Sat 21 May 2011
The Public Services Section along with co-sponsors Clinical Librarians and Evidence-Based Health Care SIG, the Library Marketing SIG, the Research Section and the Osteopathic Libraries SIG presented four papers on the topic of “Rethinking Assessment.” Read about the first two here:
Assessment Journey: Warning Signs, Change Indicators, New Opportunities – Barbara Abu-Zeid, Amy Allison, Sandra Franklin, and Anna Getselman – Emory University, GA
Have you ever heard of a “customer segmentation matrix?” Well, neither had I until this presentation. These librarians used the customer segmentation matrix to gather and then organize information like characteristics, preferences, needs, length of program, demographics, or tenure about each of their user groups. Using the matrix, combined with their service and instruction activities for each user group, the librarians were able to better inform their decisions on what and how much data to keep. They defined data elements and developed data collection tools and procedures. Is it worth the work? Yes. Librarians are in a changing environment with a noticeable increase in the complexity of service offerings and an expansion of instruction activities. Creating the matrix provided a visual representation of all the library does for its users. By creating more specific data elements, the librarians kept more complete statistics on what they were actually doing and how much time it took, thus making it easier to describe the impact of the library services.
Pervasive Assessment: Integrating Assessment into the Organization – Betsy Kelly and Claire Hamasu – NNLM MidContinental Region
The presenters gave a convincing argument for making assessment pervasive in our organizations. That makes good sense to me. Why should we do it? According to the presenters, it takes everyone to work together in order to stay on track to achieve goals, it helps everyone keep abreast of changes, together you provide each other with positive reinforcement, it de-silos your library, and you will have evidence of accountability from everyone to help show value to your stakeholders. Advice included: understand your environment, collect only data you are going to use, use a standardized form, (perhaps a logic model) to compile input from everyone and lastly, make assessment the formal responsibility of every librarian in your library. Be patient, pervasive assessment takes a lot of time.