DIY: in-house evaluation to inform and improve IL delivery - Michael Latham & Mike Ewen.
DIY: in-house evaluation to inform and improve IL delivery
Michael Latham, University of Hull, email@example.com
Mike Ewen, University of Hull, firstname.lastname@example.org
The University of Hull launched it’s use of the Summon discovery tool in September 2012 (originally as a one
year pilot). The resource was introduced with a ‘soft’ launch and little formal promotion was engaged. This
afforded the time for library staff to fully assess the tool and it’s impact on resource discovery and IL support.
Evaluation was key to the utilisation of Summon at the University of Hull and to the decision-making process
regarding it’s medium- to long-term use. In turn, the use of a discovery tool presented significant challenges in
terms of IL delivery strategies. Outsourcing this evaluation work was an option given it’s importance. However,
although there are advantages to third party evaluation, as user consultation would be a key component of the
process it was decided that in-house evaluation would provide the opportunity to listen to users directly, and to
build relationships with our stakeholders, whilst also working within financial constraints. Evaluation was carried
out in stages, using a variety of means, and targeting a number of different constituencies. It focused on usability,
functionality, information needs, and impact on information-seeking behaviour.
This presentation explores how the in-house evaluation of Summon as an information discovery tool informed
and helped develop IL support and delivery at the University of Hull. It describes how the evaluation process
developed from the 2012/13 academic year to the 2013/14 session; how in-house expertise and resources were
utilised; how different vested interests were engaged; and fundamentally, how IL delivery strategies evolved as a
result. As such, the presentation will share practical experiences and invite feedback from attendees.