Librarian Questionnaire -Preliminary Analysis

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Ontario Academic
Librarians Speak
Ontario Confederation of University Faculty
Associations
Methodology
• OCUFA invited academic librarians at Ontario
universities to respond to an on-line
questionnaire.
• The questions addressed organizational
restructuring, the impact of budget cuts and
service changes over the past 3 years.
• More than 200 responses from all Ontario
universities, representing a response rate in
excess of 30 per cent, were received between
September 13 and October 12, 2010.
2
Respondent demographics
Age
16% under 34
35% 35-44
25% 45-54
22% 55-64
2% Over 65
78% female
22% male
Years of service
2% less than 1 year
16% 1 to 5
23% 6 to 10
18% 11 to 15
9% 16 to 20
32% over 20 years
91% full time permanent
4% full time contract
4% part time permanent
3
Significant organizational change is occurring
across all Ontario university libraries…
• 69% reported organizational change or
restructuring
• 33% report that they have held the same
position for the past 3 years but the duties
have changed
“Restructuring appears to be used to reduce the
number of professional librarians and
therefore the services provided by them.”
4
Changes are positive for…
45%
40%
35%
Library Overall
30%
Research Services
25%
20%
Suport for Students
and Faculty
Me Personally
15%
10%
5%
0%
Yes I would No I would not
agree
agree
Too early
No opinion
5
27%
30%
23%
25%
Changes to collections
practices
18%
20%
17%
15%
10%
8%
7%
5%
0%
Not at all A small
amount
23%
25%
Delays in technology
investments
Quite a To a large A great
bit
extent
deal
Don't
know
23%
20%
15%
15%
13%
13%
15%
10%
5%
0%
Not at all A small
amount
Quite a To a large A great
bit
extent
deal
Don't
know
6
Written comments emphasize
• budget constraints, technology
advancements and expanded student
enrolments
• impact on staff morale, assignment of
additional duties, no new hires,
imposed decisions from senior
management
• concern about further changes or cuts
7
Changing programs and services
• Respondents report that organizational
changes have enhanced the amount of digital
and technological investments that impact
collections, service offerings, outreach, and
scholarly support
• Respondents also report reduced staffing
positions, reduced services, and less attention
being paid to the collection
8
New areas most frequently noted:
• Assessment
• Public relations
• Undergraduate
experience
• Scholarly
communications
• Digitization
• New/emerging
technologies
“There seems to be a
push to always try
something new, even
with reduced staff.
The ‘something new’
does not replace
previous activities
but rather is only
added to them”
9
Budget constraints
10
Budget constraints impact library
personnel…
• 71% of respondents agree that attrition has
been used as a budget reduction tool
• 39% note increased use of contract staff
• 34% agree that early retirement incentives
have been used
“Much more emphasis on farming out work to
committees - not hiring the professional to do
the job.”
11
Personnel Tactics to Meet Budgetary
Constraints
“…positions are left
vacant, positions
disappear, our
numbers are
dwindling.”
45%
40%
35%
30%
25%
20%
15%
Attrition
10%
5%
0%
Not at all A small
amount
Quite a To a large A great
bit
extent
deal
Don't
know
Contract Staff
Early
Retirements
12
Reductions in services
45%
40%
35%
30%
Research Services
25%
Library Service Hours
20%
15%
Support for Students
and Faculty
10%
5%
0%
Not at all A small
amount
Quite a To a large A great
bit
extent
deal
Don't
know
13
Changes in Tasks
“We are forced to outsource
our cataloguing and
processing of books…. The
quality of the online catalogue
will suffer - is already
suffering”
60%
50%
40%
30%
Outsourced
20%
Now Performed by
Other Staff
10%
0%
Yes
No
Don't know
14
Representative comments
• Written responses highlighted
No maternity or sabbatical leave
replacements
Restructuring positions to reduce headcount
“Virtually all departments have suffered from
very significant staff reductions.”
“Staffing… positions are left vacant, positions
disappear, our numbers are dwindling.”
