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Informing Reference Services @ Columbia University Libraries Using Today’s Numbers to Plan Tomorrow’s Services RUSA Program, ALA Annual Conference4:00PM, June 26,2011 Jennifer Rutner, Assessment & Planning LibrarianColumbia University Libraries
Reference Assessment @ Columbia Digital Centers User Needs AssessmentService Evaluation Virtual Reference Assessment
Assessment Program Mission Statement Serve library users and staff through the gathering, analysis, and application of high-quality, actionable information to guide library decision making.
Motivation • Understand how IM services are being used. • Evaluate quality of service provided via IM reference services. • Identify user-needs for reference support. Clients • Reference Coordinating Committee • IM Reference Coordinator
Findings: User Survey • 46% were graduate students • 41% were between 23-29 years old • 61% were 1st time library IMers • 79% discovered IM through the website • 51% were at home when they IM’d
Findings: User Survey • 74% were very satisfied with the information they received when using the IM service • 69% strongly agreed that the resources suggested by the librarian were useful • 85% strongly agreed that using IM to contact a librarian was very easy • 80% agreed that the hours were satisfactory
Findings: Focus Groups • Hours: “It’s not 24 hours? That sucks.” • Communication: “It is a little bit awkward, but it’s good that librarians are taking this to the instant messaging level. It’s just better service.” • Marketing: “Very visible… if you’re trying to eventually expand the hours and make it more visible for students…” • Staffing: “If they could answer the question, whoever can answer the question.” • Convenience: “I live off campus so, my Columbia experience is minimal. So, this IM thing would probably be helpful for someone like me, who doesn’t chill in the library.”
Findings: Transaction Analysis • 60% were policy/procedural, research or holdings questions • 8% were e-resource problems • 90% come through the widget • 57% required no follow-up • 85% are <10 minutes 1702 transactions logged from 2007-2008.
Recommendations An ideal IM service for our users would be a 24/7 service; staffed by knowledgeable, friendly people; easy to access from the Libraries’ web pages that they use most; where they can get quick efficient service.
Locations Digital Social Science Center @ Lehman Social Science Library Digital Humanities Center @ Butler History & Humanities Library Digital Science Center @Science & Engineering Library The Burke Library @ Union Theological Seminary Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library
Motivation How is the changing information environment impacting library use, and student needs for technology and research support? Clients • Departmental libraries • Libraries IT Office • Library Leadership
Impact: Digital Humanities Center Ongoing!
DSSC Evaluation Motivation Understand awareness of and satisfaction with new services at the DSSC. Methodology • Online survey • In-library paper survey Response • 416 respondents • 47% Graduate Students • 80% from the social sciences
Findings: Technology • 66% “never heard of” data services, Bloomberg stations • 47% “heard of/never used” GIS • Overall satisfaction with technology services
Findings: Research Support • 34% “never heard of” the reference desk • 42% “never heard of” emailing a librarian • 50% “never heard of” of research consultations • 50% “never heard of” library workshops • 66% “never heard of” IMing a librarian
Findings: Space • 75% use the library for individual study • 68% use the library for group study • 67% are satisfied with individual study • 67% are satisfied with group study • 61% “never heard of” practice presentation room • 73% “never heard of” conference calling room
Thank you. email@example.com Special thanks to: Amanda Bielskas, Rob Cartolano, Kathleen Dreyer, Mary Giunta, Jean LaPonce, Bob Scott, Jane Winland