December 2011 No.79  
   In this issue

Primary Research Group publishes Survey of Library Use of Cloud Computing


The report looks closely at how academic, special and public libraries are using cloud computing services and plan to use them in the future. The study gives detailed data about the use of specific services from Amazon, Google, DropBox and many others, as well as presenting an objective look at the benefits and costs of cloud computing, and the opinions of librarians on data security, cost, reliability, impact on staff time and other issues about cloud computing.

Just a few of the report’s many findings are: 22.54 percent of libraries sampled use paid subscription software as a cloud computing service, including just 13.64 percent of libraries outside the United States. Major cloud computing services have been used for hosting and/or distributing special collections by 2.82 percent of libraries in the sample. 63.04 percent of libraries categorize Google as trustworthy and 8.7 percent as highly trustworthy. The remaining 28.26 percent say that Google is usually trustworthy and none consider it untrustworthy. 66.67 percent of libraries agree that, while data and file losses are possible with major cloud computing services, these losses would not be any worse than those occurring with traditional storage systems.

Less than 3 percent of libraries currently use platforms as a service (PaaS), which enable end users to build their own applications online. 2.82 percent of libraries are considering using Rackspace in the future, including 5.56 percent of public libraries and 2.44 percent of academic libraries. 15.38 percent of libraries with budgets between USD750,000 and USD5,000,000 use server space rented from cloud computing services. 16.9 percent of libraries have adopted Google Apps as their default means of word processing.

The report’s conclusions are based on data from 72 academic, public and special libraries predominantly from the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK. A pdf version of the report is currently available for USD95.00 and a print version is available from 9 December 9. To view a table of contents, list of participants and excerpt, or to place an order in any format, visit here.

Also from Primary Research Group is the Survey of Academic Library Cataloguing Practices, 2011-12 Edition. The study looks closely at how academic libraries deploy their cataloguing personnel, how they use librarians and how they use cataloguing technicians, and at the sizes of the cataloguing and technical services departments. It helps library administrators to answer questions such as: What kind of work is performed by librarians and paraprofessionals in different types of organizations? How much is outsourced? How are special collections handled? Are cataloguing staffs growing or shrinking? How does administration assess work quality? What are considered reasonable measures of excellence? To what extent is cataloguing of eBooks or AV materials outsourced and how does this compare to other types of materials?

Another recent title from Primary Research Group is Library Use of the Mega Internet Sites, 2011-12 Edition The report presents data from more than 100 corporate, legal, college, government, and public libraries about their use of Google, Yahoo!, YouTube, Wikipedia, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and other mega internet sites. The report shows how useful various sites are to the professional efforts of librarians and what librarians are achieving in using the sites. The report found that 29 percent of the libraries in the sample were currently working with search engines or other organizations to digitize elements of their collections and make them available over the internet; 60 percent of public libraries in the sample have held workshops in Facebook use; 17.39 percent of college libraries, 10.53 percent of law/corporate libraries, and 14.29 percent of government agency/department libraries have done so. Google Books was found useful by 21.90 percent and highly useful by 16.19 percent of the sample. Another 35.24 percent of libraries found it occasionally useful. Wikipedia was most popular among librarians working in technical services and cataloguing; 71.43 percent of these librarians found it highly useful. Finally, 41 percent of the libraries sampled had a Twitter account.

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