Here’s What You Told Us

Well, you told us a lot, but I’m going to try to keep this to a reasonable length, so let me provide a summary and some highlights from our ACRLog survey. Many thanks to the nearly 250 readers who took time out of their busy day to complete the survey. We appreciate your participation. Overall your responses tell us that we are mostly getting it right, and that we should pretty much stick to our current format.

Overwhelmingly, you thought our posts were about the right amount and the right length (about 75%+ on each of those). A few of you advised us to watch the posts from getting too long, and a few more commented that as long as we deliver quality content, the number or length is less important. On the issue of whether ACRLog should provide more news about ACRL events readers were more divided. About 45% said keep our content as is, while 36% thought we ought to offer more ACRL news items. We may have an option for delivering more access to ACRL news and events while keeping our focus about the same. Stay tuned for more on that.

When it comes to reading ACRLog posts you told us that the title and first few sentences do make a difference, so we’ll do our best to get your attention right away so you can decide whether to read or move on. Again, the responses were quite mixed on guest posts. About equal numbers are fine with the current number of guest posts (not a whole lot), while others said they wanted more guest posts. So if you’ve been thinking about submitting a guest post it looks like we could use more of them.

A number of survey experts have said the most important indicator of consumer satisfaction is gauged by asking them if they would (a) recommend the product to others and (b) how the product compares to other similar products. We asked variants on both. About 75% of you have recommended ACRLog to your colleagues (and we appreciate it), and less than 2% said that ACRLog is worse than other blogs they read. You can bet we won’t be happy until we get that down to 1%.

We asked what other library blogs you read, and there were few surprises there. It was a good mix of what one respondent just called the “regular folks.” Among the blogs mentioned more than a few times were Librarian in Black, Free Range Librarian, Tame the Web, Shifted Librarian, Stephen’s Lighthouse, ALA TechSource, Beyond the Job, Library Marketing Outside the Box, Information Wants to be Free, Ubiquitous Librarian (how many times did you complete the survey Brian?), and Kept-Up Academic Librarian (thanks folks!). Next time we do this, we’ll ask you what non-library, education-related blogs you read. That should make for an interesting list as well.

Wow! Did you ever give us a truckload of ideas about topics you’d like us to cover. We’d be writing posts most of the day. But while we try to include a diverse range of topics here, you clearly showed there’s a lot more ground to cover. Just to name a few, you mentioned: emerging technology, instructional technology, dealing with university administrations, profiling creative/innovative services (great idea!), assessment, marketing (we may leave that up to Jill Stover), web 2.0, connecting with students, dealing with faculty, scholarly communication, digitization, future of reference, ethical issues. The list could go on. All I can say is, we’d love to hear from folks who have something of interest to contribute, whether it’s a post or a comment. In fact, we received several responses that said they often like the comments better than the posts. So if you’ve got a comment to make but you think no one will read it – think again.

And this survey helped us to learn a lot about you, our readers. You’re mostly front-line practitioners (70%) with a smaller number of administrator types (25%). Personally, I’d like to see more faculty and non-library academic support professionals reading ACRLog – give some thought to sharing it with those folks. Not surprisingly 85% of the respondents work in academic libraries. But we have a bit of crossover into public and K-12 settings. ACRLog readers mostly work in public services positions. We certainly hope to attract more colleagues in the systems and technical services offices. And ACRLog readers are mostly a group that is newer to academic librarianship as 52% reported being in the profession 5 years or less. Compare that to the 13% of readers in the profession more than 20 years. That’s an area where we can certainly achieve more balance.

And speaking of comments, let me bring this to an end by thanking those of you who took the time to share some truly positive comments about how much you enjoy reading ACRLog. That really makes all the members of the blog team feel that the time we put into this endeavor is truly worth the effort. Of course, we heard your negative comments as well, and we’ll do our best to take them into consideration as we keep moving ACRLog forward. However, I can’t personally promise to be less annoying, irritating, or do less ranting. I can only hope we’ll get you some more balance in the posts so it doesn’t seem as if you’re being subjected to my perspectives too often and those of others not enough. Be assured that’s something we’ll be working on in the next year.

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