NSW RISG Survey 2012Hi, my name is Pamela Langridge. I’m here to report on the NSW Reference and Information Services Group survey, which we ran a few months ago.
Background to the surveyA Strategic framework for RISG:It was put to the steering committee that RISG should have a Strategic Plan. After discussion, it was agreed that having a Strategic Framework might be a useful tool for the group, to further its goals. Benefits:RISG is an open group, aimed at all public library staff in NSW who are involved in the provision of reference and information services. That’s pretty broad!A Strategic Framework provides direction and focus and assists with decision-making. It also provides a basis for measuring success. It also makes it easier to deal with those who wish to hi-jack the group.Where to start?So, where to start on the journey towards a Strategic Framework?
Survey objectivesWe thought the best place to start on a Strategic Framework would be by asking the group’s members what they thought of the existing goals, services, and opportunities of the group. It was hoped that a survey would tell us if the needs and expectations of the group were being met, and whether group members understood what options were already available to them. This will give us guidance for developing the Framework, and also provide benchmarking for future surveys. In this way, we can keep things ticking along.
MethodologyOnline survey via Google Docs (Forms)An online survey utilising Google Forms was used.Email invitationsThe URL to the survey was emailed out to potential participants via the ‘Reference’ and ‘PLN’ state-wide email newsgroups.
An aside...I volunteered to put the survey together because I wanted an opportunity to play around with Google Forms.For those who haven’t yet used Google Forms, I thought I’d give a quick run-through.It’s quite easy to create the form…
There are lots of nifty themes…
It automatically creates the spreadsheet that supports your survey.However, when participants are able to select more than one response for a single question, it dumps all responses into the one cell. This makes life very difficult when you’re trying to create graphs and filter responses.…
There is a View Summary of Responses option which, through the magic of Google, can pull apart all those mashed responses and create a nice report complete with graphs.However, anything beyond this Summary document is pretty limited.…
So my verdict is, it’s OK, but I wouldn’t recommend it for anything too complex, especially for beginners.
ResultsResponse rate: 7% of Total Qualified Staff in NSW57 responses, 827 qualified staff in NSW (Public Library Statistics 2009/10)374 services points in NSW (Public Libraries in NSW: directory2011-12) I consider 57 responses to not be too bad, but I was expecting a higher response rate.I am hopeful that this can be increased for future surveys.I suspect the low number of responses is due to a communication / awareness problem, as I think the message did not get through to the intended audience. (I got a couple of blank looks from people in my own workplace!)The Data:And so, on to the pretty graphs…
RISG survey 2012 – overall vision / mission“Q1 From the choices below, what would you consider the overall Vision / Mission of the NSW Reference & Information Services Group to be?”Respondents were asked to select 1 of the options (not that that stopped anyone).
RISG survey 2012 – main objectives“Q2 In your opinion, what are the main objectives of the Reference & Information Services Group?”I can see a clear grouping in these results.The bottom two are both about top-down training, and have similarly strong responses.“Meeting and socialising” is clearly a low priority, in comparison to the rest.But in the middle, there is a bunch of collaborative type professional development, which all had similar responses.
RISG survey 2012 – value of existing strategies“Q3 Which of the existing strategies do you value the most in achieving and providing reference & Information services in your library?”We can clearly see that respondents value the annual “Reference @ the Metcalfe” seminar and the training session and workshops help during the year.The rest of the responses are spread evenly across the rest of the options.
Additional strategies - suggestionsThere were a few follow-up questions with free-text responses:“Q4 Are there any other strategies or activities not listed above that you believe will help achieve the group's main purposes?”Many of the additional comments were regarding services to non-Sydney libraries.Quote: “I think training days, targeting regional libraries, would be a valuable initiative. Would give presenters the experience of presenting, and give regional library staff access to practical skills.”
