SDL Needs Assessment Survey Results

The Washington State Library (WSL) is proud to assist Washington libraries in providing affordable, research-oriented eResources to their users. The Statewide Database Licensing (SDL) project has been facilitating group discounted purchasing of research databases since 1998.

This page presents results from the various needs assessment surveys conducted for the Statewide Database Licensing project over the years, generally in advance of each formal procurement round.

SDL 2019 Needs Assessment

In the fall of 2019, WSL conducted another SDL Needs Assessment survey and published a series of reports presenting data from the survey here. The data was used to help guide the subsequent procurement process.


A big thank-you to Jeremy Stroud, WSL Senior Graphic Designer, for creating the charts and graphs that are used in the 2019 reports. The reports were compiled by Will Stuivenga, SDL Project Manager.

SDL 2015 Needs Assessment

In 2015 the Statewide Database Licensing (SDL) project conducted a needs assessment which included two surveys, one for library staff, and one for library users as well as interviews with library staff. The final report is now available in several versions:

The library audience for both surveys included all types of libraries that participate in SDL: public, private academic, and community and technical colleges, hospital and research libraries, and K-12 schools, both public and private. In the case of K-12 schools, the end user survey was intended for classroom teachers and administrators, rather than students, but college and university students were strongly encouraged to take the survey.

All library staff who are aware of the library’s electronic resources, especially research databases, were encouraged to take the staff survey, and all participating Washington libraries were encouraged to promote the user survey to their clientele, through their web sites, social media, patron newsletters, and any other appropriate media or opportunities.

A goal of the assessment was to determine if the current ProQuest package of databases continues to meet the needs of participating Washington libraries, their staff, and the citizens of the state. If you have suggestions or comments on this needs assessment process, please contact project staff and/or members of the SDL Advisory Committee.

SDL 2010 Needs Assessment

In 2010, a similar needs assessment process was conducted, involving two surveys, one for staff at libraries of all types throughout Washington, and another for the users of public libraries in Washington. The following results comprise a summary of the survey for public library staff.

This summary aggregates responses and comments from all users that took the survey. 588 library staff started the survey, with 74.1% (436 library staff) completing it.

Interested parties may download the report (pdf) and complete results (xls) below:

Electronic Resources for Library Users: Survey Report and Complete Results

This report provides a summary of the survey for public library users.

The survey was administered by providing a link and image for public libraries to put on their websites. In the interest of user anonymity, we did not collect any information about which users came from which libraries, which means that we cannot parse out data based on library size. This summary aggregates responses and comments from all users that started the survey. 1,209 library users started the survey, with 90.1% (1,089 library users) completing it.

Interested parties may download the report (pdf) and complete results (xls) below:

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