J. J. Keller's Second Annual Economic Survey Shows Special Libraries Adjusting to "New Normal"

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Now available: A new white paper detailing tactics that information professionals are using to cope with reduced budgets, serve their clients, and do more with less.

The resulting white paper will show information professionals how their organizations have fared in the tough economy compared to the industry, in terms of content budgets, staffing, and their responses to changes in both

J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.®, the leading North American provider of regulatory compliance and best practice information on HR, safety and transportation issues, has released a free white paper summarizing the results of its second annual Info Pros Economic Impact survey.

About the survey - The survey, conducted on J. J. Keller's behalf by Free Pint Ltd., was sent earlier this year to subscribers to ResourceShelf, a website and e-newsletter featuring postings of the latest free information resources found on the web and selected by FreePint's editorial team. ResourceShelf is read by information professionals in North America and around the English-speaking world.

"We chose the ResourceShelf community for this research because it represents one of the largest opt-in databases of library and information professionals in North America," said Webb Shaw, Director of Editorial Resources at J. J. Keller. The 341 survey respondents reported that they work in a wide variety of organizations, including academic libraries, professional services, non-profit entities, government, manufacturing, and other settings.

The survey revealed:

  •     Staff reductions continued in the past year, with over 40% of 2010 respondents reporting at least some decreases, compared with just over 30% in 2009's survey.
  •     Using technology and/or automation remained the most frequently used tactic for coping with staffing changes.
  •     Although 47% of respondents reported their information budgets have been reduced for 2010, the worst pain of budget decreases may be over.
  •     Info pros did a good job predicting budget changes for 2010 - except that increases were somewhat more prevalent than anticipated.

This year's survey also asked info pros about their relationships with other staff. Their answers to these five questions revealed plenty of room for improvement in how other departments value the info staff's knowledge and input.

"In Year 2 of this research project, we were able to validate many of our findings from Year 1, around staffing, budget and priorities," said FreePint General Manager Robin Neidorf, who also served as lead researcher for the project. "At the same time, we were able to dig more deeply into the impact of the recession on information centers and their budgets. Although budgets and staffing appear to have stabilized since last year, we're not seeing a significant bounce-back. Instead, organizations seem to be creating new - lower - baselines for their expected staff sizes, content portfolios and budget."

"The resulting white paper will show information professionals how their organizations have fared in the tough economy compared to the industry, in terms of content budgets, staffing, and their responses to changes in both," said Shaw. "We at J. J. Keller want to help information professionals make the most of the resources they still have available, in much the same way our publications help them answer tough HR, safety and transportation questions."

Those who participated in the survey will receive a complimentary copy of the white paper. A free copy can also be obtained by visiting J. J. Keller's web page for information professionals or by e-mailing infopros@jjkeller.com.

J. J. Keller will be exhibiting at the SLA 2010 Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO, the Special Libraries Association's convention, June 13-16 in New Orleans. Attendees are invited to stop by Table 6 and share their feedback on the survey. Copies of the survey will also be available at the booth.

About Free Pint Ltd. - Free Pint Ltd. is a publisher of magazines, newsletters and licensable content, including ResourceShelf, which is heavily used by corporate librarians, researchers, analysts, university libraries, government agencies and educational institutions. Across all the resources in the FreePint Family, FreePint helps over 100,000 information professionals around the world every month. Learn more about Free Pint.

About J. J. Keller - J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. was established in 1953 and has become the nation's leader in risk and regulatory management solutions. The company employs over 1,100 associates and serves over 350,000 customers including more than 90% of the Fortune 1,000. J. J. Keller's diverse products and services include publications, forms, training, supplies, software, consulting, online HR and safety management tools, outsourced services and mobile technology. J. J. Keller products and services provide a rich base of knowledge for information, legal and research professionals, as well as executives and managers responsible for risk management, safety and compliance. For more information, visit http://www.jjkeller.com/infopros.

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