The 2010 Biennial Survey of United Nations Depository Libraries was sent to 369 depository libraries. Completion of the biennial survey is a requirement for participating libraries. The survey was launched 17 December 2010 and closed 31 May 2011. Data collection included web-based, e-mail and fax methods.
By the close of the survey 259 of 369 depository libraries had responded, a 70% response rate. Of those not responding to the survey we note that many are in areas where political and natural disruption have made the situation difficult. The Depository Library Coordination team thanks all depository libraries for their thoughtful responses.
United Nations Depository Libraries are comprised of different types of libraries such as: university, parliamentary, national, public and research institutions.
With a view to reducing its carbon footprint the United Nations is reducing print runs and distribution of hard copies of documents and publications. The Organization itself is increasingly relying on electronic access. Hence, a priority for the 2010 Survey was to collect information with regards to depository libraries receiving appropriate United Nations information in the formats that are most useful for researchers.
An important aspect of the United Nations depository programme is the role that our partner libraries play in outreach and promotion of the use of their UN collections. Therefore the survey sought information about activities undertaken by depository libraries to publicize their UN information resources and training to upgrade skills in accessing UN information resources.
I. Based on responses received in the survey, 97% have Internet access, 70% are in favour of accessing UN documents online; 30% of respondents do not favour electronic access for the following reasons:
1) Technological limitations.
2) Researchers prefer to work with hard copies.
3) Paper copies are needed for archival purposes.
II. 65% of libraries provided information on outreach activities they undertook such as publicizing their UN information resources and promoting interest on issues of importance to the United Nations. Examples of such activities include briefings, exhibits, seminars, web postings of UN information, training on UN information resources and publishing of brochures, user guides and handouts.
III. 87% of the respondents indicated that they would appreciate additional training in accessing and using UN information resources. Library professionals with expertise in UN materials present one of the most valuable assets in the current UN Depository Libraries Programme.
To encourage further communications among the UN Depository Libraries we have opened a Facebook page. We welcome your comments.