15
Budget constraints impact
operations…
• 67% of respondents agree that changes
to collections practices have been
instituted
• 49% agree that technology investments
have been delayed
• 39% agree that support for faculty and
students has been reduced
16
“Collection development and
cataloguing have been slashed.”
• 40% report services previously done
within university libraries are now
outsourced
• Written comments highlight cataloguing,
acquisitions, collection development and
technological services
• Some tasks are also now provided by
other staff: reference, cataloguing etc.
17
• “We now operate for 4 semesters. Students
are taking courses and profs are teaching the
full year -- there is no down time.”
• “ More Librarian energies have been put
towards communication/marketing/outreach
than before. We hired a librarian to focus on
this. It's half of her job. The ripple effect has
been great. “
18
• “The Office of the University Librarian was
considerably expanded increasing the number
of Librarian positions that are under the direct
control of the UL. “
• “Administration offices expanded at expense
of research collections, group study space for
students expanded at expense of collections,
print reference collections moved out of sight
lines by the UL's demand. Most reductions
have affected access the Humanities and
Social Sciences print collection (and yes, these
are still heavily used!), and reference services.”
19
Workload
“Staff reductions of all kinds, with
expectation of greater service by
remaining staff
20
Individual librarians feel the impact
• 70% report increased workloads
• 42% report fewer opportunities to pursue
individual research or scholarship
• 41% report fewer professional development
opportunities
• Overwhelming written comments
emphasize increased workloads squeezing
out professional development and research
opportunities
21
Time to pursue other activities
60%
50%
Service Outside of
the Library
Professional
Development
Research or
Scholarly Activity
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Increased
Decreased
Stayed the
same
No opinion
22
Perception of senior
management
23
Collegiality between academic
librarians and managers is impacted…
• 74% agree that senior managers make
most major decisions
• 44% report that they had no involvement
in decisions made in organizational
changes
• 32% disagree that working in their library
feels like being part of a team
24
Senior library management
negatively perceived…
• 46% agree that trust levels are low within
university libraries
• 40% disagree that their library has a clear
long-term purpose and strategy
• 38% disagree that senior managers have high
credibility
“…there is not enough leadership, we stumble
along through each crisis without creating the
avenues for long-term revitalization”
25
Most major decisions are made by the
senior management team
50%
46%
45%
40%
35%
30%
25%
“As librarians, we are
not generally included
or even kept up to date
about overall plans…”
28%
20%
14%
15%
10%
6%
6%
5%
0%
Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree
Neutral
Somewhat agree
Strongly agree
26
30%
24%
25%
Our library has a clear
long-term purpose
and direction
20%
26%
22%
16%
15%
11%
10%
5%
0%
Strongly
disagree
Somewhat
disagree
Neutral
Somewhat
agree
Strongly
agree
35%
29%
30%
The senior
management team
has a short-term
orientation
23%
25%
20%
15%
24%
15%
9%
10%
5%
0%
Strongly
disagree
Somewhat
disagree
Neutral
Somewhat
agree
Strongly
agree
27
35%
Senior management
team has high
credibility in this
library
29%
30%
23%
25%
24%
20%
15%
15%
9%
10%
5%
0%
Strongly
disagree
60%
Involved in the
decision making
process about the
proposed changes
Somewhat
disagree
Neutral
Somewhat
agree
Strongly
agree
55%
50%
40%
38%
30%
20%
8%
10%
0%
Yes
No
28
No opinion
What Next?
• Inform faculty colleagues and discuss findings
– February OCUFA Board Meeting
• OLA
• Explore implications for collective bargaining
• Share findings with library associations and
librarian committees
• Monitor other surveys and studies
• Follow-up survey, Fall 2012
29
Canary in a coalmine
• Outsourcing vs. traditional co-operation
• Workload squeezing out scholarship and service
– Isolation
– Decision making
– Academic NOT Librarianship
• Restructuring
– Library services and collections
– Members' professional work and scope
• Enhanced managerialism:
– collegiality, trust, short term orientation
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