The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 21, Number 2
Jul 1997


Reader Survey Results

In November 1996, a survey form was sent to the 1170 subscribers of the Abbey Newsletter, asking a) which changes, if any, they would make in the form and delivery of the Newsletter, and b) which subjects they would like to see covered more (or less) thoroughly. Replies came from 141 readers out of about 1050. Ten or 15 of these were sent in from other countries, including Spain, Singapore and South Africa. A few replies came too late to be included in the graphs below, but their written comments are recorded.

This is Part I, a tabulation of "other ways of delivering the news and information" and subject priorities for coverage. Part II, appearing in the next issue, will include some of the more general written comments sent in.

Chart

Fig 1. Readers' preferences for five suggested publishing practices. (1=high priority, 3=low priority.)

Write-in options suggested by readers:

1. Side punch holes for binding

2. Larger typeface

3. More position listings

4. Send "Useful Web List" every year along with "Useful Addresses"

5. Publish book review and bibliography twice a year as special issues or separate insert

Figure 2 (below) shows the readers' preferences for more or less coverage of 15 topics. Interest is high for the conventional functions of the preservation and conservation departments (supplies and materials, pests and mold, environment, archival paper conservation and book conservation). Digital preservation ranked not far below them, but digital texts and libraries, which relates more to publishing and access than to preservation) is at the bottom. There actually were four topics less popular than digitizing (administration, papermaking, sound recordings, and science and technology), but they were omitted from the graph to save space.

Readers suggested 13 more topics of their own:

  1. 1. Advances in book repair techniques
  2. 2. In-house mending units
  3. 3. Training/study opportunities
  4. 4. Training students
  5. 5. Removing tape adhesive stains
  6. 6. New materials
  7. 7. Book conservation techniques
  8. 8. Dating-identification of materials and techniques
  9. 9. Requirements of preservation in digital era
  10. 10. Feature articles on accomplished book workers
  11. 11. Solvent treatments: procedures, long-term effects
  12. 12. Setting up conservation units for different size libraries
  13. 13. Information to date documents by paper analysis (fiber, watermarks, chemistry)

Chart

Fig 2. Topics on which readers wanted more coverage (stippled bars) or less (white bars).

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