Stanford Libraries survey: which resources are important to faculty?

Stand­ford Uni­ver­sity Libraries recently sur­veyed fac­ulty in their Schools of Human­i­ties & Sci­ences, Engi­neer­ing, Edu­ca­tion, and Earth Sci­ences about the kinds of resources that are impor­tant for their research. Stan­ford Libraries blog pro­vides some ini­tial results (bro­ken down by  School) about the impor­tance of books (print and elec­tronic), elec­tronic jour­nals, maps/geospatial data, numeric data, and archival mate­ri­als to fac­ulty research.

The  sur­vey also included open ended ques­tions about how access to resources could be improved and about “a vari­ety of tools (e.g. the library web­site, Search­Works, bib­li­o­graphic man­age­ment soft­ware), and exper­tise (e.g. sub­ject librar­i­ans, data spe­cial­ists)”. The data from the opened-ended ques­tions, and fur­ther analy­sis of sur­vey results, will be avail­able soon on the Stan­ford Libraries blog.


Assessment @ ALA Midwinter in Seattle

Here are a few assessment-related ses­sions hap­pen­ing at the ALA Mid­win­ter meet­ing in Seat­tle next week:

What: ARL Library Assess­ment Forum
When: Fri­day, Jan­u­ary 25, 1:30–3:00pm
Where: Sher­a­ton Seat­tle Hotel – Ravenna
Fur­ther details here:
Ses­sion URL:

What: Assess­ment Dis­cus­sion Group (ACRL)
When: Sat­ur­day, Jan­u­ary 26, 4:30–5:30pm
Where: Westin Seat­tle Hotel — Fifth Ave Room
The ACRL Assess­ment Dis­cus­sion Group meet­ing will focus on two top­ics: col­lab­o­ra­tive assess­ment and stan­dards for library assess­ment.  Lisa Hinch­liffe, of the Uni­ver­sity Library at the Uni­ver­sity of Illi­nois at Urbana-Champaign and a leader in the library value move­ment, will lead the dis­cus­sion of col­lab­o­ra­tive assess­ment. This dis­cus­sion will focus on library col­lab­o­ra­tion with other data-gathering enti­ties on your cam­pus in order to pro­vide a rich pic­ture of the impact of the library on issues of impor­tance to the uni­ver­sity as a whole.  For exam­ple, some libraries have been able to com­pare stu­dent grades to their library use and see if there is a cor­re­la­tion between library use and grades.  Oth­ers are look­ing at the library’s con­tri­bu­tion to stu­dent reten­tion or to fac­ulty suc­cess in  grant pro­pos­als. Steve Hiller, Direc­tor of Assess­ment and Plan­ning at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton Libraries and a long-time leader in and advo­cate for library assess­ment, will lead a dis­cus­sion about the his­tory and impor­tance of stan­dards for library assess­ment in gen­eral and about two ISO stan­dards in par­tic­u­lar: ISO 11620 — Per­for­mance indi­ca­tors for Libraries and ISO 16439 — Library Impact Assess­ment, (still under devel­op­ment).  Please join us for a lively dis­cus­sion of cutting-edge assess­ment top­ics and learn from lead­ers in the field!
Mod­er­a­tor: Joan Stein, Carnegie Mel­lon Uni­ver­sity Libraries, Head, Resource Shar­ing
Mod­er­a­tor: Sarah Pas­son­neau, Assess­ment Librar­ian, Iowa State Uni­ver­sity
Speaker: Lisa Hinch­liffe, Coor­di­na­tor for Infor­ma­tion Lit­er­acy Ser­vices and Instruc­tion, Uni­ver­sity Library Uni­ver­sity of Illi­nois at Urbana-Champaign
Speaker: Steve Hiller, Direc­tor of Assess­ment and Plan­ning, Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton Libraries
Ses­sion URL:

What: ACRL ULS Evidence-Based Prac­tices Dis­cus­sion Group
When: Sun­day, Jan­u­ary 27, 10:30–11:30am
Where: Wash­ing­ton State Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, TCC LL2
Are you try­ing to fig­ure out how to improve your library? Do you have local assess­ment data but it’s not doing what you need? Have you been read­ing arti­cles that have helped make a dif­fer­ence in your decision-making?
A few ULS mem­bers have anno­tated a set of arti­cles that describe or define evidence-based librar­i­an­ship. We will use these arti­cles as a jump­ing off point for dis­cus­sion at ALA mid­win­ter. Please join us to talk about the best ways of doing research and find­ing infor­ma­tion that helps you improve the prac­ti­cal work­ing of your library.
Some arti­cles for back­ground infor­ma­tion:
Anno­tated select bib­li­og­ra­phy:
Add it to your sched­ule:

