ILL User Survey
Oct-Nov 2012
Seattle Public Library (UOK)
Martin Burgess & Karen Barnes
ill@spl.org
What we
learned from
OCLC
Where’s the data?
0
50
100
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350
DUT ENG FRE GER ITA JPN LAT RUS SPA ZXX
Most borrowed items were in English
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1795
1910
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1928
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1943
1947
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1960
1962
1966
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1970
1972
1974
1977
1980
19...
Majority of ILL material held at
Central Library for pickup
0
20
40
60
80
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120
MON
BAL
BEA
BRO
CAP
CEN
COL
DLR
DTH
FRE
...
Majority of items were works of fiction
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Distribution of requests by format
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Book Computer File Manuscript Microform Musical Score Newspape...
What we learned
from
Horizon
Majority of ILL customers were Seattle residents.
0
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20
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70
civ kcad krl mob nrem srad srsen
Oct 29
Oct 15
Total number of ILL checkouts
Median household income by neighborhood
What we learned
from the
Fee Counter
What we learned
from the
User Survey
Two versions of User Survey
Print survey Electronic survey
The 3 survey questions
Purpose for obtaining material through ILL
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
Entertainment/relaxation/enjoyment
study/homework/education
...
A common theme
Respondents very enthusiastically and overwhelming appreciate and value the interlibrary loan service :
“In...
What about the $5 fee?
More respondents supported the $5 fee :
“Nice not to have to purchase”
“Would have cost me $$$ to p...
The typical ILL patron :
 approximately 60-year old individual who
 likes to read fiction,
 published in the last sever...
What does it all mean?
Resources
• http://www.stats.oclc.org/
(OCLC Usage Statistics - link on WS-ILL homepage)
• http://www.surveymonkey.com/ (o...
What Are Your Users Thinking?
What Are Your Users Thinking?
What Are Your Users Thinking?
What Are Your Users Thinking?
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What Are Your Users Thinking?

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To learn more about our users, ILL staff at Seattle Public Library designed a three question survey that was presented to our patrons via the ILL forms on the library’s website and as a bookmark which was inserted into all borrowed materials. The responses gathered from the user surveys were supplemented by data taken from our circulation system (Horizon) and OCLC usage statistics. The results were very informative and, on some counts, quite unexpectedly surprising. Presentation by Karen Barnes & Martin Burgess

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  • Why do the survey? Recent administrative & policy changes ($5 fee in Oct 2009), wanted to get baseline data for where we were at the time & what ILL does for our end-user.Also, 2012 NW-ILL Conference keynote speech by Stephen Abram“We often believe a lot that isn’t true” => focus on the user; Get a general demographic picture of ILL users; what do ILL users plan to do with the material that we borrow for them?Mostly entirely done in-house; printed the book inserts of the surveys ourselvesLogistics involved : communicating with IT (Horizon & Fee Counter stats) & web office (online survey)
  • Quick note on methodology => used only Excel Pivot Tables & column charts (no advanced statistical calculations)
  • Used Oct 2012 stats from OCLC Usage statistics
  • Borrower Resource Sharing Stats Report – Oct 2012Exported to Excel spreadsheetMany columns of dataWe used format, Call Number Congress (LoC), language, patron department, & othersIncludes filled & unfilled requests
  • Language of ILL itemsZXX = musicscoresSource: October 2012 OCLC statistics
  • Source: October 2012 OCLC statisticsDistribution of borrowed items by year of publication.The oldest item requested through interlibrary loan was a novel published in 1795 (we were unable to procure a copy for our patron). Somewhat surprising – would have thought that we borrowed more older items
  • To show that data from Patron Department field can be informative; October 2012 OCLC statistics; CAP & GWD reflect heavy-use patrons; PDF shows copy requestsCEN includes microfilm, which can only be used at the Central Library as that is where the microfilm readers/printers are located. Perhaps indicates lack of PR in our branches.
  • October 2012 OCLC Borrowing Stats; Using Library of Congress classification data from OCLC statsLanguage and Literature (class P), which accounted for 25% of requests.next closest class was “Music and books on music” (Class M) accounting for 9.2% of OCLC requests. “Fine Arts” class (Class N) was third with 8.5% of the total (would guess these are the fashion & knitting kinds of books).
