Assessment for the Rest of Us: Informal Techniques You Can Use

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Program conducted by LLAMA - MAES at ALA Annual 2010.

Informal assessment techniques can be used to quickly evaluate and improve services throughout the library. This fast-paced program features presenters from 8-10 libraries who will share various types of informal assessment, the time commitment required, and how assessment led to service improvements throughout the library. Attendees will gain an understanding of how informal assessment can be incorporated into decision-making at all levels and lead to a culture of assessment.

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Assessment for the Rest of Us: Informal Techniques You Can Use

  1. 1. Assessment for the Rest of Us: Informal Techniques You Can Use <br />Sponsored by the LLAMA Measurement, Assessment & Evaluation Section, Data Collection for Library Managers Committee<br />Program Co-chairs: <br /><ul><li> Jeanne Brown, Assessment Librarian, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  2. 2. Jan Lewis, Associate Director, East Carolina University</li></ul>LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  3. 3. Our Student Scholars Said What???<br />A 12-Question survey followed by an informal focus group luncheon were fairly easy techniques for discerning what a group of undergraduate student scholars know and think about the library.<br />Oklahoma State University<br />Karen Neurohr, Associate Professor, Assessment Librarian<br />Jennifer Paustenbaugh, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Planning and Assessment<br />LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  4. 4. Student Scholars and the Library<br />Oklahoma State University- Land-grant; ARL Library, serving 22,845 students<br />Assessment activity: Survey and Informal Focus Group<br />Population: Undergraduate research scholars<br />Time Commitment: 4 hours<br />Findings: Several interesting discrepancies between survey results and comments<br />LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  5. 5. Let them try it before you buy it<br />Conducting demonstrations and trials can help libraries get the biggest bang for their buck.  Students test, evaluate, and recommend products and libraries make informed purchases.<br />Louise L. Lowe, Assistant ProfessorPublic Services Librarian<br />Judith D. Brook, Associate ProfessorAssociate Dean of University Libraries and Director<br />Mercer University, Atlanta<br />LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  6. 6. Let them try it before you buy it<br />Who we are…<br />Mercer University, Atlanta Campus<br />Approximately 2,500 graduate and professional students <br />Approximately 4,000 library visitors per week<br />What we did…<br />Conducted trials or demonstrations; allowed 1 - 2 weeks for feedback<br />Tested equipment like netbooks, adjustable monitors and keyboards, etc.<br />Taste test for new coffee vending<br />What we learned…<br />‘Good value’ is important to student<br />Students are willing to make compromises<br />Students want to be involved<br />LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  7. 7. Unobtrusive User Observation as Assessment Technique: What are Students Doing in the Library After Hours<br />Study of User Behavior in Uris Library, open 24/7<br />Kornelia Tancheva, Director of John M. Olin Library and Uris Library, Cornell University<br />LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  8. 8. Student Behavior in the Library After Hours<br />Cornell U Library; Uris: former “undergraduate library”<br />Unobtrusive observation<br />Survey population: undergraduate students<br />Moderate Time Commitment<br />Findings: use of spaces, use of technology; service requirements<br />LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  9. 9. Why Isn’t Our Chat Reference Service Used More Often?<br />Exploring patron attitudes and behavior through focus groups <br />Sharon Naylor and Bruce StoffelEducation Librarian and Reference Coordinator<br />Illinois State University<br />LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  10. 10. Why Isn’t Our Chat Reference Service Used More Often?<br />Who we are...<br />21,184 students (87% undergraduates)<br />1.6 million volumes, 43,000 annual patron transactions<br />What we did...<br />Conducted 7 focus groups, August-December 2005 <br />Involved 45 sophomores, juniors, seniors <br />Each group discussion lasted about 90 minutes <br />What we learned...<br /><ul><li>Desire for reference services that are personalized
  11. 11. Support for a variety of reference venues not just IM/chat
