Write-ups for Assessment Committee meeting, 11/17/09
We all agreed identify what we want to learn from the faculty survey by category
Library Services (David)
which services are not meeting the faculty's needs/expectations, so we
can fix the problem. To identify these problems, it would help to
know which services are important to the faculty, and how satisfied
they are with these services. For services where they are
dissatisfied, it would help to know why.
- Identify which services are not important to the faculty, for possible cutbacks.
- Identify successes (things that are important and satisfactory) to use for marketing purposes.
- Identify desired services we don't current provide.
categories of services. The words used to describe them probably
need to be refined. Should try to use words that will be familiar
to faculty, and avoid library jargon.
- In-person assistance finding books, articles, databases for faculty person's research. [Reference]
(chat, e-mail, website(?)) assistance finding books, articles,
databases for faculty person's research. [Online reference]*
- In-person assistance finding books, articles, databases for student's research. [Reference]
- Online (chat, e-mail, website(?)) assistance finding books, articles, databases for student's research. [Online reference]*
- Delivering books not in BU's collections [ILL]
- Delivering articles not in BU's collections [ILL]
- Instruction, training, and teaching
- Circulation [What exactly do we want to ask here?]
- Putting material on reserve for classes.
- Subject matter expert/selector. [It would be nice to know if they have or would like a specific librarian to work with.]
* It may not be reasonable to ask faculty about reference services for students, as many of them may not know.
For most of the services, it would be nice to know three things (exact wording still to be determined):
- How often they use the service
- How important is the service
- How satisfied they are with service
will also be important to provide a comments field, since that is
probably the only way to capture information about specific problems.
Library Resources (Sarah & Megan)
I. Types of Library Resources:
Old print journals UW
lists this as pre-1985 but we would want to figure out where we would
want to draw the line- I would actually think it should be in the 1990s
at the most. -Megan Bresnahan 11/12/09 5:14 PM
Recent print journals
Library Research/Subject Guides
Library Tutorials would this be under library services? -Megan Bresnahan 11/12/09 5:14 PM
Software an example would be the virtual microscope or endnote that students use in the library- this might belong in facilities? -Megan Bresnahan 11/12/09 5:14 PM
Citation Managers Maybe we want to refer directly to RefWorks here, but we also have Endnote installed on all library computers -Megan Bresnahan 11/12/09 5:15 PM
Other-- dissertations, reports, scores, etc.
II. What we want to learn from the survey questions:
- What sources of information do faculty use to conduct research?
- How often do they use these resources?
- How do faculty rate the availability and usefulness of library resources for conducting their research?
- What sources of information do faculty use to prepare for their classes?
- How often?
- How do faculty rate the availability and usefulness of library resources for preparing for classes?
- What types of resources do faculty refer their students to (via blackboard, class handouts, Class slides, bibliographies)?
- How often?
- How do faculty rate the availability and usefulness of library resources for their students?
- Do faculty prefer print or electronic books? journals?
- How do faculty rate remote access to library resources? I
was thinking that even though this is related to IT or SFX, this
information may clue us in to whether faculty know how to access
electronic library resources from off-campus or if they are just trying
to go through google -Megan Bresnahan 11/12/09 5:18 PM
Library Facilities (Dan P.)
How satisfied are you with the library's hours? Very Satisfied (5)
-----------------Not Satisfied (1) (I think we already know what they
want, namely longer hours, this would ask how much of a big deal it is
not when exactly they want the hours to be)
How frequently do you visit the library in person? : Almost daily, weekly, monthly, once per semester, less often/NA
How would you rate the helpfulness of the staff? Excellent (5) ----------------- Unacceptable (1)
How knowledgeable do you perceive the staff to be? Very
knowledgeable (5) --------------- Ignorant/Boston College Grads (1)
How would you rate the quality of the facilities? Excellent/Pardee
Library -esque (5) ---------------- Poor/Mugar Library during a
Other (Dan B.)
considerations for the OTHER category.....
o Preferences for print or digital resources
- I'm not sure this is essential, but I would say this is a good consideration to use throughout the
category of "library resources", without just asking a single simple
question about it. UW's survey
does have a question that deals with material type, but for instance,
it lists simply "journals" without specifying whether electronic or
not. What are we really going to learn from this exact breakdown? The
percentage of those that still prefer print sources? What will this do
for us, now and also when we repeat this survey in the future? I
suggest we pretty much anecdotally know the general answers to this
- If we were to ask this as a single question, it might be neat to
track faculty attitudes towards eBooks over time. My guess is that we
would find what I find anecdotally; that everybody says they want more,
but once it comes to using one they hit the print! print! print!
