12 · Survey Results: Executive Summary
As expected, we found a strong positive corre-
lation between staff size and support for software
development best practices (particularly creation of
software documentation and specifications, creation
of user documentation, performing code reviews, us-
ing version control, practicing casual code reuse, and
standardizing development by utilizing a common
When asked how users give feedback to IT staff,
several findings emerged:
• Library employees most commonly give
feedback through a helpdesk or bug track-
ing system (69 respondents, or 91%) and by
emailing or calling the system manger/de-
veloper directly (67 or 88%).
• Employees of the parent institution give
feedback through a form on the library
website (54 or 71%), through subject librar-
ians (44 or 59%), by emailing or calling the
system manger/developer directly (39 or
51%), and through a helpdesk or bug track-
ing system (35 or 46%).
• In-library patrons most commonly give
feedback through a form on the library web-
site (59 or 78%) and through subject librar-
ians (58 or 76%).
• Remote users most commonly give feedback
through a form on the library website (60 or
79%), and through subject librarian (49 or
In-library users and remote users most commonly
use the same feedback methods, suggesting that prox-
imity to the physical library may not significantly
impact feedback channels.
In our review of organizations that contribute
to open source projects, software development staff
ranged from one or two to as many as 14. While orga-
nizations that contribute to large scale, formal open
source projects were clearly investing heavily in pro-
gramming staff, it was also clear that a few organiza-
tions who didn’t have resources for large technology
staffs could still contribute to projects with as few
as one programmer. The median number of staff re-
ported as working on OSS projects was two, with an
average of nearly four.
Organizational structures varied considerably.
Within smaller organizations, single programmers
are often located in library systems or web units.
Within larger organizations, software development
staff are often clustered together in application devel-
opment units located in digital library, digital projects,
or library technology branches of the organization.
The survey asked respondents to provide information
about the type of software used for various library
purposes. All 76 respondents use one or more vended
products, 72 identified types of open source software
used by the library, and 50 identified software that was
built in-house. Below are some of the highlights of the
range of applications being used.
• Fifty-eight respondents (76%) use a vended,
locally hosted integrated library system
(ILS). No respondents use an ILS built in
house, but five use an open source ILS.
• Forty-five respondents (59%) use a vended,
locally hosted interlibrary loan (ILL) system
and 29 (38%) license a software as a service
(SaaS) ILL system.
• Forty-nine respondents (64%) use a SaaS dis-
covery layer, 17 (22%) use a vended, locally
hosted discovery layer, and 10 (13%) use a
discovery layer that is built in house. Several
respondents indicated that their discovery
layer was both a vended, locally hosted
system and also built in house, suggest-
ing significant customizations to a vended
• Forty-seven respondents (62%) use a locally
hosted and supported OSS institutional
• Forty respondents (53%) use a locally hosted
and supported OSS digital preservation
• Fifty-one institutions (67%) have adopted a
system that is open source and supported
by a third party.
• The most commonly built in-house systems
were floor maps (28 respondents) and digital
asset management systems (19 respondents).