After I put out my analysis of the blog-related results of the Task Force survey, two of the big medical library blogs picked it up. First, David Rothman asked, “What do hospital librarians have against blogs?” and second, Michelle Kraft (a task force member) tried to answer. Both Michelle’s answer and the comments on David’s blog pointed to one major theme–hospital librarians generally work alone and thus have less time to experiment with these tools.
I have to admit, I initially skipped looking at the relationship of library size to use or belief of importance in the tools, even though I had initially suggested that knowing library size might be important to the survey. Apparently, I just decided that hospital libraries are small and academic libraries are big, so that using the library type was the equivalent of using library size. But, although speculation is well and good, after seeing David, Michelle, and the commenters’ thoughts, I knew library size’s relationship to blog use and belief of importance should be revisited. Here’s what I found out.
Is library size related to library type?
Undoubtedly, yes. I ran a cross-tab on the results and found that there is a very significant relationship between library size and library type (p=.0001). Here is the contingency table showing the results:
|Library Type||Solo||2-5 staff||6-10 staff||11-20 staff||21-40 staff||41-60 staff||61+ staff|
Is library size related to blog use professionally?
Yes. The larger the library is, the more likely blogs are used “daily” or “weekly.” Respondents with 20-40 and 41-60 staff at their libraries are twice as likely to use blogs daily than solo librarians or respondents with 2-5 staff at their libraries. The mosaic plot below shows library size on the X axis, and frequency of professional use on the Y axis. On the Y axis, a “5″ represents “daily”; a “1″ represents “never.”
Is library size related to blog use personally?
Yes, but to a lesser degree. Interestingly, respondents, no matter what the library size, more frequently “never” or “occasionally” use blogs for personal reasons than for professional ones. The mosaic plot below shows library size on the X axis, and frequency of personal use on the Y axis. On the Y axis, a “5″ represents “daily”; a “1″ represents “never.”
The final question: Is library size related to belief of importance of blogs for MLA?
Yes. The larger the library, the more respondents felt blogs were “very important” to MLA. If both “very important” and “somewhat important” responses are conflated, however, the difference is much less. The mosaic plot below shows library size on the X axis, and belief of importance to MLA on the Y axis. On the Y axis, a “5″ represents “very important”; a “1″ represents “not at all important.”
Numbers of course cannot explain why these differences exist, but Michelle, David, and the comments on those posts suggest a number of reasons: lack of time, work-enforced restrictions on web sites, and adversarial relationships with IT departments. Do you have more ideas?
[NOTE: updated title of David Rothman's blog post, which was grossly incorrect in my first version of this post.Â My apologies.]