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Tuesday, October 10 • 10:30am - 12:00pm
Solo Librarians: Demographics, Duties, Needs, & Challenges

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Angela Spencer, St. Luke’s Hospital, Elizabeth Laera, Brookwood Baptist, Halyna Liszczynskyj, and Louise McLaughlin

OBJECTIVE

To obtain data on how many librarians classify themselves as solo librarians within a medical/hospital setting.  Solo librarians constantly face challenges to maintain and expand services vital to their users.  By quantifying their number and needs, a stronger voice can be developed.

METHODS

A ten question survey using SurveyMonkey was sent to various medical library related listservs that are of interest to solo librarians.

RESULTS

383 surveys were returned, the majority from hospital and academic librarians.  Other settings include clinics, organizations, research institutions and Veteran’s institutions.  Duties showed the variety of hats a solo can wear.  Duties included: reference, interlibrary loan, teaching, committee work, website development, marketing, creating policies/procedures, writing grants, archives, informatics and other work.  The “best challenges” question was the most insightful into what the needs are for solos.  Major challenges included: funding/budget, awareness/visibility, time management, value/ROI/proving your worth, staffing, space, promotion/marking/outreach, professional development, technology and organizational mergers. 

DISCUSSION

The full survey results quantify the size of the solo librarian population, and the contributions and challenges they face working in solo settings.  This data can contribute useful information to discussions on best ways to support, educate, inform and advocate for this population.

CONCLUSION

Solo Librarians are faced with similar financial, marketing and operational challenges regardless of setting.  We hope to encourage peers to share their challenges and concerns and work with NN/LM and MLA to educate them about solo librarians’ needs and concerns so that we can sustain our future.

 


Tuesday October 10, 2017 10:30am - 12:00pm
Black and Gold Room Tiger Hotel

Attendees (8)