STAFF RESOURCES

User Survey 1999

Initial Report

In November 1999, a random survey was conducted on users of all the Rutgers University Libraries. The survey instrument was the work of the Assessment Committee: Susan Beck, Emily Fabiano, Judy Gardner, Nancy Hendrickson, Ann Montanaro, Samson Soong (Chair), Adeline Tallau, Farideh Tehrani, and Ann Watkins.

A preliminary questionnaire had been tested and some changes had been made before it was finalized. The survey was handed out at random times in all the Rutgers University Libraries and was also placed online for voluntary responses during the week of November 15-21, 1999. A copy of the questionnaire appears as Appendix A. The online survey is attached here as Appendix B. A copy of the schedule for the random times appears as Appendix C. (not available on this online version).

No complete count of the number of questionnaires handed out at the various libraries is available. A maximum of 640 could have been handed out. The returned questionnaires were numbered sequentially. Fifteen blank questionnaires had been numbered by mistake and six were unusable. The final number of coded questionnaires was 2,961. The number of usable questionnaires returned by each library is shown in Table 1.

TABLE 1

LibraryAmount Returned
  
Alcohol Studies14
Alexander294
Annex2
Art266
Chang240
Chemistry180
Dana178
Douglass380
Kilmer336
LSM311
Mathematics158
Physics116
Robeson305
SMLR9
Online172
Total2961

The data was coded for SPSS and entered into a single file, according a coding scheme which was developed to cover all the questions as well as possible answers. A copy of the coding scheme is attached as Appendix D. In the course of analysis, several variables were re-coded to enhance the responses. Frequency tables summarizing the responses to all survey questions are attached as Appendix E. The number next to each frequency table corresponds to the penciled-in number shown next to the particular question to which the users responded.

The first group of questions dealt with what the respondent did in the library that day. Table 2 details all the responses. Because these questions could not be asked in the same way online as in person, the "Missing Value" category represents the 172 online questionnaires. Question 14 ("Miscellaneous") refers to activities other than those listed in this category. If no success level was specified for a written- in activity, the responses were assigned to "Success (Unspecified)." Table 3 indicates rates of user success in these activities. The total of "much success" (25%) and "complete success"(54%) is almost 80%!

Some questions in the survey also asked about the level of ease which library users had in using electronic resources and services. Table 4 details all the responses to these questions, and Table 5 outlines the rates of ease they experienced. Close to 75% of the users indicated that using these resources and services was "rather easy" (27%) or "very easy" (47%).

A number of cross-tabulations, each using 2 or 3 variables (i.e. questions), and further analyses are being prepared. Additional findings will be shared through a future report.

April 24, 2000

To: Cabinet
From: Samson Soong
Re: User Survey 1999: an Initial Report

Attached please find a report on the 1999 users' survey which was conducted both in the libraries and online during November 1999. The initial findings of this survey are encouraging. The Assessment Committee would like to continue to work on the data and analyze the responses further. Once there are additional findings, they will be shared.

Cc: Assessment Committee

Table 2: Success in Library Activities

ACTIVITY NO SUCCESS LITTLE SUCCESS SOME SUCCESS MUCH SUCCESS COMPLETE SUCCESS DID NOT DO SUCCESS (UNSPEC) MISSING VALUE NO ANSWER ROW TOTAL
Look for Books 45 51 171 295 372 1689 0 172 166 2961
Look for Journals 39 60 166 250 364 1733 0 172 177 2961
Look for Gov. Doc. 23 21 58 75 70 2299 0 172 243 2961
Used Reserve 19 18 64 116 330 1997 0 172 245 2961
Used Copiers 52 46 122 179 549 1641 0 172 200 2961
Used Microforms 19 13 54 99 122 2201 0 172 281 2961
Studied Own Materials 28 29 131 393 1125 886 0 172 197 2961
Used Group Study 30 25 55 102 201 2136 0 172 240 2961
Sought Reference Assistance 24 14 62 146 284 2029 0 172 230 2961
Instructional Session 16 13 48 111 134 2204 0 172 263 2961
Used Computer (Library Research) 41 32 114 312 725 1362 0 172 203 2961
Used Computer (Other Research) 47 32 87 230 724 1421 0 172 248 2961
Picked Up ILL 24 20 44 83 153 2213 0 172 252 2961
Miscellaneous 25 3 21 35 132 1517 15 173 1040 2961


