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Technology Skills for Librarians and Library Staff Survey

What technology skills are necessary for librarians today? John Burke explored this question a 2009 online survey and in March of 2012 he revised this survey. Burke recently released the results in the online post Survey Results: Technology Skills for Librarians and Library Staff and further explores library technology skills in the fourth edition of the book Library Technology Companion: A Basic Guide for Library Staff.

With over 2,000 responses the online survey respondents listed the follow ten items as technologies used on a daily basis:

Laptop keyboard

E-mail – 97.6%
Word processing – 94.1%
Using a Web browser – 93.6%
Web searching – 93.6%
Searching library databases – 91.8%
Spreadsheets (Microsoft Excel, etc.) – 85.3%
Library catalog (public side) – 84.4%
Public or staff printers – 80.1%
Teaching others to use technology – 80.0%
Presentation software (Microsoft PowerPoint, Prezi, etc.) – 75.1%

High percentages of respondents also listed:

Troubleshooting technology – 65.6%
Fax machine – 50.1%
Google Docs – 49.4%
Making technology purchase decisions – 38.5%

Respondents indicated that technology skills related to programming, coding, web design, and network management would help them in their current roles. Respondents also expressed interest in adding more mobile and social technologies to their library.

With many libraries already wrestling with budget cuts, respondents indicated a need for more stuff to help deal with the growing demand for technology support in their libraries.

Burke’s book is available for loan to Network members through the National Network of Library of Medicine, South Central Region’s (NN/LM SCR) Lending Library.

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