Collaborative projects - suggestions“Q5 Are there any collaborative projects not listed above that you would like to be involved with?”This was my favourite suggestion. It grabbed my imagination!Quote:“Collaborating with our users as creators of information - on a state wide level. I don't know what I mean but I am picturing a big shiny website including local library sections where people can upload photos, tell stories about their towns, their streets, their library experiences (advocacy). This would give us a cohesive image (but with our own discrete sections), provide a training ground for staff and a meeting ground for our customers. It would be nice if we had a presence like ABC Open that linked people to our services and made us more visible. I know this would cost a lot, but it is worth exploring. Services like ABC Open are great, but I can't help feeling that other people are getting funding to do things that are library focussed, but that we haven't had the money to do.”
Q6 Communication tools - suggestions“Q6 Are there any communication tools not listed above that you would like the group to use / try?”Facebook popped up a few times in responses, but there was also a call to keep the low-tech methods so as to not bump into council IT restrictions. We need to find a way to move forward with both low & high tech communication methods.Quote: This quote is also a good reminder“I think the group pretty much has this covered - it remains up to the individual to be a member of the relevant e-lists, to subscribe to blog feeds, to use the wiki, to attend seminars / workshops / etc & to communicate back to the group”
Who were the respondents?“Q8 What level of responsibility does your current job have?”More than half of respondents are working at “Librarian” level in their current job (58%).“Supervisors” and “Library Managers” make up another big chunk (35%).No “Library Assistants”.I was secretly hoping someone would select “GOD”.
RISG survey 2012 – area of work“Q9 What area of your library do you currently work in?”Results dominated by “Reference” (51%)“Management” (21%).“Customer Service” (14%).I was surprised to see the variety of these responses – I’m glad I put all the extra categories in!No respondents selected “Readers Advisory” or “Local Studies” sub-categories, or “Circulation”.
RISG survey 2012 - Influence over collection development“Q10 Do you have any input into how your library’s book vote is allocated or expended?”Respondents were asked to indicate the level of input they had over their libraries bookvote on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being “What’s a book vote?” and 10 being “Total budget domination”.There were a couple of respondents who were genuinely confused by what a ‘book vote’ is. I apologise for not being clearer. To clarify, a ‘book vote’ is simply the budgets set aside for the purchase of library resources and collections.Median score: 7 (Mode: 7). This is pretty good, actually, and I do believe it’s important for those who use the collections every day have a say in their development.This questions was partly for my own interest, and partly as an indicator of influence in other areas. I don’t know how valid it is as a general indicator of ‘organisational influence’, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
RISG survey 2012- active membership“Q11 Do you consider yourself to be an active member of the NSW Reference & Information Service Group?”Less than 50% of respondents indicated they considered themselves to be “Active” or “Somewhat Active” in NSW RISG.This is probably about right. The challenge is to see how we can move some of the people from not being active into being “Somewhat Active”, and then into being “Active”.
Q12 Why did you decide to become involved in the Reference & Information Services Group?A free-text questionLots of lovely responses for this question.Keeping up-to-date with Professional Development was clearly important for respondents.Quotes:“This is a new role for me, looking forward to networking, sharing and staying on top of emerging trends in this sector as well as increase/refresh my reference skills.”“I feel like I am struggling in my role at the moment as there are so many changes to my work area and also the change in general with the way we now deliver our service to the clients.” “I think Reference work is a fundamental skill for any librarian, and so becoming involved in RISG helps to keep my skills sharp.”
ConclusionThank you to everyone who submitted a response to the survey. I appreciate your time and your thoughts.How’d we do?Actually, great! I was really pleased. It seemed to me that from the survey responses, the Reference and Information Services Group is on the right track.Room for improvements:There are a few areas that I think could do with better communication. For example, there were a few suggestions for lists / directories that could probably be served through the existing Readers Advisory wiki, the Reference-Excellence wiki, or the State Library’s website. Clearly not everyone is aware of the resources already available to them, or how they can be involved in developing them further.Back to the Framework:The purpose of the survey was to help inform the development of a Strategic Framework for the NSW Reference & Information Services Group.The results of the survey have confirmed that the group is on the right track, will provide guidance for the Framework, and hopefully be used as a benchmarkfor future evaluation.