Table 3: Rates of User Success in Library Activities


ACTIVITY NO SUCCESS % LITTLE SUCCESS % SOME SUCCESS % MUCH SUCCESS % COMPLETE SUCCESS % ROW TOTALS TOTAL %
Look for Books 45 5% 51 5% 171 18% 295 32% 372 40% 934 100%
Look for Journals 39 4% 60 7% 166 19% 250 28% 364 41% 879 100%
Look for Gov. Doc. 23 9% 21 9% 58 23% 75 30% 70 28% 247 100%
Used Reserve 19 3% 18 3% 64 12% 116 21% 330 60% 547 100%
Used Copiers 52 5% 46 5% 122 13% 179 19% 549 58% 948 100%
Used Microforms 19 6% 13 4% 54 18% 99 32% 122 40% 307 100%
Studied Own Materials 28 2% 29 2% 131 8% 393 23% 1125 66% 1706 100%
Used Group Study 30 7% 25 6% 55 13% 102 25% 201 49% 413 100%
Sought Reference Assistance 24 5% 14 3% 62 12% 146 28% 284 54% 530 100%
Instructional Session 16 5% 13 4% 48 15% 111 34% 134 42% 322 100%
Used Computer (Library Research) 41 3% 32 3% 114 9% 312 25% 725 59% 1224 100%
Used Computer (Other Research) 47 4% 32 3% 87 8% 230 21% 724 65% 1120 100%
Picked Up ILL 24 7% 20 6% 44 14% 83 26% 153 47% 324 100%
Miscellaneous 25 12% 3 1% 21 10% 35 16% 132 61% 216 100%

Table 4: Ease in Using Library Services

ACTIVITY NO EASE LITTLE EASE SOME EASE RATHER EASY VERY EASY DID NOT USE NO ANSWER ROW TOTALS
IRIS 31 63 296 650 1209 596 116 2961
Electronic Journals 80 120 312 448 389 1423 189 2961
Online Indexes/Abstracts/Databases 79 147 342 462 525 1214 192 2961
Research Guides/Finding Aides 55 108 257 357 365 1568 251 2961
Internet 32 42 194 478 1702 387 126 2961
Ask a Librarian 58 63 277 398 715 0 1450 2961
Request via Online Catalog 80 58 306 483 736 0 1298 2961
Request non-Rutgers Item 108 63 304 296 378 0 1812 2961
Renew Book via Self Services 96 43 233 272 740 0 1577 2961
                 
Column Totals 619 707 2521 3844 6759 5188 7011 26649

Table 5: Rates of Ease in Using Library Resources and Services

ACTIVITY NO EASE % LITTLE EASE % SOME EASE % RATHER EASY % VERY EASY % ROW TOTALS TOTAL %
IRIS 31 1% 63 3% 296 13% 650 29% 1209 54% 2249 100%
Electronic Journals 80 6% 120 9% 312 23% 448 33% 389 29% 1349 100%
Online Indexes/Abstracts/Databases 79 5% 147 9% 342 22% 462 30% 525 34% 1555 100%
Research Guides/Finding Aides 55 5% 108 9% 257 23% 357 31% 365 32% 1142 100%
Internet 32 1% 42 2% 194 8% 478 20% 1702 70% 2448 100%
Ask a Librarian 58 4% 63 4% 277 18% 398 26% 715 47% 1511 100%
Request via Online Catalog 80 5% 58 3% 306 18% 483 29% 736 44% 1663 100%
Request non-Rutgers Item 108 9% 63 5% 304 26% 296 26% 378 33% 1149 100%
Renew Book via Self Services 96 7% 43 3% 233 17% 272 20% 740 53% 1384 100%
                         
Column Totals 619 4% 707 5% 2521 17% 3844 27% 6759 47% 14450 100%

Appendix A: Questionnaire

Rutgers University Libraries Users' Survey 1999

Please take about 5 minutes to complete this users' survey. The data will be used to improve library services. Thank you!

1. What did you do in the library today? For each of your activities, circle the number on a scale of 1 to 5 that best describes how successful you were. If you did not do the activity, please circle the X.

