The results of the 1999 survey were compared with that of the 1991 Survey. The responses to those questions which were asked both in 1999 and 1991 suggest that there have been improvements in a number of areas. The means of the 1999 responses are generally higher than the 1991 responses. The increases or the net gains range from .25 to .50. For instance, with "5" denoting "completely successful", the 1991 mean was 3.73 while the 1999 mean was 4.23 to the question on "Sought Reference Assistance".
The committee initially wanted to develop a brief survey for those graduate students who have been at Rutgers for more than one year but have not registered as a library user and conduct such a survey via e-mail. As their e-mail address information is not readily available, the group discussed the desirability of doing a special brief survey targeting at those graduate students who have provided the Libraries with their e-mail address. Judy Gardner and Emily Fabiano will bring to the next meeting a number of specific questions to be considered by the committee. At the same time, Ann Montanaro will find out how many such students there are in our patron file and see if they are currently borrowing library materials.
Due to the appeal and usefulness of special surveys, it was suggested that we conduct general large-scale users' surveys only once every five years. On-line questionnaires or email surveys should be used effectively to collect data needed to do assessment and analyses which inform our decisions on services and resources. System-generated data should also be better explored and utilized.
The committee will have a meeting on Oct. 18 with Janice Ballau, Diector of the Center for Public Interest Polling at Eagleton Institute at which to review techniques used for conducting user surveys, focus group meetings, and individual interviews. We would like to discuss issues related to how to phrase survey questions, order of questions in a questionnaire, frequency of surveys, sampling sizes.
Judy Gardner reported on the current imprint/priority order trial. Between February and August this year, a total of 66 titles of current imprints were ordered as a result of ILL requests. These items were ordered and received on a fast track and the average per title price is about $40. These items are added to the appropriate libraries. Users are very satisfied with this service. Collection Development Council at its last meeting reviewed the results of this trial and recommended that it be continued. Interlibrary Loan Services will continue to monitor this new service closely.