We wanted to extend our thanks to everyone who took time to respond to our recent survey about the future of WAHVM. We received 160 responses, and your comments and ideas will be fed into the priorities of the Association for the coming years.
The geographical spread of responses confirms that the WAHVM community is truly international. The majority of respondents came from the Netherlands and the UK, with good responses from Germany, Spain, Norway, South Africa, Turkey and the USA. We also had responses from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada Columbia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Romania, Switzerland, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Over 80 per cent of all respondents were qualified vets, with 46 per cent of them over the age of 60, and just over two-thirds being men. There is also a growing number of professional historians, with 36 per cent of respondents saying veterinary history is either their main or forms part of their career, and with nearly 76 per cent of respondents supporting the idea of mentoring for colleagues interested in a career in veterinary history.
The overall tenor of responses was that you would like more of a sense of research networks, through the advertisement of local activities. To ensure a good flow of information from national associations to WAHVM, we have already been in touch with representatives of national associations to ask they inform us about events taking place at national level so they can be advertised on the website.
With 87 per cent of survey respondents supporting the re-introduction of a twice-yearly newsletter, there are plans to develop this as a vehicle to foster networks. A newsletter needs news, so if you want us to feature news, photographs, details prize-winners, news on publications and other items please be in touch with your national contact who will forward the information to us.
In terms of the website, the survey revealed that the majority of users visit wahvm.org for news of Congress and for resources such as journal contents, information on museums, archives and collections. We are currently working to update and develop this content, and over the long-term we will be adding a section for oral history and for teaching materials. We hope that having this new and rolling content will entice those users who currently never or very occasionally visit the website to check in more regularly.