Two surveys conducted by Inside Higher Ed found that college and university chief academic officers/provosts and presidents alike consider library technology to be their most effective technological investment.
The 2011-12 Inside Higher Ed Survey of College and University Chief Academic Officers found that, on average, CAOs/provosts rated their institutions’ investment in library technology as 58.8 percent effective, a higher percentage than they gave to any other technology investment. Within that overall score, for-profit institutions were the most satisfied, with a ranking of 77.4 percent, followed by private doctoral programs at 64.9 percent. Private associates programs were the most dissatisfied at 42.9 percent, followed by private baccalaureate programs at 50 percent.
In Presidential Perspectives on the Effectiveness of Campus Investments in Information Technology, presidents were harder on library tech than provosts, rating its effectiveness at 51 percent. But that lower number still made library resources and services the only category that a majority of all presidents rated as very effective. Library resources was the top category chosen overall as well specifically by private and for-profit institutions. Interestingly, public colleges and universities ranked library tech third, behind online distance education and on campus instructional technologies, even though they scored it higher numerically – at 53.1 percent compared to only 46.9 percent for private institutions. Public baccalaureate programs were the most satisfied with their library technology effectiveness at 60.8 percent; public masters programs were least satisfied at 45.2 percent.