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Academic Library Website Benchmarks, 2013 Edition

Feb-01-2013

Primary Research Group has published Academic Library Website Benchmarks, 2013 Edition, ISBN 978-1-57440-221-6.

This 150+ page study shows how academic libraries are reshaping their websites. The study is based on a survey of 56 academic library web staffs with data broken out by size and type of institution and other criteria. The study gives exhaustive data about academic library preferences in areas such as: use of mashups' library social media site policy' web staff size' role of the college and library IT staff' range of individuals allowed to enter content; content policy; website branding; website budgets; plans for upgrades and overhauls; staff time devoted to various website maintenance and development tasks; use of blogs, listservs, RSS feeds, and email newsletters; content management system development and satisfaction levels; plans for federated search; search box presentation strategy; use of cascading style sheets; ease of use of the site including ease of positioning videos and tables, entering same content to multiple locations, checking the functionality of page links, reporting features, and restricting site access.

Other issues covered include the use of freelancers and consultants, preferences for programming languages, how the script development workload is divided among the staff and others, relations with the college administration and the college web staff, use of social bookmarking tools and much more.

Just a few of the report's many findings are that:

  • 61.4 percent of libraries in the sample have their own webmasters (or web staff) that are separate from the college website staff
  • Library web staffs account for a mean of more than 80 percent of the total man hours required to run the academic library web site. College-wide web or IT staff account for a mean of 14.7 percent of the work done on, while an average of just about 2.25 percent of total man hours is attributed to consultants, outsource service providers, and other third parties
  • Open-source content management alternatives were extremely popular among the largest colleges in the sample (those with 15,000 or more students) as 53.85 percent of these participants adapted such a system
  • Just 22.81 percent of survey participants find it to be "relatively easy" to position and manipulate videos within the website's CMS
  • A mean of 31.26 percent of the routine content updates for the library website are done through dynamic, database-driven web pages rather than through static pages
  • 51 percent of the libraries in the sample maintain a library presence on YouTube
  • No community college rated it "very easy" to enter tabular data into the college website, while 21.05 percent of 4-year and MA-granting colleges thought it "very easy" to do so

The study is available in print and PDF format for $95.00. Site licenses cost $199.00. To view a table of contents, list of questions and participants, and sample data, or to order a copy of the report,  please visit our website at www.PrimaryResearch.com.