  • Oct 2012 OCLC statsBooks accounted for 74% of all requests in Oct 2012.Newspapers were at least 10% of the monthly total (microforms & serials may or may not be newspapers).Statistics may be skewed (subject classification information and format data, in particular) due to the fact that the data was taken from a single month and it is common for some patrons to submit multiple ILL requests at the same time on a single topic of interest
  • Checkout data was captured from Horizon on two different dates : October 15th and October 29th of 2012. IT ran report that gave us data connected to ILL items checked out on these 2 daysData included Borrower branch, birth date, bstat (“Borrower Statistical Class”), checkout location & borrower zip code
  • Horizon data included the birthdate field, from which age could be extrapolated. These statistics on age were grouped into decades to provide a clearer picture of our ILL users. Age data skewed to upper end of age spectrum.42% of all checkouts from Oct 15th & Oct 29th combined were in the 60-70 age group.2nd largest category was 50-60 years-old group, which comprised 19% of all checkouts.No ILL checkouts to SPL card holders under 20 years of age.Possible factors for asymmetric data: younger cardholders find their info electronically (which SPL does not ILL), or, younger cardholders can’t afford $5 fee, or, older ILL users need genealogical info not found online.
  • Bstat=Borrower Statistical Classes; library defined categories used to collect circulation statistics (in city, in county, visitor, non-resident, student, etc.)Bstat data from Horizon.87.5% of ILL patrons were Seattle residents.Again, data shows skew towards upper end of age spectrum (23% of ILL patrons were Srsen – born before 1952, 60+years old).
  • Checkout data from Horizon by patron zip code.40% of ILL patrons live in North end of city.16% live in West Seattle.Central District accounted for 4%; South Seattle was 3.4% of total.Which branches utilize ILL service more may be influenced by the knowledge level of branch staff
  • Median household income data from :Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2007-2011 American Community Survey, 5-Year Estimates; In neighborhoods with more than 1 zip code, the median incomes were averagedNot a perfect correlation of median income to number of ILLsPerhaps areas of higher income buy their own books
  • Fee Counter database started in October 2009 when SPL began charging $5 ILL fee.For every successful transaction, this program collects patron number, request identifier, type (loan or copy), date, and title.IT sent report for Jul-Oct of 2012; we extracted the data from October 2012 from the Excel spreadsheet
  • In Oct 2012, there were 18 filled copy RQs and 209 filled loan RQs48% of the requests were for patrons who submitted only the one request during the month of Oct 2012The 20 requests for 2 patrons comprised 8.8% of the total requests filled in Oct 2012.227 total requests at $5 each = $1,135 total in ILL fees for Oct 2012
  • Survey conducted for 4 weeks : Oct 15 to Nov 12, 2012
  • 2 versions of user survey: electronic (available to persons submitting requests on the web form; powered by Survey Monkey) & a printed form that was inserted in to every borrowed item.Both forms contained only 3 questions and they were worded almost identically (slight change to 2nd question in electronic version, since patron was answering before the material was received : “How do you plan to use this material?” in the e-form versus the print version’s “How was this material useful? Did it meet your needs?” ).219 requests (loans & photocopies) filled for SPL patrons during the 4 weeks that the survey was conducted.64 surveys were completed (60 print versions, 4 online versions).High response rate of 28% (a little better than 1 out of every 4 opportunities to complete the survey) would indicate that ILL users were invested in the ILL service.Typical response rate to written satisfaction surveys is 5-10% (1-20% says one source)
  • “Personal Research” was the most often selected category by ILL users (35%)followed closely by “Entertainment, relaxation and enjoyment” (30%). Only 3 respondents indicated that the ILL was for the purpose of job hunting or was work related.Almost 1 in 4 (23%) of the ILL users indicated that the materials that they obtained were in support of their own writing
  • The second and third questions were open-ended and, thus, there were a variety of answers.Two themes emerged : patrons appreciate the service and [next slide]
  • Surprisingly, many of our respondents support the $5 fee
  • Piecing together all these various bits of data, an outline of the average ILL patron (as of Oct 2012) can be summarized Whatever minor variations on this average may occur, it seems clear from the survey that the typical patron very much appreciates the interlibrary loan service and is willing to pay for the opportunity to have access to a wider variety of materials.
