New Guide Designed to Help Libraries Navigate Challenges

By  LRG, Special for  USDR

According to new research conducted by the Library Resource Guide (LRG) in conjunction with Unisphere Research, library managers understand that the coming year will require a balancing act – leveraging tight resources to continue their levels of service, but at the same time investing in new technologies that will meet the needs of patrons in the 21st-century  economy.

The results of this new research have been segmented into an overarching Benchmark Study and three independent spinoff comparative spending reports by library type: the Academic Libraries Edition; the Community Public Libraries Edition; and the Special Libraries  Edition.

The reports are designed to provide insight into library budget trends and to help libraries benchmark their spending against their peer group. All four reports are available for $159 each as a PDF  download.

The overarching benchmark study, entitled Libraries’ New Balancing Act: Investing in Technologies With Restrained Resources, is broken down into three main reporting  sections:

1.    Library Finances: Mixed Picture of Progress and  Restraint
2.    Library Technologies and Services: Digital Dominates, Clouds on the  Rise
3.    Library Strategies: Plan for the  Future

The benchmark study, our fourth annual, features input from 1,137 library managers, directors, and department heads and provides unprecedented comparative data for similar libraries and a market overview intended to assist library professionals in the budgeting and budget justification process for their libraries. “It’s a prime resource for librarians as they prepare to confront another year of unique and tough challenges,” says Thomas Hogan Jr, President of Unisphere  Research.

Key findings include the  following:

  • Multibranch libraries experienced the greatest budget growth during the past  year.
  • The exodus from print may have slowed, with budgets for print-based materials holding steady during the past  year.
  • The rate of cutbacks in library spending has also slowed, and library managers are optimistic about spending plans for the coming  year.
  • Demand from patrons for digital-based materials continues to  accelerate.
  • Libraries’ priorities for the coming year reflect a mix of technical positioning as well as organizational improvements. The growing digital shift is also reflected in libraries’ strategic priorities in  2015.

About Library Resource Guide, Unisphere Research, and Information Today,  Inc.
The Library Resource Guide and Unisphere Research are divisions of Information Today, Inc., a diversified media company that provides independent editorial content and peer-based market research to targeted communities through its own print and electronic media, and custom research projects related to technology in various markets. Unisphere Research has pioneered user group-based research and has built its editorial products in conjunction with its user community-based market  insight.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.