What: Update on ACRL’s Value of Aca­d­e­mic Libraries Ini­tia­tive (ACRL)
When: Sun­day, Jan­u­ary 27, 1:00–2:30pm
Where: Wash­ing­ton State Con­ven­tion Cen­ter — Room 602–603
Learn about ACRL’s new IMLS grant “Assess­ment in Action: Aca­d­e­mic Libraries and Stu­dent Suc­cess.” Teams – of a librar­ian and at least two oth­ers from cam­pus – will be selected to develop and imple­ment action-learning projects that exam­ine the impact of the library. A blended learn­ing envi­ron­ment and peer-to-peer net­work will sup­port the librar­ian team lead­ers. Find out more about the project goals and how to apply; appli­ca­tions are due in March.
Speaker: Kara Malen­fant, Schol­arly Com­muns & Govt Rela­tions Spec, Amer­i­can Library Asso­ci­a­tion
Speaker: Lisa Hinch­liffe, Coor­di­na­tor for Infor­ma­tion Lit­er­acy Ser­vices and Instruc­tion, Uni­ver­sity Library Uni­ver­sity of Illi­nois at Urbana-Champaign
Speaker: Terri Fishel
Ses­sion URL:

What: Col­lec­tion Eval­u­a­tion and Assess­ment Inter­est Group
When: Sun­day, Jan­u­ary 27, 1:00–2:30pm
Where: Renais­sance Seat­tle Hotel, Munic­i­pal Room
Theme: Find­ings that sur­prised us: Delv­ing into the data and deal­ing with the unex­pected
Loca­tion:  Renais­sance Seat­tle Hotel, Munic­i­pal Room
The first half of these ses­sion will be devoted to our two speak­ers who will present case stud­ies in which their data find­ings were unex­pected, and how they used this data to shape their future work with their col­lec­tions.  The sec­ond half will be devoted to small group dis­cus­sions.
Ses­sion URL:

What: Mea­sure­ment, Assess­ment and Eval­u­a­tion Dis­cus­sion Group
When: Sun­day, Jan­u­ary 27,4:30–5:30pm
Where: Wash­ing­ton State Con­ven­tion Cen­ter — TCC 302
Join us in con­ver­sa­tion as we explore the topic “What’s the Return on ROI?” Dr. Danuta Nitecki, Dean of Libraries at Drexel Uni­ver­sity, will share impres­sions from the per­spec­tive of a library dean con­sid­er­ing the use of ROI in an aca­d­e­mic library set­ting, includ­ing data gath­er­ing and analy­sis chal­lenges. There will also be dis­cus­sion of the use of ROI analy­sis by pub­lic libraries. Fol­low­ing these open­ing remarks, dis­cus­sion group atten­dees will par­tic­i­pate in directed small table dis­cus­sions focused on their expe­ri­ences with ROI analy­sis, its ben­e­fits and costs, ser­vices most suited to ROI analy­sis, and its fit in over­all library assess­ment pro­grams. The hour will con­clude with a “report out” from each table.
Ses­sion URL:

Assessing the needs of doctoral students in the humanities — report from the Libraries Assessment Conference

Guest post by Ann Whit­ney Glea­son (Health Sci­ences Library):

At the recent 2012 Libraries Assess­ment Con­fer­ence, Cor­nell and Colum­bia Uni­ver­sity Librar­i­ans reported on their col­lab­o­ra­tion to assess the needs of doc­toral stu­dents in the human­i­ties, using ethno­graphic inter­view­ing meth­ods.  This ini­tia­tive is a part of the broader 2CUL part­ner­ship between the two uni­ver­si­ties – see their web­site at

Com­pleted in March 2011, the assess­ment activ­i­ties included focus groups and indi­vid­ual inter­views with human­i­ties Ph.D. can­di­dates. Goals of the project were to find library user needs of these grad­u­ate stu­dents, deter­mine the impact of library ser­vices and sup­port on attri­tion and degree com­ple­tion, and pro­pose library inter­ven­tion strate­gies to help lower attri­tion and shorten the time to degree com­ple­tion. The study pro­duced over 1,000 pages of inter­view tran­scripts, which were coded to find recur­ring themes.

Study results found that human­i­ties doc­toral stu­dents were heavy phys­i­cal library space users who come to the library to read, browse and do research from library resources, but most do not spend time writ­ing in the library.  Space for both quiet, indi­vid­ual study and group activ­i­ties was impor­tant. The need for assis­tance with infor­ma­tion man­age­ment strate­gies and help with cita­tion man­age­ment tools was expressed. While stu­dents over­all were sat­is­fied with library resources, they had mixed reac­tions to ebooks and the tran­si­tion to elec­tronic resources. Stu­dents expressed a need for feel­ing a part of a com­mu­nity of sup­port as well as feel­ing sup­port for their emo­tional well-being, in order to achieve aca­d­e­mic success.

