The average academic business librarian

I’ve recently updated and sent out a benchmarking survey to British Business Schools Librarians Group (BBSLG) member institutions with a view to gathering key information on their library services and the roles of the individual librarians that run them. The survey was first distributed in 2007 so it should prove very interesting to see how much has changed since then. The most easily digestible results of the survey will be a picture of the average BBSLG institution and the average BBSLG librarian.

Looking specifically at the latter, last time around the average BBSLG librarian:

  • Was a chartered member of CILIP
  • Had 23 years experience in libraries
  • Has been in their current post for 7.6 years
  • Spent most of their time answring ad hoc enquiries, developing and delivering training sessions and producing user support materials
  • Spent almost as much time acquiring electronic resources as printed
  • Managed and negotiated a budget
  • Represented the library on a teaching committee
  • Enjoyed a flexible policy when it came to accessing CPD
  • Was involved in markting and PR activities
  • And earned between 27,000 and 32,000 pa

Whereas the average BBSLG instiution:

  • supported 278 MBAs, 1720 undergrads, 66 PhDs and 103 academic staff
  • provided access to 32,000 business and management books
  • provided access to 212 printed journals
  • had 3.5 FTE full-time library staff
  • had a ratio of 1 FTE library staff member to 29 academics/79 MBAs
  • were either testing or using the following ‘new’ technology the most: blogs, openURLresolvers, fed search
  • were giving more standalone lectures or tutorials than ones integrated into the curriculum
  • spent most of their budget on databases
  • formed the business section of an integrated University Library, rather than being a standalone library within a larger University libary service

The main additions to this year’s survey are some more social media options, as this has moved on a touch in the last 2 years (!), to find out how business librarians are using Facebook, Twitter and blogs and specifically the ratio of professional and social use. In addition there’s a new a section on how motivated individuals feel, the level of support they feel they receive from their institution and how challenging their post is.

The aim of the survey is to gauge the temperature of business librarianship as a whole as well as to assemble some hard data.

I’ll be posting top level (but non-confidential) results here in mid-July. The full report will be available to BBSLG members via the website.



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