  • Beauty of statistics is that they are open to interpretation. Also, our data does not answer all the questions.For example, the skewing of the age data could convince us to do more ILL outreach at AARP meetings.OR,Maybe we should examine more closely the impact of the $5 fee on library users under 20 years of age.What really stood out for me was how the high response rate and the open-ended survey responses clearly demonstratethat most patrons very much appreciate the interlibrary loan service and are willing to pay for the opportunity to have access to a wider variety of materials.And, should an Administrator or Board member ever inquire, we have solid data to demonstrate that ILL not only contributes substantially to the goals of the organization, but that it is a positive, highly valued service to the community that the library serves.What next? It would be very enlightening to see results from a survey about the ILL service given to non-ILL customers.
  • What Are Your Users Thinking?

    1. 1. ILL User Survey Oct-Nov 2012 Seattle Public Library (UOK) Martin Burgess & Karen Barnes ill@spl.org
    2. 2. What we learned from OCLC
    3. 3. Where’s the data?
    4. 4. 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 DUT ENG FRE GER ITA JPN LAT RUS SPA ZXX Most borrowed items were in English
    5. 5. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 1795 1910 1920 1922 1928 1931 1943 1947 1949 1952 1960 1962 1966 1968 1970 1972 1974 1977 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 Most borrowed items were published in last 4 years.
    6. 6. Majority of ILL material held at Central Library for pickup 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 MON BAL BEA BRO CAP CEN COL DLR DTH FRE GLK GWD HIP IDC LCY MAG MGM MOB NET NGA PDF QNA RBE SPA SWT UNI WAL WTS
    7. 7. Majority of items were works of fiction 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
    8. 8. Distribution of requests by format 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 Book Computer File Manuscript Microform Musical Score Newspaper Serial Sound Recording
    9. 9. What we learned from Horizon
    10. 10. Majority of ILL customers were Seattle residents. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 civ kcad krl mob nrem srad srsen Oct 29 Oct 15
    11. 11. Total number of ILL checkouts Median household income by neighborhood
    12. 12. What we learned from the Fee Counter
    13. 13. What we learned from the User Survey
    14. 14. Two versions of User Survey Print survey Electronic survey
    15. 15. The 3 survey questions
    16. 16. Purpose for obtaining material through ILL 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Entertainment/relaxation/enjoyment study/homework/education job hunting/career/work-related writing/publication personal research
    17. 17. A common theme Respondents very enthusiastically and overwhelming appreciate and value the interlibrary loan service : “Interlibrary Loan has helped me research my family” “Availability of ILL enormously expands the scope of SPL’s service” “Most books I read are old and out of print. The only other way to read them is to buy them which I often do after first reading them through this service” “Exactly what I wanted. Great service. Thanks” “I am so glad our library can do this because I read a lot of books that our library does not have” “I’m glad I didn’t have to travel to Pennsylvania to view this microfilm” “SPL interlibrary loan service is excellent, a very valuable service” “This is an outstanding service efficiently carried out. I’ve used it several times. Thank you!” “Just glad this [ILL] is an option! Thank you!”
    18. 18. What about the $5 fee? More respondents supported the $5 fee : “Nice not to have to purchase” “Would have cost me $$$ to purchase used” “I’d rather pay the $5 fee to the library, than buy the book used on Amazon” “it is definitely worth the $5.00!” “ILL is a great service. Thanks for providing it at a reasonable price!” than questioned the fee : “ILL is fast, efficient—but expensive” “$5 for a ILL seems like too much—surely more than the actual cost to administer” “The $5 per item fee is too high”
    19. 19. The typical ILL patron :  approximately 60-year old individual who  likes to read fiction,  published in the last several years,  in English and who  prefers to pick his items up at the Central Library,  lives in the north end of the city of Seattle, and  only submits one ILL request a month
    20. 20. What does it all mean?
    21. 21. Resources • http://www.stats.oclc.org/ (OCLC Usage Statistics - link on WS-ILL homepage) • http://www.surveymonkey.com/ (online survey tool) • http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml (income data)

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