Assessment in Libraries- a key tool in meeting the needs of our users

Assessment in Libraries is now been taken seriously as we grapple to articulate our value to our stakeholders. Assessment is key in solving our problems in all areas of the library operation.  It is vital in helping us to “pull up our socks.” It may also put us in uncomfortable situations where we may feel vulnerable to our stakeholders.  However, this is an important area that libraries do not spend enough time on.

My library did a LibQual survey and it bared us to things we were unaware of.   Customers tend not to spend a lot of time giving feedback on positive experiences they have had in the library.  We find that assessment may draw out some of the truth we seek from our customers.

In this session, Jan exposed us to the ISO standards which will be extremely useful in constructing our questionnaires etc.  The exercise given was beneficial in identifying based on our case some of the reasons for our problem and targeting what we should assess to gain answers.  We were given a myriad of responses on index cards re: statistics that we could use e.g. gate count, the number of physical items as opposed to electronic items and the number of patrons per day to ascertain whether a Library should invest in additional eBooks.  This was a very practical experience for me that I could replicate at my library.

 

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