At the NOCALL Spring Institute in March, I demonstrated the RECAP plug-in. After the presentation, one attendee stopped by and suggested that not enough librarians are using the plug-in because they just don’t know about it. I must admit that the comment surprised me — so, I decided to do a quick survey.
With the blessing of the folks at RECAP (CITP at Princeton), I created a super simple survey trying to see if we (librarians) know about RECAP and if we do, do we use it and teach about it. I created a survey on Zoomerang and sent the link to the following e-mail lists: LAW-LIB, NOCALL, and All-SIS, and also spread the word on Twitter.
As of May 15th, here is what the we saw from the survey:
There were 261 completed surveys. Law firm librarians represented 18% percent of the respondents; academic law librarians represented 70%, and state/county/federal librarians represented 6% of the replies.
Ninety percent of the respondents said that they use PACER.
However, 42.4% of the 257 folks who answered the question “Have you ever heard of RECAP?” said “no”. The academic law librarians comprised nearly 78 percent of the “no” votes (and 63% of the “yes” votes). Seventy-three percent of the 45 law firm librarians who responded to this question had heard of RECAP.
Seventy-two percent of the respondents said that they didn’t have RECAP installed on any computers in their library. And, of that group, 12% don’t use the plug-in because they use IE or Chrome for their browser (plug-in not compatible with those browsers); 15% don’t have the plug-in installed because their employers don’t allow it; and the largest part, 58%, don’t have it installed because they are unfamiliar with the plug-in.
And, the last question asked if respondents provided training on RECAP or taught RECAP in advanced legal research courses. Only 6% of the respondents said “yes” to this question. Ninety-four percent are not providing any training or instruction on RECAP. (Note: We have been showing our students how to use RECAP and we find that our clinic students are often most receptive to this type of training.)
I hope that after reading this survey, more librarians might want to learn more about RECAP and try to use it at work and with their patrons. Given the new look and feel of the PACER website (launched this weekend), it is good to know that the RECAP plug-in still works just fine. What a good time to install RECAP.