						        						Did   
                                                                                                        Not      
				                	Not		   	    Completely		Do			
                                                	Successful   ---------------Successful          Today
A.   Looked for books		 	       	        1	2	3	4	5	  	X

B.   Looked for periodicals/journals/
	magazines/newspapers		        	1	2	3	4	5	  	X

C.   Looked for government documents	        	1	2	3	4	5	  	X
 
D.   Used course reserve books or photocopies   	1	2	3	4	5	  	X

E.   Used photocopy machines		        	1	2	3	4	5	  	X

F.   Used microfilm/fiche machines			1	2	3	4	5	  	X

G.   Studied (used own materials)			1	2	3	4	5	  	X

H.   Used group study room		         	1	2	3	4	5	  	X

I.   Sought reference assistance			1	2	3	4	5	  	X

J.   Attended instructional session on use of library
	materials, electronic resources	        	1	2	3	4	5	  	X

K.   Used computer workstation for library research	1	2	3	4	5	  	X

L.   Used computer workstation for other purposes	1	2	3	4	5		X	(e.g. word processing)

M.   Picked up interlibrary loan material or
        material sent from another Rutgers library 	1	2	3	4	5		X

N.   Other (please specify) ____________________	1	2	3	4	5		X

2. Today's library visit was PRIMARILY in support of (Please circle one):

	Course work		Research unrelated to a specific course                     Teaching

	Current awareness	A Mix of purposes	Other (please specify) _____________________

3. Which ELECTRONIC resources have you used this semester? For each resource, circle the number on a scale of 1 to 5 that best describes how easy it was to use. If you did not use the resource, please circle the X.

											   
                                                                                           Did Not  
						Not at all Easy ------------Very easy	   use

A.   IRIS (The Online Catalog)			1	2	3	4	5	     X

B.   Electronic Journals			1	2	3	4	5	     X

C.   Online Indexes/Abstracts/Databases		1	2	3	4	5	     X

D.   Research guides/finding aids		1	2	3	4	5	     X

E.   The Internet				1	2	3	4	5	     X

4. How often have you used the following Rutgers University Library ONLINE services this semester (Circle the frequency)?

A.   "Ask a Librarian" service	         	Daily		Weekly		Monthly	Few (1-3) times		Never

B.   Request an item at Rutgers
	via the online catalog	        	Daily		Weekly		Monthly	Few (1-3) times		Never	

C.   Request an item not owned by Rutgers	Daily		Weekly		Monthly	Few (1-3) times		Never    
	
D.   Renew a book via SELF SERVICES     	Daily		Weekly		Monthly	Few (1-3) times		Never	        	

For each service you used, circle the number on a scale of 1 to 5 that best describes how easy it was to use.

					

							Not at all Easy ---------------Very easy

A.    "Ask a Librarian" service				1	2	3	4	5

B.   Request an item at Rutgers via the online catalog	1	2	3	4	5

C.   Request an item not owned by Rutgers		1	2	3	4	5

D.   Renew a book via SELF SERVICES			1	2	3	4	5
*************************************************************************************************************

5. Your field of study (check one):

      ___ Art & Humanities            ___ Social Sciences             ___ Sciences & Technology 

      ___ Other (please  specify) ____________________________

Rutgers Users please answer # 6; Other users please answer #7
6. Check your current Rutgers status:

    a. 	___ Undergraduate student	b. Campus affiliation:

	___ Graduate Student			___ Camden 

	___ Faculty				___ Newark

	___ Staff				___ New Brunswick

	___ Alumnus
    c.  Please specify your current college/school/department  ______________________________________________

    d.  Do you take Rutgers courses at a remote location (e.g. Western Monmouth, Altantic City )?      ____ yes           ____ no

7. Other Users please check the appropriate status and affiliation:

    a. UMDNJ: 				       b. NJIT		        c. Rowan		            d.  Camden County

     ___  Faculty ___  Camden			____ Faculty		____ Faculty 			____ Faculty

     ___  Student ___  N.B./Piscatway		____ Student		____ Student			____ Student

     ___  Staff      ___ Newark			____ Staff		____ Staff			____ Staff
    e. If you are a UMDNJ, NJIT, Rowan, or Camden County student, are you enrolled in a Rutgers course this semester?    

										       _____ yes            ______ no			 		

    f.  Other College/University:    ___ Faculty        ___Student        ___ Staff 

               (please specify school) ________________________________________________

    g.  High school student (please specify school) ___________________________________

    h.  Other (please specify) ____________________________________________________

Thank you for your time, your comments are valuable to us.


 
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