To read the reports or for more infor­ma­tion:

New(ish) report: Researchers of Tomorrow: the research behaviour of Generation Y doctoral students

The UK Joint Infor­ma­tion Sys­tems Com­mit­tee and the British Library have just released a major (17,00 stu­dent) study of the behav­iors and beliefs of “Gen­er­a­tion Y” (eg born 1983–1992) doc­toral stu­dents involv­ing social media, infor­ma­tion access, and related matters.

A press release includ­ing some sum­mary of the find­ings, and point­ers to the entire report, are at:

You can down­load the report at

New report: Participatory Design in Academic Libraries

report coverThe Coun­cil on Library and Infor­ma­tion Resources has just issued a new report titled Par­tic­i­pa­tory Design in Aca­d­e­mic Libraries: Meth­ods, Find­ings, and Imple­men­ta­tionsThis is a web-only report.

Par­tic­i­pa­tory design is an approach to build­ing spaces, ser­vices, and tools where the peo­ple who will use them par­tic­i­pate cen­trally in com­ing up with con­cepts and then design­ing the actual products.

The papers in this vol­ume, writ­ten by librar­i­ans and IT pro­fes­sion­als from 12 col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties, report on user research and par­tic­i­pa­tory design projects. All of the authors attended work­shops and then dove fear­lessly into projects with as lit­tle as two days of train­ing. Nancy Fried Fos­ter pro­vides an intro­duc­tion to the report.

The authors wanted to learn how their stu­dents or fac­ulty mem­bers do their aca­d­e­mic work. Their reports share new meth­ods of approach­ing endur­ing ques­tions and offer a num­ber of use­ful and inter­est­ing find­ings. They make a good case for par­tic­i­pa­tory design of aca­d­e­mic libraries.

ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2012

The 2012 ECAR Study of Under­gra­date Stu­dents and Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy was released last month.Here is a great info­graphic released to show the findings.



To read the full report, visit:


Webinar: Communicating Through Infographics

Have you noticed the grow­ing trend of com­mu­ni­cat­ing through info­graph­ics? Do you won­der where the data comes from and how to ver­ify infor­ma­tion dis­played in visual form? Would you rather read a 100 page report or look at a visual pre­sen­ta­tion that con­veys the story in less than one minute? Would you like to tell a com­pelling story about your library through the medium of infographics?

Visual rep­re­sen­ta­tion of infor­ma­tion has existed for hun­dreds of years in var­i­ous forms and for­mats. Info­graph­ics (infor­ma­tion graph­ics) rep­re­sent the lat­est visual form to gain pop­u­lar­ity. Telling an effec­tive story through info­graph­ics requires accu­rate data, com­pelling design, and visu­al­iza­tion tools.

Dur­ing this one-hour webi­nar, we will dis­cuss and demonstrate:

  • blogs and info­graphic search resources to find exam­ples and track trends
  • dif­fer­ences between info­graph­ics, poster art, and data visualization
  • com­mon data sources used in info­graph­ics (big data and local sources)
  • sug­gest library-specific data and sta­tis­tics appro­pri­ate for visual presentation
  • visu­al­iza­tion tools for experimentation

Title: Com­mu­ni­cat­ing Through Info­graph­ics
Pre­sen­ter: Dawne Tor­torella
Date: Wednes­day, Novem­ber 14, 2012
Start Time: 12–1 Pacific
Price: Free!

This webi­nar will be of inter­est to library staff at all lev­els and in all types of libraries who need to present infor­ma­tion to cus­tomers, stake­hold­ers, and man­age­ment. Senior staff and direc­tors respon­si­ble for board report­ing are espe­cially encour­aged to attend.

Please note: we have changed host­ing ser­vices fromWe­bEx to Adobe Con­nect, so we advise you to test your browser before the webi­nar:
For more webi­nar tips, see:

For more infor­ma­tion and to par­tic­i­pate in the Wednes­day, Novem­ber 14, 2012 webi­nar, go to

If you are unable to attend the live event, you can access the archived ver­sion the day fol­low­ing the webi­nar. Check our archive list­ing at:

New study: ‘Discovering the Impact of Library Use and Student Performance’

How do we mea­sure the impact library use has on stu­dent per­for­mance? A recent EDUCAUSE Review online pub­li­ca­tion by Brian Cox and Margi Jantti describes an excit­ing study out of the Uni­ver­sity of Wol­lon­gong Library in Aus­tralia that tries to address just that question.

The study explores the chal­lenge of how libraries can col­lect data from a vari­ety of library sys­tems and then make con­nec­tions between data sources in order to demon­strate library value.

