Project Updates from Spring 2015 NTLA Meeting

Sian Brannon, Assistant Dean, Collection Management, University of North Texas Libraries (Denton):

The UNT Libraries Assessment Workgroup has been busy. Last year we led several projects, including:
• An internal “Survey of Employee Engagement” (from UTAustin) – The past 3 times we have conducted this survey, the results indicated that staff were least satisfied with PAY and COMMUNICATION. The workgroup followed up on these results with discussions with administration, leading to creation of specialized Dean’s communications explaining pay structure/benefits/merit to alleviate any confusion. Assistant Deans and department heads were given leeway to improve communication in their areas. Based on the repetition of results, the Workgroup has decided to explore alternative surveys/methods to ascertain employee engagement.
• Partnering with a professor in the College of Business’ Decision Sciences department, students helpful library staff assess internal workflows for a class project. Results were mixed as to the effectiveness of this partnership, so we are repeating it this semester with stricter guidelines.
• The Workgroup conducted a survey of library employees to gauge familiarity with and use of the results of biennial LibQual surveys. Results indicated that staff were not able to fully interpret the results Notebook provided by ARL, and that comments data is the most frequently used. Therefore, the Workgroup proposed to administration that we investigate an alternative user-satisfaction methodology. We are instead going to adopt the University of Washington method of shorter, specialized surveys administered to targeted groups. At this stage in the project, we are adapting UW’s survey for graduate students, with hopes to launch in the fall.
• Card-swiping is the data-gathering method d’jour for UNT right now. The Workgroup is rolling out mandatory swiping at all in-house instruction events starting in the fall. We have a few targeted longitudinal projects underway, but are expanding the database soon. There are hopes that eventually we will be swiping at embedded librarianship spots and other types of casual programming.

Danelle Toups, Tarrant County College, Trinity River Campus

Tarrant County College, Trinity River Campus offers a one-shot, three-hour Information Literacy class free to all students. Since 2010, we have kept various statistics assessing our success. In the spring of 2014, we created a new quiz/test/assessment to see how well students were actually learning the skills we taught. Our data seems to show that they really are getting it!  Here’s the presentation: Info Lit Report for presentation

Karen Harker, Collection Assessment Librarian, University of North Texas Libraries (Denton):

The University of North Texas Libraries started a MINES for Libraries© survey in mid-December 2014.  We received funding from competitive sources – an in-house grant, and the ALCTS Transforming Collections grant.  The goal of this survey is to learn who uses which resources for what purposes, when, from where, and the reasons for selecting the resource.  It is a pop-up survey that appears every 50th time a link to an electronic resource is clicked on from the catalog, ejournals list, full-text link or LibGuide.  We pursued IRB approval so that we may publish our results, but doing so forced us to make the survey voluntary.  So far, we have had about a 37% response rate.  We do provide small incentives: drawings for 2 $20 Amazon gift cards every month for those who provide their email addresses. In addition, we request, but do not require, that users provide their university identifier in order to link the survey data with student or faculty outcomes. The email addresses are for the drawings only, so the users may provide one without providing the identifier.  Surprisingly, over 80% of respondents have provided this information.  We have only started looking at the responses, and will not produce a preliminary report until mid-summer, 2015.

Cindy Boenke, Digital Collections, SMU:

Since 2008, SMU Central University Libraries (CUL) have digitized, cataloged and made available on the CUL Digital Collections web site some 46,000 image, text, video, and audio files from the holdings of its rich special collections. CUL primarily uses Google Analytics to count hits and track who is using our 45 digital collections. To better understand outcomes, we developed a survey that is sent to users who license images they find online. The results, which are often surprising, help us uncover how CUL Digital Collections are changing research or being used for personal enrichment. This information provides examples of innovative ways people and communities around the world are utilizing CUL Digital Collections, data that has opened our eyes to unanticipated topics of interest to our viewers and helps us build new audiences.

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