February 20, 2018

Digital-Age Survey

By Debra Lau

What’s the most significant challenge facing library media specialists today?
A whopping 90 percent say it’s fighting the perception that everything can be
found on the Internet. That’s closely followed by 81 percent of you who say it’s
difficult to get enough funding for library programs, services, and resources.
Despite these complaints, a recent study by e-global library finds that 95
percent of school librarians remain satisfied with their career choice, and 46
percent say they wouldn’t choose another profession if given the opportunity.

Indeed, technology has vastly changed the role of school librarians over the
years–more than 90 percent say the most significant part of their jobs today
and over the next five years will be to instruct library users on the navigation
and evaluation of print and digital information. Twenty-two percent admit to
needing more technology skills in the next five years, and 15 percent say
they’ll require more instruction on the Internet.

There’s good news on the distance education front: 23 percent of school
librarians are interested in taking online library education classes, and 66
percent say they’ll take such classes in the future. Meanwhile, the main reason
many choose to become media specialists remains unchanged–to help people with
questions and to serve the public. The survey, entitled “The Role of Librarians
in the Digital Age,” was sent to 10,000 randomly selected librarians from
institutions with various populations, geography, and funding. There were 9.4
percent, or, 947 respondents; most of whom were school