One of the most promis­ing aspects of their efforts involves the devel­op­ment of the ‘Library Cube,’ ‘a tai­lored data­base and report­ing func­tion that joins library usage data with stu­dent data,  includ­ing demo­graphic and aca­d­e­mic per­for­mance information.’

Read the full arti­cle here:

Using Discovery Teams for Space Needs Assessment

A recent thread on the ASSESS — Assess­ment in Higher Edu­ca­tion list­serv dealt with space assess­ment for libraries. One of the post­ings con­cerned a recent project at Vir­gina Tech Uni­ver­sity Libraries, which involved set­ting up a num­ber of ‘Dis­cov­ery Teams’ to find out how stu­dents were using the library:

In an effort to pre­pare for upcom­ing ren­o­va­tions the Uni­ver­sity Libraries formed “dis­cov­ery teams” to bet­ter under­stand how stu­dents use space and tech­nol­ogy for their aca­d­e­mic endeav­ors. Based on the deep dive method­ol­ogy of IDEO, the library assem­bled vol­un­teers to explore a vari­ety of themes dur­ing the Spring 2012 semes­ter. Teams con­sisted of forty-seven peo­ple includ­ing librar­i­ans, instruc­tors, staff, under­grad­u­ates, grad­u­ate stu­dents, advi­sors, and administrators.”

Reports on key themes from the var­i­ous dis­cov­ery teams (includ­ing media pro­duc­tion, knowl­edge cre­ation, tech­nol­ogy, study habits of indi­vid­u­als, and group col­lab­o­ra­tion)  are avail­able on the Vir­ginia Tech Uni­ver­sity Libraries web­site:

Call for papers — RUSA Research and Statistics Committee

This recently came through the ili-l (infor­ma­tion lit­er­acy) list­serv — one of the top­ics men­tioned in the call for papers is ‘ref­er­ence effec­tive­ness and assess­ment’:


The Research and Sta­tis­tics Com­mit­tee of the Ref­er­ence Ser­vices Sec­tion of RUSA invites the sub­mis­sion of research projects for pre­sen­ta­tion at the 19th Ref­er­ence Research Forum at the 2013 Amer­i­can Library Asso­ci­a­tion Annual Con­fer­ence in Chicago, IL.

The Ref­er­ence Research Forum con­tin­ues to be one of the most pop­u­lar and valu­able pro­grams dur­ing the ALA Annual Con­fer­ence, where atten­dees can learn about notable research projects con­ducted in the broad area of ref­er­ence ser­vices such as user behav­ior, elec­tronic ser­vices, ref­er­ence effec­tive­ness and assess­ment, and orga­ni­za­tional struc­ture and per­son­nel. All researchers, includ­ing ref­er­ence prac­ti­tion­ers from all types of libraries, library school fac­ulty and stu­dents, and other inter­ested indi­vid­u­als, are encour­aged to sub­mit a proposal.

For exam­ples of projects pre­sented at past Forums, please see the Committee’s web­site:

The Com­mit­tee employs a blind review process to select three projects for 20-minute pre­sen­ta­tions, fol­lowed by open dis­cus­sion. Selected sub­mis­sions must be pre­sented in per­son at the Forum in Chicago, IL.

Cri­te­ria for selection:

• Qual­ity and cre­ativ­ity of the research design and methodologies;

• Sig­nif­i­cance of the study for improv­ing the qual­ity of ref­er­ence service;

• Poten­tial for research to fill a gap in ref­er­ence knowl­edge or to build on pre­vi­ous studies;

• Research projects may be in-progress or completed;

• Pre­vi­ously pub­lished research or research accepted for pub­li­ca­tion will not be accepted.

Pro­pos­als are due by Mon­day, Decem­ber 31, 2012. Noti­fi­ca­tion of accep­tance will be made by Mon­day, Feb­ru­ary 11, 2013. The sub­mis­sion must not exceed two pages. Please include:

1. A cover sheet includ­ing your name(s), title(s), insti­tu­tional affiliation(s), mail­ing address(es), fax number(s) and email address(es).

2. The sec­ond page should NOT show your name, any per­sonal infor­ma­tion, or the name of your insti­tu­tion. Instead, it must include:

a. Title of the project;

b. Explicit state­ment of the research problem;

c. Descrip­tion of the research design and method­olo­gies used, and pre­lim­i­nary find­ings if any;

d. Brief dis­cus­sion of the unique con­tri­bu­tion, poten­tial impact, and sig­nif­i­cance of the research.

Please send sub­mis­sions by email to: Lynda Duke, Chair, RUSA RSS Research and Sta­tis­tics Com­mit­tee,