There will be an ARL E-metrics meeting for the 2003 participating libraries at U Penn's Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center on Saturday, January 25. There will also be a general information session on LibQUAL at ALA mid-winter on Friday, January 24. To learn more about these programs, committee members are encouraged to attend these meetings if they will be at ALA and their schedule permits. Samson has also asked Sam McDonald to add to the Assessment Committee webpage a number of useful links, i.e. Interactive ARL Statistics, ARL New Measures Initiative, LibQUAL, the E-Metrics Project, Assessing Learning Outcomes, VALE Assessment Committee (see http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/assessment_com/useful_links.shtml).
Samson reported that he participated in a small group meeting with Bill Kavanagh, the consultant who will make recommendations to President McCormick on an administrative reorganization. At the meeting, Samson pointed out that library services are well received by the university user community. Samson also mentioned that graduating seniors surveyed annually by Institutional Research consistently give the Libraries the highest and most favorable rating. Such favorable impression and high satisfaction with library services among various user groups, ranging from undergraduate students to faculty members, are confirmed by surveys conducted by the Assessment Committee. Some of the suggestions made by the users also helped further improve our newer services, e.g. E-Reserves. The committee members agreed, however, that more specific questions in our surveys can lead to more useful comments than general type of questions.
Rutgers University Libraries have received an invitation to join the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc. (PALCI) – the first library outside Pennsylvania to be invited. As a first step in assessing the feasibility of this new partnership, Rutgers has agreed to participate in a pilot project during the coming spring semester that will let us try out and assess the PALCI statewide borrowing program. Several Assessment Committee members are also on the PALCI pilot project planning committee. They indicated that statistical data are going to be collected to help assess this new partnership.
One of the Libraries' FY2003 goals is to develop quality indicators/measures for excellence that align with our mission, vision, and values. (See the Nov 17 issue of the Agenda at http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/agenda/agenda_02/agenda_02-11-17.shtml) The Cabinet has been trying to develop such indicators to be further discussed by other appropriate library committees and/or councils. For instance, for network availability and networked services and resources availability, a suggested indicator could be that unscheduled downtime is no more than 5% of the time. Some Committee members feel that having overarching goal or target statements for boarder areas (i.e. acquisition and delivery of resources, preserving resources, information services, stack maintenance, communications, internal and external collaboration, library staffing, professional development, space, etc.) would make these individual indicators more useful or meaningful.
As full development of these quality indicators may take the rest of the fiscal year, the Committee identified three areas to focus on: 1) learning more about LibQUAL in the coming months in order to make a recommendation on our possible participation in the LibQUAL program by the end of the current fiscal year. 2) being better prepared to support the other goal of the Libraries: Establish[ing] process for regular review and improvement of key processes. The Committee agreed that it would work better if the Cabinet select a core process area in which we test the process assessment/improvement tool we have identified. Samson will talk to Sherrie Tromp who came to one of our meetings to present her process improvement tool to see if she has specific suggestions at this time. For instance, one of us could serve as a facilitator for a process using this tool somewhere to become more familiar with the process. 3) Acquiring additional analytical skills, such SPSS, to support our assessment activities. A number of committee members already know how to use SPSS, others would like to learn. We will try to identify a good instructor and explore the possibility of sponsoring a course on SPSS in the Spring.
The next committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 at 9:30 am in the Library Administration conference room.