  12. 12. Preference for familiar, reliable technology</li></ul>LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  13. 13. The CalArts’ Student Behaviors and Habits (CASBAH) Project<br />Poster surveys were used to generate a wealth of instant and practical feedback with minimal effort.<br />Jeff Gatten, Dean of Library and Information Resources at California Institute of the Arts<br />LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  14. 14. The CalArts’ Student Behaviors and Habits (CASBAH) Project<br />Arts college (BFA, MFA, DMA)<br />1,399 Students <br />60% undergrad. & 40% grad.<br />51% female & 49% male<br />Poster surveys in the Library<br />3-4 hours to compile & organize data<br />Findings: Most desired = easy changes to environment<br />LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  15. 15. Challenging Assumptions: Chatting with Patrons <br />The information gathered challenged many of the assumptions held about undergraduate students.<br />Rachel Besara, Assessment Librarian<br />Kirsten Kinsley, Assessment Librarian<br />Florida State University Libraries<br />LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  16. 16. Challenging Assumptions: Chatting with Patrons<br />Florida State University (Carnegie Foundation Rated Doctoral/Research Extensive University)<br />Short Survey/Interviews<br />167 Undergraduate Students on & off campus<br />One Month<br />Discovered nuanced student study habits<br />LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  17. 17. Assessing Community Usersin an Academic Library<br />The Ottenheimer Library recently conducted a quantitative/qualitative assessment of its unaffiliated library users.<br />Wanda V. Dole, Dean<br /> Ottenheimer Library, University of Arkansas at Little Rock<br /> J. B. Hill, Director of Public Services<br />Ottenheimer Library, University of Arkansas at Little Rock<br />LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  18. 18. Assessing Community Users<br />University of Arkansas at Little Rock <br />Metropolitan university with 13,000 students<br />Carnegie Research Extensive University<br />Quantitative Data <br />Analysis of Millennium and Uniprint patron records<br />Qualitative Data <br />Survey of unaffiliated library users registered for circulation of Internet privileges<br />Limited Time Commitment - ~80 hours<br />Findings<br />Two distinct user populations – behaviors & needs<br />Casual affiliations with university<br />Privileges created good will toward university<br />Result in review of unaffiliated user policies/services<br />LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  19. 19. “Flip” the Library<br />Video Assessment at <br />Georgia Tech Library<br />AmeetDoshi<br />User Engagement Librarian and Assessment Coordinator<br />Georgia Institute of Technology Library<br />LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  20. 20. Flip Camera Assessment: Fast, Cheap, Easy <br />Georgia Tech Student Culture: Hands-on, interactive<br />LibQUAL 2010: 88% of Undergrads use facility regularly<br />Video Assessment of Library Facility<br />Student Library Advisory Board<br />1 hour (prep/shooting/recap) and 2-4 hours editing<br />Useful to… <br />View experience from user perspective<br />Assess completed or discuss proposed renovations<br />Discover emerging problems<br />Web usability<br />LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  21. 21. LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  22. 22. MIT Libraries’ Book(cart)mobile: Assessing its Value<br />The MIT Libraries’ Humanities and Music Libraries surveyed users and staff to determine if the benefits of undertaking a monthly bookmobile outweighed its staffing costs.<br />Lisa R. Horowitz, Assessment Librarian, Massachusetts Institute of Technology<br />LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  23. 23. MIT Libraries’ Book(cart)mobile<br />MIT: 10,000 students; 10,000 faculty and staff<br />Five main libraries – Bookmobile is specific to Humanities and its branch, Music<br />Two survey instruments: user survey and staff interviews<br />Data gathered over two and half months, March to May 2009<br />LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  24. 24. Observation and Mapping <br />Observing student behavior helped us achieve a better balance between high <br />and low use study spaces<br /> <br />Kathy Ray<br />University Librarian<br />American University of Sharjah<br />LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />
  25. 25. Observation and Mapping<br />AUS – 5,000 students primarily undergrad<br />Coed environment new for majority<br />Incredibly active/high traffic zone in the middle of preferred high use study space<br />Observations over 5 week period<br />30 minutes 3 times per week<br />Reconfigured mix of carrels, tables, browsing collections & displays for better balance of quiet and active zones <br />LLAMA MAES DCLM 2010 ALA Annual Program: Assessment for the Rest of Us<br />

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