Minutes of October 5, 2011 Meeting

Katie Anderson, Stephanie Bartz, Natalie Borisovets, Jeanne Boyle (guest), Joseph Deodato, Mary Fetzer, Judy Gardner, Rebecca Gardner, Qian Hu, Dave Kuzma, Jackie Mardikian, John Maxymuk (remote), Kevin Mulcahy, Cathy Pecoraro, Françoise Puniello, Tibor Purger, Li Sun, Gideon Thompson, Roberta Tipton, Christine Wolff (guest)

1. Approval of Agenda

Agenda unanimously approved.

2. Reminder about Minutes (K. Anderson & K. Mulcahy)

Mulcahy reminded everyone that minutes are now to be distributed within one week from the date of USC meetings and approved via email.

3. Web Board Report (J. Gardner & T. Purger)

Purger and Gardner reported on the previous week's open Web Board meeting in which all members of the RUL community were invited to review and comment upon the current progress of the website redesign. A series of presentations were offered on key aspects such as information architecture, search, and mobile development. Those unable to attend can view these presentations and submit their comments via the web redesign site (a link to this site can be found on Staff Resources page).

Purger presented a wireframe demonstrating the proposed conceptual layout for the website including its navigational structure, labels, and content elements. Content is organized into five major categories and arranged within a series of mega menus labeled “Find”, “Services”, “Help”, “Tools”, and "About." Also included is an unobtrusive slide out menu labeled "Quick Links" (modeled after the RU "Quickfinder" menu) that provides persistent access to commonly requested information and services. The homepage is organized into a series of content blocks that include a library search apparatus, reference services, a dynamic spotlight feature, user group portals, and news and events. Also included are dedicated content blocks for RUcore and Special Collections/University Archives. Purger noted that the proposed layout illustrates three important characteristics: 1) an attempt to achieve a more efficient navigational structure through the use of hierarchical menus, 2) a conscious effort to limit jargon and adopt more user-friendly language, 3) built-in redundancy to allow multiple paths to the same information.

J. Gardner presented a series of prototypes developed for the library search apparatus. To clarify, she began by explaining what the search apparatus is not:

Instead, the search apparatus is intended to function more like a decision-making tool that helps guide users to the most appropriate resource for their particular information need. Its development was guided by five key principles:

  1. Simplicity (easy to use for the greatest number of users)
  2. Task orientation (focused on user tasks rather than library systems)
  3. Plain language (free of jargon)
  4. Progressive disclosure (layered search options)
  5. Portability (easy to repackage and deploy in other applications)

The search team settled on a tabbed search interface that would provide access to the most commonly used library resources. Each tab corresponds to a particular type of resource (Books & Media, Articles, Journals, Databases, and Reserves) and includes one or more search targets and search options. Each target includes a context-sensitive scope note that tells the user more information about the resource being searched and provides a link to related help content. Each target also offers a link to the advanced search options available from the native interface. Four prototypes (A, B, C, and D) were drafted ranging from the most to the least complex. Only version A has been made functional.

General discussion about the prototypes ensued. J. Gardner noted that this was neither the first nor the final iteration of the search apparatus and encouraged everyone to submit their feedback via the comment form on the web redesign site.

Purger presented a prototype for the RUL mobile site. It currently offers three core services for mobile users: library catalog, hours & directions, and Ask-A-Librarian. Additional features and services will be incorporated into later releases. A university-wide mobile app is scheduled to launch later this month, pending certain legal issues and approval by Apple. The RUL mobile site will be included as one of the content channels within the RU app container.

Due to time constraints, the opportunity for comments was limited. It was suggested that a discussion board on the USC Sakai site be started for continuing the conversation for a follow-up discussion to the next USC meeting agenda.

4. Intermission for Art Library Candidate Presentation

The meeting was temporarily adjourned from 10:20am-11:10am for the Art Librarian candidate presentation.

5. Counting Opinions (J. Boyle)

Boyle offered an overview of Counting Opinions, the software used for data collecting and reporting at RUL. She introduced Christine Wolff, Project Coordinator for Planning and Organizational Research, who has assisted her in managing the system.

Counting Opinions is composed of two services: LibSat and LibPAS.

LibSat is the online survey tool used for collecting user satisfaction data. It was launched in October 2009. Over the last two years, RUL has collected over 2,000 responses. Of the respondents, 30% opted to complete the in-depth survey. Boyle hopes to increase response rates by increasing the frequency of the pop-up survey prompt on the RUL website for a limited period of time.

The survey collects data on user satisfaction with a wide range of library resources and services such as staff, facilities, equipment, and collections. Satisfaction is assessed according to a 7- point Likert scale. Few services scored lower than 5. Boyle suggested taking a closer look at comments for services that scored lower than 5. Reports have been reviewed, coded, and uploaded to a Sakai site called RUL Assessment Reports. Anyone interested in viewing the reports can contact Wolff (christine.wolff@rutgers.edu) for access. The site currently has 62 members.

LibPAS is the tool used for collecting library performance data such as number of service hours, volumes, instruction sessions, etc. This is the data that gets reported annually to national organizations such ARL and NCES. LibPAS allows unit coordinators to enter their data directly into the system. The system includes definitions for all data elements. Boyle and Wolff have set up user accounts and met with all units regarding data entry procedures. The next step will be configuring the reporting module.

6. Reference Statistics Reporting (J. Boyle)

Boyle discussed the need to establish standard definitions and procedures for collecting reference statistics. She distributed the 2010-11 ARL questionnaire instructions, which includes the ARL definition of a reference transaction (page 6-7).

Discussion ensued over the various types and meanings of reference desk transactions. With regards to the question of whether to count questions or questioners, Boyle recommended the former. While it was acknowledged that one question often leads to others ("Do you have this book?" "Where do I find it?"), some pointed out the occasional challenges of differentiating between questions. For example, is a user that inquires about the availability of three different books asking three different questions? Mulcahy suggested counting as a new question only those inquiries that represent a radical departure from the previous (as when a student asks questions pertaining to two different assignments).

Mulcahy reiterated the need to formulate clear and agreed upon definitions and practices in order to produce useful data. He expressed hope that USC's plans to review the READ scale will continue the discussion and help clarify these matters further.

7. AUL & IIS Director Reports (M. Fetzer)

Only the AUL-RIS was present at this time. There was nothing to report.

8. Announcements

No announcements.

9. Agenda for next meeting

10. Adjournment

Meeting was adjourned at 12:00pm

Submitted by Joseph Deodato

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/usr/minutes/usrmin_11_10_05.shtml
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