Yesterday Ithaka S&R shared an interesting conclusion from their recent 2013 Library Survey:
They found that fewer library directors agree with the following statement:
“It is strategically important that my library be seen by its users as the first place that they go to discover scholarly content.”
In 2013, 78% of library directors agreed with the statement quoted in the paragraph above, down from 84% in 2010. This decline was consistent across all types of institutions. Respondents may be moving to some degree toward alternative discovery strategies that focus on different aspects of the research process. As one respondent wrote, “I don’t want to presume that all patrons should begin with us… and that if they don’t, we’ve somehow ‘failed.’ After all, isn’t the outcome more important than the path traversed?”
I see this as an encouraging trend: discovery will always be a part of libraries, but we should shift investment away from the “starting point” or “portal” model and invest more in supporting discovery and access from anywhere.