Minutes of July 17, 2002 Meeting

Mary Fraser, Judy Gardner, Samson Soong, Farideh Tehrani, Ann Watkins

The committee welcomed Mary Fraser, Head of SMLR Library, as a new member of the Assessment Committee. Addie Tallau has taken early retirement, but she intends to share with us in the near future additional analyses she has done with the E-journal survey data set.

Samson reported that he and Nancy Hendrickson have been working with SCC to develop new Web-based forms for reporting library statistics. They have also involved a number of people from various library units and those who provide system- wide statistical data to test the online forms. The initial testing occurred in May and the feedback from the testers was shared with the programmer who made necessary changes and adjustments to the Web forms. Additional testing has also been done. The new web forms are pretty intuitive which also provide online definitions for all the fields. Since the earliest time people can begin to enter new FY statistics is after they have collected the July data, the rollout of the new web forms will take place late in July or early in August. The complexity of the programming, however, was caused by the need to consolidate the data entered separately by individual units and system-wide departments, to calculate and explode sampling statistics in regular or short months, and to display properly the aggregated data online by month and year.

ARL has invited all interested ARL member libraries to participate in the pilot E-metrics project, one of the ARL New Measures Initiatives, to further develop and test the proposed measures on electronic networked services and resources. In addition, a study assessing ILL/DD, focusing on the performance of mediated and user-initiated (unmediated) interlibrary loan/document delivery operations, will also be undertaken as the ARL New Measures Initiative. The Committee discussed the desirability and practicability of participating in these projects. After discussions, we decided to recommend to the Cabinet that we do not participate in the new ILL/DD study. While we don't doubt the usefulness of the new ILL/DD study which is intended to expand and update the 1997 ILL/DD performance measures study, the current and forthcoming activities in the areas of ILL/DD at Rutgers suggest that we would not be able to engage adequately in another activity.

The committee would like to recommend that Rutgers participate in the next phase of the E-Metrics project. The E- Metrics project is an effort to explore the feasibility of defining and collecting data on the use and value of electronic resources. 24 ARL libraries participated in the initial phases to develop and test the measures. The definitions of the 19 proposed measures, suggested data sources and other related information regarding these measures are outlined in a powerpoint presenstation which is available at http://www.arl.org/stats/newmeas/emetrics/module_3_files/v3_document.htm

The definitions and data sources to be used and other related issues are likely to be further refined as a result of additional testing. Given our large investments in electronic and digital resources and services, most of these measurements, if not all of them, are measures we are interested in or on which we ought to have data information. As a matter of fact, we are collecting some of these data (only in a somewhat less systematic manner). If the Assessment Committee works with appropriate individuals or departments, we should make the project more manageable.

The group discussed briefly the need to expand the current committee membership. While it is useful to involve additional individuals with assessment related skills and interests, these people do not have to become committee members or may not be able to serve due to other assignments or duties. We will revisit this topic after we have set our goals for the coming year.

Since some committee members were not present, the agenda item on goal-setting for 2002/03 year was postponed to the next meeting. One of the possible goals is to identify or develop a easy-to-use process assessment tool to be used for assessing various library processes. Due to more limited resources, assessing and improving various library processes will be of greater importance. TAS, for instance, has recently begun to do an internal workflow analysis in order to improve its procedures and processes. Samson shared with the committee two QCI publications, "Process Improvement in Higher Education" by Sherrie Tromp, Diana Warner, Brent Rubin, and David Waldman, and "Root Cause Analysis" by Sherrie Tromp and Diana Warner, both of which include descriptions of simple approaches and steps to do process assessment and analysis. We will invite Sherrie Tromp to come to one of our coming meetings to discuss the process analysis strategies described in these books.

Two Assessment Committee meetings are scheduled:
Wednesday, August 28 at 9:30 a.m.
Wednesday, September 25 at 9:30 a.m.

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/assessment_com/minutes/assessment_02_07_17.shtml
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