Survey of Library Services at Engineering News Record Top 500 Design Firms

"In October 2004 a survey was mailed to the Engineering News Record’s Top 500 Design firms asking about their information resources and whether there was a degreed librarian on staff. The article resulting from this research has been widely cited in the literature in the past decade. There was an economic crisis in the United States during the decade since 2004, it was decided that a follow up survey to learn what had changed would be useful. The goal of both surveys was to assess the state of library services in US design firms. The 2004 and the 2014 surveys were mailed to the most current Engineering News Record’s Top 500 Design firms mailing list available.  One part of the survey was to be completed by a principal in the firm. The second part was to be completed by the librarian, if the firm employed one. Librarians were asked if they have a master’s degree and whether it was a requirement  for their job, what databases they use and the types of information they are asked to find, and if they serve more than on office and if these offices were within one state, multi-state, or multi-national.  Academic engineering librarians play a role in preparing engineering students for careers that will primarily be outside of academe.  Therefore, understanding the work environment graduates will join can assist librarians in better preparing them for their careers. The current study found most US engineering firms lack the variety of databases and other electronic resources our students are taught to use. Also most firms do not employ a degreed librarian.", Previously published in: Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exhibition, 2015
Download pdf
Abstract/Description: "In October 2004 a survey was mailed to the Engineering News Record’s Top 500 Design firms asking about their information resources and whether there was a degreed librarian on staff. The article resulting from this research has been widely cited in the literature in the past decade. There was an economic crisis in the United States during the decade since 2004, it was decided that a follow up survey to learn what had changed would be useful. The goal of both surveys was to assess the state of library services in US design firms. The 2004 and the 2014 surveys were mailed to the most current Engineering News Record’s Top 500 Design firms mailing list available. One part of the survey was to be completed by a principal in the firm. The second part was to be completed by the librarian, if the firm employed one. Librarians were asked if they have a master’s degree and whether it was a requirement for their job, what databases they use and the types of information they are asked to find, and if they serve more than on office and if these offices were within one state, multi-state, or multi-national. Academic engineering librarians play a role in preparing engineering students for careers that will primarily be outside of academe. Therefore, understanding the work environment graduates will join can assist librarians in better preparing them for their careers. The current study found most US engineering firms lack the variety of databases and other electronic resources our students are taught to use. Also most firms do not employ a degreed librarian."
Subject(s):
Engineering librarians; engineering libraries; design firms; information literacy
libraries