Oh, there’s also one rural librarian in Wyoming, hi Laura!
- As far as technology, yes some of these libraries are still on dial-up. They also have populations with lower incomes and educations than in bigger libraries, according to some librarians.
- One librarian describes the isolation “You really notice the isolation when you get an overdue e-mail or fax for an Interlibrary Loan book that has not even arrived yet. The bar and the library are the only source of entertainment in a tiny, isolated town.”
- Resident and non-resident differentiation is something important to think about when your population doubles during tourist or fishing season.
- On page 16 “What are the feelings about rural library staff salaries? Should they be higher?” I feel that this is a weird question. Who doesn’t want a higher salary? Most librarians responded that of course they should be higher but where is the money going to come from? The word “pathetic” came up more than once. One respondent “The salaries in rural areas definitely lagged behind others in my experience. We used to joke that it was worth $4,000 to have the clean air and clear skies.”
And then something weird happens and many of the comments in the “Have you heard about rural libraries that have raised their salaries?” (itself a really weird question, in my opinion) are copied from the previous question which makes for weird reading and pads out the survey in an odd fashion. So, upshot, some interesting things to consider, but I really wish there had been more representation from other states. I’m not entirely sure that what works for Alaska will play in Iowa and I am sure that some of the issues we have in Vermont are not at all the same as the ones they have in Kansas. That said it’s good to remember that there are many libraries in which getting a raise to $10 an hour (by cutting their education expenses) is a truly big deal. I’m hoping that someone in ALA comes out with some analysis and/or conclusions or projects from this. As it is it’s an informative but not very surpising data dump. [libact]
If you have a second, please take this ten question survey about academic libraries’ presence on social networking sites. [web4lib]
Coming on the heels of my article in Library Journal, Carolyn Hank has a survey on Blogger Perceptions on Digital Preservation that she’d like you to take.
I’m clawing through the fog of jetlag and email backlog. Thank jehu that I have Twitter to help me feel even further behind! If you have more free time than I do, you may want to help out with some surveys.
- Rachel Singer Gordon is looking for librarians pursuing nontraditional career paths and has a few questions she’d like you to answer.
- A “group of librarians” involved in the 2007 ALA Emerging Leaders program would like you to take a short survey about what new/young librarians would like to see more of at conferences. Jenny implies (and their blog confirms) that the Project L team is behind this, more power to them.
From the web4lib list: “We are gathering data for our presentation at this year’s LITA National Forum. Our presentation is “Putting all the Pieces Together: Building a Cyberinfrastructure at the Georgia State University Library”. We invite you to participate in our survey regarding the technologies and web services you are using in your library.”
Please take the ALA Website Usability Survey. Please be honest. Jenny has included the text of a letter from ALA’s Executive Director explaning the rationale behind the survey. Even though I think this is too little way too late — maybe this should have beern done before the last redesign? — it’s still an attempt to right wrongs. Give them a chance, take the survey.
Rachel Singer Gordon is trying to get an idea of what library speakers are charging, and receiving, for speaking work, and what sort of work they are doing. Take a minute and go fill out her Speaking Survey.