The Mansfield Library strives to integrate evaluation and assessment initiatives into all aspects of library operations. These efforts provide insight into the perceptions and needs of library users and reveal trends in service delivery, collections, instruction and work efficiency.

The Library's assessment efforts take many forms, including formal surveys like LibQUAL+®, library faculty research, instruction feedback and trend analyses coordinated by the Assessment Committee. Through these initiatives, the library seeks to predict the needs of library users and inform decision-making in all areas of operations. The changes below were made based on our assessment initiatives, and best practices at other academic libraries in response to users' changing research behaviors.

Select Additions and Modifications to Library Services Based on Assessment Efforts

  • Redesigned the library web site as well as the webpages of the K. Ross Toole Archives and Special Collections, created a Missoula College web portal.
  • Licensed a federated search system, followed by a web-scale discovery service.
  • Added "New Materials" and "Movies & More" tabs to the online catalog.
  • Reorganized the historical and Montana map collection.
  • Provided RSS feeds for new materials.
  • Transitioned to the Resource Description and Access (RDA) cataloging standards.
  • Launched ScholarWorks, an open access repository service that showcases published and unpublished works by UM faculty, students, and staff.
  • Added a new popular reading collection, located on the main floor.
  • Purchased eBook and audio book packages.
  • Began digitizing pre-2007 University theses and dissertations.
  • Modified circulation policies to extend the borrowing periods for media and bound journals.
Reference and Instruction:
  • Developed two experimental credit-bearing courses, Research Literacies and Advanced Research Literacies.
  • Designed workshops for specific user groups (e.g., graduate students, staff).
  • Added a second classroom and furnished a third portable space for teaching.
  • Added instant messaging and text reference services.
  • Facilitated the inclusion of the Writing Center and Math tutors into the Mansfield Library.
  • Created a library Events Calendar.
  • Created a library Facebook page.
  • Created a library blog.
  • Created cell phone-friendly spaces on each floor.
  • Increased the number of quiet study areas, including a technology-free area.
  • Created a family-friendly group study room, including privacy, DVD player, child-sized furniture, and children’s books.
  • Added changing tables to men's and women's restrooms on levels 2 and 4.
  • Created themed book displays on the main floor.
  • Added Library sign in Salish language.
  • Added diversity photography displays on Levels 3 and 5.
  • Purchased comfortable furniture for Mansfield Library and for Mansfield Library at Missoula College.
  • Redesigned spaces throughout the building for individual and group work.
  • Added vending machines.
  • Added laptops for 3-day checkout.
  • Upgraded accessible computer on level 3.
  • Licensed additional software, including MS Publisher and SPSS.
  • Created a reservation system for group study rooms.
  • Purchased a Zeta scanner.


Thank you to all who participated in the LibQUAL+® surveys in 2003, 2006, and 2010. The LibQUAL+® survey, sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries, provides a reliable instrument for libraries to use to assess and improve service quality. The survey is comprised of 22 core items that measure users’ perceptions of service quality in the areas of Affect of Service, Information Control and Library as Place. In addition to the core questions, users are asked about their general satisfaction and information literacy as well as about their library use and for demographic information. The survey provides an open-ended comment box, too. The results from this survey affirm that the Mansfield Library continues to be valued and relied upon by the campus community. An analysis of survey data indicates that services and collections at the Mansfield Library are perceived by users to be improving both in general satisfaction indicators and in information literacy outcomes.

Results from the 2010 survey indicate that the Mansfield Library most closely met desired service levels of the campus community in the following categories: Community space for group learning and study; Giving users individual attention; and Employees who instill confidence in users. Expectations in 2010 were highest, as measured by desired service levels, in the Information Control domain, followed by Affect of Service then Library as Place. Of particular importance were remote access to electronic resources, easy-to-use access tools, a web site enabling independent location of information, and print and electronic collections required for their work. Respondents had high expectations in the Affect of Service domain in regards to employees who have the knowledge to answer questions, are willing to help, are dependable in handling service problems, and are consistently courteous. You can view the full reports for 2003, 2006, and 2010 provided by the Association of Research Libraries. A detailed narrative analysis and accompanying tables are available for the 2003 and 2006 survey results. The Mansfield Library continues to use the LibQUAL+® analyses along with other data for service planning and decision-making.

Quantitative Data

You can access quantitative data about the Mansfield Library, such as collection size, circulation figures, and instruction sessions, via the online tool ACRLMetrics. You can also use this system to compare the Mansfield Library’s data with that of other U.S. academic libraries. The resource covers statistics from 2000-present.

Recent Faculty Research

Brown, B. (2010). Access services management measures revisited: From triage to marketing to disarticulation. Journal of Access Services, 7(2), 4-96. doi: 10.1080/15367961003620125

Edwards, J. B., & Zoellner, K. (2012, August). Introducing a diversity plan into the academic library: Development, implementation, assessment, and context. Poster presented at the annual International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions World Library and Information Congress, Helsinki, Finland.

Hines, E., & Hines, S. G. S. (2012). Faculty and librarian collaboration on problem-based learning. Journal of Library Innovation, 3(2), 18-32.

Keenan, T. M. (2012). Charting a course with NOMAP: Integrating metadata workflows into a traditional cataloging unit. Journal of Library Metadata, 12(2-3), 199-212.

McCann, S., & Ravas, T. (2010). Impact of image quality in online art history journals: A user study. Art Documentation, 29(1), 41-48.

McCann, S., Ravas, T., & Zoellner, K. (2010). The researcher's journey: Scholarly navigation of an academic library website. Journal of Web Librarianship, 4(4), 391-412. doi: 10.1080/19322909.2010.525368

Samson, S. (2011). Best practices for serving students with disabilities. Reference Services Review, 39(2): 260-277. doi: 10.1108/00907321111135484

Samson, S. (2010). Information literacy learning outcomes and student success. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 36(3), 202-210. doi: 10.1016/j.acalib.2010.03.002

Samson, S., & Swanson, K. (In press). Support your staff employees: They support the academy. Reference Services Review.

Stark, M. (2011). Information in place: Integrating sustainability into information literacy instruction. Electronic Green Journal, 1(32). Retrieved from

Zoellner, K. (2012, August). Connecting the data dots: Discover and create a picture of your library. Paper presented at the satellite meeting Library’s Efficiency, Impact, and Outcomes: Statistical Evaluation and Other Methods as Tools for Management and Decision-making of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions World Library and Information Congress, Turku, Finland.

Zoellner, K., & Samson, S. (2011, June). Instruction rubrics and assessment: Identifying student learning outcomes and misperceptions. Poster presented at the annual conference of the American Library Association, New Orleans, LA.

Last Updated October 2013