button.... I like how UW phrases their question, as "how important are
the following to your everyday work". Then we could gauge who's really
using what. In general, I find the UW survey very well put together,
although even there, I have a hard time imagining how useful the
results would be with repetition.
o Open access
- I would say not essential. But it would be interesting to try to
include some "education" about OA in the survey. Or, we could phrase
the questions in such a way as to help justify our work in OA in the
future. For instance, asking them to rate how important free access to
academic resources is....Should be a given everybody likes that. :)
o General comments
- I would say essential to include this: We do not want to limit
faculty member's comments to any particular category. If they have a
comment on anything related to the libraries, they should be able to
post it in the survey. That said, this is going to be a qualitative
analysis when we get results.
more OTHER possibilities?
o how about RefWorks, ezproxy and sfx? Is there some way to fit
in these sort of digital, non-traditional services? maybe we could
assess the knowledge of these resources over time. For example, the
question could read click all the boxes for services you have used:
kerberos login to bu library resources (ezproxy), find at BU button
(sfx), refworks.... then we might be able to say this percentage of
faculty use this service. as we get out the word about these services,
maybe the percentage would increase in future repetitions.
Primary School or College within BU
We want to be able to categorize our respondents by school or college. If we get enough respondents we'll be able to correlate certain responses by this breakdown. At a minimum we'll be able to show our respondents by school & colleges in a pie chart. We could use the list of schools and colleges from the BUwebsite.
Primary Campus Affiliation
We want be able to break down our users by the MED or the CRC which should be useful. We can show this in a pie chart and should be able to break some responses down by campus. by campus.
Primary BU Library
If we get enough responses, we should be able to break down responses by library affiliation. At a minimum, we'll know what percent of respondents use each Library.
Full or Part Time
We should be able to analyze the results by this category. My guess is that part-time faculty might be less satisfied with library services than full time faculty. If we can demonstrate this we could target them afterwards.
Number of Years Employed at BU
I'm not sure this is essential. We might want to see if there is a difference between those who have been her a year or so and those who have been here decades. If we do include a question about this, we might want to group years:
Library Websites (Tim L)
--Do You rely on the library Website to access online resources?
--Which library websites do you ususally use?
--Are you easily able to access online library resources from off-campus?
--How else do you access online resources?
--Do you incorporate the library Website or library online resources into your syllabi?
--Do you find the library Website easy to navigate
--What improvements would you recommend?
Notes for Assessment Committee
Faculty Survey -goal, process, categories
To ask BU faculty for feedback about library resources and
BU faculty (as determined by
To listen to users and improve
services & resources
Survey Monkey, IRB, IT,
1. What do we want to
Decide categories to cover
Draft questions within each category
2. Who should have
Branch and department heads?
3. Draft questions
From scratch and referring to available surveys
(UW Libraries, BU Law?, others?)
For each question:
Is it essential
Will it provide meaningful, usable data
Is it clear, unambiguous
4. Ask staff to
review draft (same groups?)
5. Run pilot using Survey
6. Work with
Institutional Review Board, Provost’s Office, IT re: email lists
Primary School, College, Institute, or Research Center affiliation
Primary campus affiliation
Primary BU Library affiliation
Full or part time
Status- full, associate, assistant, clinical,
other (Do we need this?)
Number of years at BU (do we need this?)
Library Resources (digital and print,
subscription and open access)
Books (reference/ & circulating?)
Other-- dissertations, reports, scores, etc.
Comments about Collections on a whole
Library Services (virtual, in person, telephone)
Comments about Services on the whole
Accessibility on and off campus
Frequency of use
What is accessed
Comments about Websites
How often visited
Comments about Facilities
Preferences for print or digital resources
General Thoughts on Survey (from David Fristrom)
a bunch of questions so that they don't seem overwhelming (there are
"only" 15 questions, but in fact each question has a lot of
about the faculty's information seeking behavior. This kind of
data could be very useful in designing services and collections.
about desired and actual information literacy of students. Again,
this information could be quite useful in designing services and for
making the case for additional resources.