BCLA Perspectives

Survey: About the respondents

This article highlights some of the professional background information of the respondents which helps inform the survey results.



Our BCLA survey respondents are mostly working in public libraries (74%), with the second most common institution being academic libraries (15%). A smaller number are located in school or special libraries. The 7% of Other respondents are mostly indicating employment in two institutions (public and academic libraries); employment in a position that crosses institutional boundaries, including consortiums or education; or employment outside the library sector.

The majority of respondents (72%) characterize their institution as urban, with 17% identified as rural. The ‘Other’ 11% largely represents institutions, such as regional libraries, which serve a mix of urban and rural populations.

 Click the photo above to enlarge the results of the question: At what type of institution do you currently work? 


educationOver half (54%) have a Master’s/PhD in library or related fields, with the next most common background being a Library & Information Technology Diploma or equivalent (23%).  As the survey focused on technology, we also asked about degrees in the tech sector—2% of respondents have a Master’s/PhD in technology or related fields. 12% of respondents do not have formal education in either libraries or technology. A very small number (1%) of respondents are currently enrolled in a Master’s/PhD program in library or related fields, and less than 1% of respondents hold multiple advanced degrees.

Click the photo above to enlarge the results of the question: What’s your educational background? 

Library Work 


Respondents have many years of experience and therefore are likely to be responding from various career stages, giving us a wide perspective on the topic. Just over half of respondents (51%) have worked in libraries for 11+ years, with the other half of respondents being almost evenly divided between those who have been in libraries for 5-10 years (26%) and early career librarians (22%) who have worked in libraries for 0-5 years.

Click the photo above to enlarge the results of the question: How long have you been working in libraries?

Technology interactions


When asked about the frequency with which they work with technology (excluding the basics, like computing software and integrated library systems) as a part of their job, respondents indicated that while it’s a major part of most jobs (61% works with technology daily, and 21% several times a week), there are library workers and positions that lean less heavily on technology, too: 18% of respondents work with technology rarely or almost never.

Elaborations regarding the types of technology mostly identify common library systems—such as content management systems, licensed database, digital repositories, chat reference  software—or reference interactions, like troubleshooting device issues. A small number of respondents work with newer and more complex technologies robotics and 3D printing.

Click the photo above to enlarge the results of the question: Excluding the basics, like computing software and integrated library systems, how often do you work with technologies as a part of your job?