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 identify and predict the behaviors and needs of library users to inform decision-making in all areas of operations. Library assessment efforts contributed to the enhancements listed below.
For more information on research at the Mansfield Library, visit our faculty research page.
Questions? Contact Kate Zoellner, Assessment Coordinator.
- 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.
- Enabled users to browse media.
- Reorganized the historical and Montana map collection.
- Transitioned to the Resource Description and Access (RDA) cataloging standards.
- Launched ScholarWorks, an open access repository service that showcases published and unpublished works by faculty, students, and staff.
- Added a new popular reading collection.
- Added non-traditional items including games, bike locks, and yoga mats.
- Purchased eBook and audio book packages.
- Digitized pre-2007 university theses and dissertations.
- Modified circulation policies to extend the borrowing periods for media and bound journals.
- Modified circulation policies to enable individuals 15 and older to borrow materials.
- Developed a library faculty newsletter, Snmipnuntn.
- Developed a biannual newsletter, Connections.
- Created the Mansfield Library and Archives and Special Collections Facebook pages.
- Created an Archives and Special Collections Instagram account.
Reference and Instruction
- Developed two credit-bearing courses; Research Literacies and Advanced Research Literacies.
- Designed workshops for specific user groups (i.e., undergraduate, graduate students, staff, and faculty).
- Added a second classroom and furnished a third portable space for teaching.
- Upgraded technology in teaching classrooms, including flat screens and classroom management software for the instructor stations.
- Redesigned upper division instruction to focus primarily on advanced writing classes.
- Redesigned Missoula College instruction to align WRIT 101 and COMX 111 with main campus information literacy curriculum.
- Facilitated the inclusion of math tutors into the Mansfield Library.
- Upgraded reference chat service to Zendesk software and added offline chat coverage.
- Created cell phone-friendly spaces on each floor.
- Increased the number of quiet study areas and designated level 5 as a quiet study floor.
- 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.
- Created themed displays for all group study rooms.
- Facilitate the rotation of displays in all display cases on the main floor.
- Added library sign in Salish language.
- Added diversity photography displays on Levels 3 and 5.
- Purchased comfortable furniture for the Mansfield Library and for the Mansfield Library at Missoula College.
- Redesigned spaces throughout the building for individual and group work.
- Added whiteboards to each floor.
- Added vending machines.
- Added a water bottle filling station.
- 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 and 3-D printer.
- Added a self-print station and self-checkout.
- Implemented a One Button Studio.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the LibQUAL+® survey in 2015, as well as those who completed the survey in previous years. 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.
Results from the over 1,800 UM faculty, staff, and students who responded to the survey in 2015 indicate that expectations were highest, as measured by desired service levels, in the area of Information Control, followed by Affect of Service then Library as Place. While the order of importance of each survey dimension remained the same from 2010, the desired service level for Library as Place increased, while the other two areas decreased. The library is perceived to meet or exceed the desired expectations of the campus community for printed library materials, community space for group learning and group study, and for employees who are courteous, ready to respond to users’ questions, and who instill confidence in users. Of highest importance to users were a web site enabling independent location of information, remote access to electronic resources, employees who are knowledgeable to answer user questions and courteous, and making information easily accessible for independent use. The library is perceived to be nearest respondents’ minimum expectations for a web site enabling independent and easy location of information, remote access to electronic resources, collections required for work, and quiet space for individual activities.
Results of previous LibQUAL+® surveys were used to implement several improvements: increased electronic resources, extended hours, and refurbished study spaces. Plans to take further actions based on the 2015 responses are underway. You can view the full survey report for 2015 provided by the Association of Research Libraries (as well as for years 2003, 2006, 2010).
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.
Library personnel prepare biennial department assessment reports for the University Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Read the 2014 or 2016 report for further information on library goals and measurement tools utilized, results and modifications, and future plans for continued assessment.
Last updated February 2017.