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Turning Results into Action: Using Assessment Information to Improve Library Performance OR WHAT DID YOU DO WITH THE DATA? Steve Hiller Stephanie Wright.

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Presentation on theme: "Turning Results into Action: Using Assessment Information to Improve Library Performance OR WHAT DID YOU DO WITH THE DATA? Steve Hiller Stephanie Wright."— Presentation transcript:

1 Turning Results into Action: Using Assessment Information to Improve Library Performance OR WHAT DID YOU DO WITH THE DATA? Steve Hiller Stephanie Wright University of Washington Libraries

2 Data Sources For This Study Library Assessment ARL SPEC Kit 303 (Dec. 2007) Survey sent to ARL Libraries May-June respondents (60%), nearly all academic Self-reported information ARL Consultation Service Making Library Assessment Work/Effective, Sustainable and Practical Library Assessment 35 Libraries visited (32 North A., 28 ARL) Observed and confirmed information

3 Library Assessment SPEC Kit Survey Questions Impetus for assessment Assessment methods used Organizational structure for assessment Distribution/presentation of assessment results Using assessment information (up to 3 actions) Professional development needs in assessment

4 SPEC Survey: Impetus for Assessment Desire to know more about your customers91% Investigation of possible new library services/resources71% Desire to know more about your processes65% Desire to identify library performance objectives62% Need to reallocate library resources55% Accountability requirements from parent institution37% Institutional or programmatic accreditation process29%

5 Building Assessment Capability in Libraries through Consultation Services Association of Research Libraries (ARL) project began in 2005 as Making Library Assessment Work (MLAW) Assess the state of assessment efforts in individual research libraries, identify barriers and facilitators of assessment, and devise pragmatic approaches to assessment that can flourish in different local environments Funded by participating libraries Conducted by Steve Hiller and Jim Self under the aegis of Martha Kyrillidou of ARL In 2007 name changed to Effective, Sustainable and Practical Library Assessment (ESP) and opened up to all libraries

6 MLAW/ESP: Data Collection Methods Pre-Visit Survey on assessment activities, needs etc. Telephone follow-up Mining library and institutional web pages Visit (1.5 days) Presentation on effective assessment Group meetings and observation/verification Follow-up and report Pursue leads and additional information

7 ESP Self-Identified Assessment Needs (31 NA Libraries)

8 Data Caveats Different methodological techniques used Information gathered at different times ESP confirmed on ground; SPEC self-reported Libraries are different (21 of 73 SPEC survey respondents also participated in MLAW/ESP) Some bias in libraries self-selecting to participate in ESP and respond to SPEC survey (likely that more is done in these libraries)

9 Assessment Methods Used SPECESP Data collection 100% Web usability testing 80% LibQUAL+® survey 75%100% Focus groups/Interviews 75%80% Facilities use studies 55%60% Student instruction evaluations 55%75% Observation 50%65% Benchmarking and process improvement 50% Other locally developed surveys 50%75%

10 ACTION SCOREBOARDS (Data will be in paper) Score Widespread Occasional to general Sometimes to occasional Seldom

11 Action Scoreboard: Websites SPECESP Website redesign Change content Change library catalog display

12 Action Scoreboard: Facilities SPECESP Renovate existing space Repurpose existing space New furniture/equipment Environmental (HVAC, lighting) Close libraries/service points Signage Plan new space

13 Action Scoreboard: Services SPECESP Hours Service Desk Staffing Service Quality Instruction Process improvement

14 Action Scoreboard: Collection Development and Management SPECESP Journal review/decisions Going Electronic Weeding, relocation, storage Fund allocations Scholarly communication

15 Action Scoreboard: Organization SPECESP Organizational climate Staff Training Marketing Communications (external) Collaborations (external) Stop doing specific activities

16 Overall Action Scoreboard SPECESP Web site Facilities Collection development Reference services Access services Instructional services Hours Organizational changes

17 Using Assessment Data: Actions Lots of data collected but actions generally limited to either low hanging fruit or one-time changes: –Website improvements (Usability) –Hours (Comments, observation) –Collection development/management decisions –Facilities (Observation, qualitative methods) More actions taking place than reported (both to SPEC and MLAW/ESP) Little evidence of action in: –Instruction/Learning outcomes –Organizational changes

18 Organizational Factors That Impede Turning Data into Actions Lack tradition of using data for improvement No assessment advocate within organization Library staff lack research methodology abilities Weak analysis and presentation of data Inability to identify actionable data Library culture is skeptical of data Leadership does not view as priority/provide resources Library organizational structure is silo-based Staff do not have sufficient time

19 Sustainable Assessment and Actions Leadership believes and supports Formal assessment program established Institutional research agenda tied to strategic priorities Staff training in research/assessment methodology Staff have time and resources to follow-up Research balanced with timely decision-making Assessment results presented, understood and acted upon Results reported back to the customer community Library demonstrates value provided community

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