There was a discussion on using quantitative and qualitative data. "Quantitative", in general, refers to numeric data (system logs, budgetary data), and "qualitative" refers to survey, questionnaire, interview, or focus groups data. Quantitative measures tell us about extensiveness (extent of use), efficiency, and economy; qualitative measures tell us about excellence (service quality), effectiveness (impact), and usefulness. While we would like to explore both quantitative and qualitative data, we want to make full use of automation wherever possible and make optimum use of limited staff resources. We initially may focus more on system usage log analyses.
Ann Montanaro planned to prepare a report on the use of ProQuest titles during the month of September comparing online use with RUL holdings. In the two months we had ProQuest in trial we received the report shortly after the end of the month. When she had not received the report by last week she called ProQuest to ask about it and was told they changed their software and the report was delayed. We will do the study when we have the report. In addition, since IDEAL currently gives us reports on search information without details, we will try to ask IDEAL to supply us with information on search activities by journal title which will allow as to do assessment of its usage by our users.
The committee wanted to identify additional areas in which to apply assessment techniques, with specific goals and benefits. Realizing that sampling will be needed in some cases, we agreed that it is useful for us to have statistical information and data to answer the following questions:
For Online Rutgers Request Service (RRS), How often is the online RRS form used by users (by undergraduates, by graduate students, by faculty )? In general, how quickly is the RRS request filled? How many "On-Order," "In-Process," or "Checked Out" items are requested thru the RRS service? How many photocopies or reproductions are requested thru the RRS service? How many monographs and other items are requested thru the RRS service? How many requested items are not being picked up by the requestors?
For Online ILL service, How often is the online ILL form used by users (by undergraduates, by graduate students, by faculty )? In general, how quickly is the request filled? How many photocopies or reproductions are requested thru the online ILL service? How many monographs and other items are requested thru the online ILL service? How many requested items are not being picked up by the requestors?
For "Ask a Librarian", How many questions are posed thru "Ask a Librarian"? How many are asked by non-Rutgers people? How quickly our response is often sent? How often do users visit the "Frequently-Asked-Questions" list? And, how many librarians are answering questions via E-mail outside "Ask a Librarian"?
In addition to assessment of collections and electronic resources, we will discuss at our next meeting other service related issues we may want to address. For instance, How many users access library electronic resources/services from terminals in the libraries? from terminals connected to the university computer network? or, by connecting directly to the university computer network via their own computer, modem and telecommunications software? Is it easy to access library electronic resources/services by these means? How often are the electronic indexes, E-journals, and subject webguides accessed? How often is the SELF SERVICES function used by users (by undergraduates, graduate students, faculty)? How often do users renew their checkouts online? How often do the users search by author, title, subject, periodical title, or "search everything"? How often is the "call number browsing" function used? How often are "other number searches" used? By ISSN, ISBN, SUDOC number, or music publisher? How often the keyword function is used? By author keyword, title keyword, subject keyword, series keyword, or by "keyword(s) anywhere"? How often do the user search the reserve collection by the instructor's name, by the course number, or by the course name? How often do users E-mail results from their IRIS searches?
The next meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Friday, December 11 in the conference room on the 3rd floor of Alexander Library.