2003 PNC/MLA CE Survey Results Summary

Brought to you by the PNC/MLA Professional Development Committee. Thanks to all who replied. If you have comments or questions direct them to Maryanne Blake( Chair, PNC/MLA Professional Development Committee.

The Professional Development Committee of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association conducted its annual survey of the continuing education needs of health sciences librarians in the region. Every year the survey is done in collaboration with the NN/LM PNR.

There were some significant differences in the survey this year. First, SurveyMonkey was used to develop, conduct and analyze the survey. SurveyMonkey is a tool at the Web site which helps you create a Web-based survey form using your questions. Then it produces a URL where participants go and answer the questions. Finally, it analyzes the results and puts them on a Web page in an easy-to-view format that can be made available for anyone to see. The second change was in the type of questions that were asked. Instead of the demographic questions previously posed, all questions related directly to professional development. A list of the questions is appended. The questions and the new SurveyMonkey format were pre-tested by four PNC/MLA members; the committee thanks Tracy Havlin, Mary Wood, Dolores Judkins, and Dorothy O’Brien. Several changes and corrections were made and on the 5th of December the survey was announced using email on the HLIB-NW discussion list and to a list of non-HLIB-NW members who belong to PNC/MLA. There were several reminders sent to the lists. Sixty-three people took the survey, in addition to the four pre-testers, for a total of 67 participants. That is a twenty-four percent increase over the number of participants last year. Prizes were offered to increase interest: John Thomas won a Librarian Avenger coffee mug, Mary Wood the $25 Barnes & Noble gift certificate, Diane Carroll the MEDLINEplus bookbag, Dorothy O’Brien the MEDLINEplus briefcase and Terry Jankowski the free PNC/MLA membership. Congratulations winners.

There are changes and improvements that can be considered for next year. A better time to release the survey might be the week after January 1st when everyone is back from vacation, not in December. More publicity about the survey may also improve the number of responses. Fewer questions may be needed next year since we have some good information from this year’s survey that will not need to be repeated every year. Trying to come up with a list of classes for people to pick from might be better than the open-ended question number 8 from this year. One of the problems with the open-ended question that asked “What would you like to learn more about this year?” is that there were too many different suggestions to pare down into a list for people to go back and vote for their favorites. We can ask for help with the results from some evaluation experts, such as Cathy Burroughs of the Outreach Evaluation Resource Center at the NN/LM PNR.

For the Professional Development Committee
Maryanne Blake, Chair

Questions for the survey

1. Have you taken any CE classes, either for CE credit or not, in the past three years?

2. If you answered No to Question 1, what barriers prevent you from taking CE classes? Please select all that apply.
Nothing of interest is offered
Other (please specify)

3. If you answered Yes to Question 1 who sponsored the class(es)? Check all that apply.
State or provincial library organization

Other (list all)

4. In the past two years have you participated in continuing education a a distance, such as video conferences, CD or DVD courses, email or Web-based classes?
Yes -- specify formats

5. Would you be interested in participating in CE or other professional development experiences using distance learning techniques?

6. In the past three years what has been the most useful or stimuating professional development experience you have had.

7. Other than CE classes, what types of professional development activities would you like to participate in? Journals clubs? Mentoring? You name it! We'd like your ideas.

8. What would you like to learn more about this year? List all the topics you want. Give us the title of your dream class.(Optional) Need ideas? Check out the list of courses offered by MLA in their Continuing Education Clearinghouse at or at the SLA Professional Development page at By the way, clicking on these URLs will pop open another window. Be sure to close the correct window so you don't lose all the work you've put into the survey.

9. Please add any additional thoughts or comments here.

Last Updated: 20 March 2003
Comments welcome.

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