The LIPA Board of Directors recently conducted a member survey to gather feedback about LIPA projects and priorities. Nearly two-thirds of LIPA members responded to the survey with 68 surveys submitted. The survey provided LIPA with a wealth of information about member interests, projects, preferences, and needs. For instance, seventy-eight (78%) percent of respondents reported that their institution is currently conducting a digitization or preservation project, and all of those responses included a brief description of each institution’s project. This information will help LIPA better understand the types of activities occurring at member schools and customize educational, current awareness, and other LIPA activities around our member interests.
One of LIPA’s goals is to provide educational opportunities to members on preservation and digitization issues. Members reinforced that goal in the survey. Seventy-eight percent (78%) indicated that current issues in preservation of legal materials would be helpful to them. The next most popular topic was “how to” instruction on digitization and preservation projects with 74% responding. Members also had strong interest in hearing about case studies of digitization projects, software and technology reviews, and providing support for institutional repositories.
In terms of formats for educational programming, it was initially surprising to learn that members most prefer to have access to pre-recorded, on-demand webinars, but on reflection, who hasn’t gone to YouTube for “just in time” information about how to accomplish a task. Conference programs were the second most popular format for educational programming. Members also had interest in live webinars and online documentation and guides.
We asked members to tell us how important the various LIPA activities are to their institution. Eighty-eight (88%) percent of respondents said that “advocating for the preservation of legal information” was either “important” or “very important” to them and to their institution. Seventy-eight (78%) percent of respondents said that “providing current awareness on preservation activities” was important, and facilitating collaboration between institutions was considered important to 77% of respondents.
Approximately one-half to two-thirds of survey respondents were aware of most current and past LIPA projects. The Chesapeake Digital Preservation Project was the most widely known project (88% were aware), and the PALMPrint project had the highest participation among respondents (40% of respondents participating). There is a need for more communication about LIPA activities to the membership.
Finally, we asked members how they prefer to learn about LIPA activities. Members report that they strongly prefer to receive updates via the existing listservs and e-mail. Members also make use of the LIPA web site and attend LIPA programs and meetings at annual conferences.
On behalf of the LIPA Board and Executive Director, Margie Maes, thanks to all of the members that participated in our survey. We will distribute a summary of the survey results to the entire membership in the near future, and we will have a chance to discuss the results at the LIPA meeting in Seattle.