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
- Licensed a federated search system, followed by a web-scale discovery service.
- Added "New Materials" and "Movies & More" tabs to our online catalog.
- Reorganized the historical and Montana map collection.
- Provided RSS feeds for new materials.
- Completed a web page redesign followed by modifications.
- Redesigned the online catalog.
- Purchased new databases and eJournal packages to extend our research collections.
- Digitized archival and special collections materials.
- Created a template for reviewing collections in response to new program proposals and department accreditation reviews.
Reference and Instruction:
- Added instant messaging and text reference services.
- Designed workshops for specific user groups.
- Facilitated the inclusion of the Writing Center and Math tutors into the Mansfield Library.
- Created a library blog.
- Purchased comfortable furniture for Mansfield Library and for Mansfield Library at Missoula College.
- Added bench seating for the lobby to encourage cell phone courtesy.
- Added a New Book and News Reading Area.
- Redesigned spaces throughout the building for individual and group work.
- Increased the hours the library is open from 98 in 2004 to 111 in 2006.
- Purchased new presentation technology for two group study rooms.
- Licensed additional software, including MS Publisher and SPSS.
- Increased the number of circulating laptops for in-library use.
- Created a reservation system for group study rooms.
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.
- 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.
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
Hines, S. S. (2008). How it's done: Examining distance education library instruction and assessment. Journal of Library Administration, 48(3/4), 467-478. doi: 10.1080/01930820802289565
McCann, S., & Ravas, T. (2010). Impact of image quality in online art history journals: A user study. Art Documentation, 29(1), 41-48.
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., & McCrea, D. (2008). Using peer review to foster good teaching. Reference Services Review, 36(1), 61-70. doi: 10.1108/00907320810852032
Zoellner, K., Samson, S., & Hines, S. (2008). Continuing assessment of library instruction to undergraduates: A general education course survey research project. College & Research Libraries, 69(4), 370-383.