12  ·  Survey Results:  Executive Summary
the university president, vice provost, university IT,
or campus CIO) would have a role in approving the
library’s digital preservation policy.
Resources and Funding
Most of the respondents report they are now funding
digital preservation through a mixed revenue model
that includes a range of internal and external funding
sources. The good news is that 83% of respondents
report that their libraries fund at least part of their
digital preservation activities through their general
operating budgets. More than a third report having a
dedicated preservation budget. Many also report that
other internal funding lines, including their IT bud-
gets (62%) and their materials budgets (38%), cover a
portion of their digital preservation work. Grants and
awards still provide a hefty percentage of funding
(38%), and some institutions (35%) report even having
gifts and endowments as an additional, and growing,
funding source for digital preservation. Almost all ex-
pect their funding to increase or at least stay about the
same in the next three years. Interestingly, only two
respondents speculated that funding might decrease
in part because “...there will no longer be the costs of
setting up various parts of the preservation activities.”
Survey respondents’ comments reveal that fund-
ing fluctuations, both positive and negative, are often
tied to grant money, including state funds, National
Science Foundation (NSF) grants, and National Digital
Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program
(NDIIPP) awards. Other respondents referred to the
shift from print-based work to digital work and the
resulting increase in funds available for digital pres-
ervation, though as one respondent noted, “The shift
is slow.”
When asked to compare today’s levels of invest-
ment in staff, time, and funding to the investment
levels of their libraries three years ago, the majority
of respondents reported that they are investing more.
Two-thirds say they have more staff devoted to digital
preservation, three-fourths say they are investing
more time, and 60% say that they are spending more
money on digital preservation. Only three respon-
dents (6%) report that they are investing less staff and
time, and seven (15%) are investing fewer dollars in
digital preservation.
Twenty-nine of the 45 university libraries (64%)
have from one to three FTE responsible for digital
preservation. But at seven libraries there is less than
one FTE. Usually the digital preservation responsi-
bilities are divided among two or more library staff
and only rarely is an entire FTE embodied in one
Barriers to Digital Preservation
The survey sought to gauge both the willingness and
capacity of respondents to keep pace with the growth
of digital content at their libraries. Not surprisingly,
almost all of the respondents (46 or 94%) stated that
their libraries want to invest in preserving more digital
content than they currently do, but their comments
indicate they face a number of similar barriers to ad-
ditional efforts. The most frequently reported barri-
ers to preservation were staffing and expertise. The
responding libraries are struggling to dedicate staff
to digital preservation and to foster staff expertise to
keep pace with the technical challenges inherent in
digital content, technical infrastructures, and digital
preservation best practices.
Funding and resources for technical development,
equipment purchases, and support for on-going op-
erations were also frequently cited barriers. Several
institutions reported having difficulty making the
transition from grant-funded support to dedicated
institutional funding for sustained operations. Finally,
several libraries reported that their institutions lack
clear institutional policies and/or strategies for guid-
ing investments. Other less-cited, but still significant
barriers include legal issues regarding deposit, lack
of trustworthy repository status, and the absence of
reliable standards for complex digital data.
Thirty-four libraries reported they plan to man-
age a digital archive/repository that is intended to
support preservation functions. But strikingly, 70%
of these respondents reported that some institutional
units, including academic units, administrative units,
and data centers, are “indifferent” to deposit, or are
“not actively seeking deposit.” They cited several com-
monly perceived and expressed barriers to deposit,
such as awareness, library capacity (real or perceived),
complicated submission workflows, and concerns
about future access to their content.
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