Where to you want to go next?[Hand over to Ellen]
Are we there yet? Reference at The Metcalfe 08-05-2012
Google Docs - Forms• Various question types – Text – Multi-choice – Checkbox – List – Scale – Grid @langridgep 08/05/12
Google Docs - Forms• Various question types• Themes @langridgep 08/05/12
Google Docs - Forms• Various question types• Themes• Underlying spreadsheet @langridgep 08/05/12
Google Docs - Forms• Various question types• Themes• Underlying spreadsheet• Summary of responses (dynamic webpage) @langridgep 08/05/12
Google Docs - Forms• Various question types• Themes• Underlying spreadsheet• Summary of responses (dynamic webpage)• Verdict: it’s OK @langridgep 08/05/12
Results• Response rate• The data @langridgep 08/05/12
RISG survey 2012 - overall vision / mission OtherTo advocate on behalf of NSW RISG members To support networking and collaboration between NSW RISG membersTo promote exceptional reference services by library staff to the public, across NSW All of the above 0 10 20 30 40 50Q1 From the choices below, what would you consider the overall Vision / Mission of the NSW Reference &Information Services Group to be?
RISG survey 2012 - main objectives OtherTo meet and socialise with like-minded professionalsTo assist public library staff in regional / remote NSW to provide an equitable service to their clients To support, inspire and learn from other group membersTo provide networking opportunities for NSW public library staffTo encourage participation and enable collaboration by NSW public library staff To celebrate local initiatives and encourage innovation from public libraries across NSWTo expose NSW public library staff to emerging ideas from around the world To enhance the skills of NSW public lbrary staff 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 Q2 In your opinion, what are the main objectives of the Reference & Information Services Group?
RISG survey 2012 - value of existing strategies Other None The RISG wiki The Local Studies sub-group The Readers Advisory sub-groupUse of a range of social media communication technologies The Ref-Ex wiki Training sessions and workshops The three (3) group meetings each year The Annual seminar 0 10 20 30 40 50 Q3 Which of the existing strategies do you value the most in achieving and providing reference & Information services in your library?
Additional strategies – suggestionsI think training days, targeting regional libraries, would be a valuable initiative. Would give presenters theexperience of presenting, and give regional library staff access to practical skills. @langridgep 08/05/12
Collaborative projects – suggestions Collaborating with our users as creators of information - on a state wide level - … a big shiny website including local library sections where peoplecan upload photos, tell stories about their towns, their streets, their library experiences… @langridgep 08/05/12
Communication tools – suggestions … it remains up to the individual to be a member ofthe relevant e-lists, to subscribe to blog feeds, to use the wiki, to attend seminars / workshops / etc. & to communicate back to the group. @langridgep 08/05/12
RISG survey 2012 - level of responsibility Library Manager Q8 What level of responsibility does your current job have?Team Leader / Supervisor Librarian Library Officer / Technician
RISG survey 2012 - area of work Childrens / Youth Services Other Q9 What area of your Systems / I.T. library do you currently work in?Technical ServicesManagement Reference Customer Service
RISG survey 2012 - influence over collection development1210 8 6 4 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Q10 Do you have any input into how your librarys book vote is allocated or expended?
RISG survey 2012 - active membership Q11 Do you consider yourself to be an active member of the Yes NSW Reference & Information 12% Service Group? Somewhat 33% No 55%
RISG survey 2012 – reason for involvement “This is a new role for me, looking forward to networking, sharing and staying on top of emerging trends in this sector as well as increase/refresh my reference skills.”“I feel like I am struggling in my role at the moment as there are somany changes to my work area and also the change in general with the way we now deliver our service to the clients.”“I think Reference work is a fundamental skill for any librarian, and so becoming involved in RISG helps to keep my skills sharp.” @langridgep 08/05/12
Conclusion• How’d we do?• Improvements• Back to the Framework @langridgep 08/05/12
Where do you want to go next? @langridgep 08/05/12