Validation Process Focus Group Reports
Alumni Office Focus Group

August 8, 2005
Library Assessment Committee
Susan Beck, Chair

I met with three individuals on behalf of the Library Assessment Committee to validate the Indicators with the Alumni Association from the Alumni Relations Office In Winants Hall on the College Avenue Campus of NB

Here are the questions and the responses. My basic conclusion is that yes they confirmed our criteria of Access to Resources was important to Alumni thus validating our criteria. However I also recommend that we add a separate criteria of awareness of resources and services similar to how we changed the criteria for the State.

I would like to pose some prefatory questions about assessment and evaluation of university library services.

1. Do you have any perceptions or knowledge about how or IF Rutgers Alumni use the Libraries?

The Alumni Office receives calls on a weekly basis from alumni who want to get alumni cards so they may use the library. These cards are both mailed to individuals or picked up in person depending on individual circumstances.

When alumni come to the Alumni Office because of the library, they are coming to get an alumni card to use the library's resources

Usually people who ask the Alumni Office about the library consider library privileges the primary benefit of their alumni association membership.

2. Do you get any requests from Alumni about the Library or access to the library's resources?

Authors who are looking for old pictures will send requests to the alumni office - who then refers them to Tom Frusciano.

They recently had an email complaint that an alumni was not allowed to take out a specific type of materials - Keri said it was slides - She forwarded the complaint to Julia Zapcic, just because she knows her.

The University College of NB Alumni Association donates $1000 each year to Special Collections. Ron Becker hosts a special alumni association meeting in Special Collections once a year to describe the collections to the membership.

Bill Hunter said that alumni want remote access to online resources. Bill said that they would like to see their members have more access to the libraries resources.

The Rutgers University Federation President recently was approached by a group of alumni who wanted to get remote access to the libraries databases. This is going to be taken to the President of the University to see if they can implement this.

The Alumni Association Office said they would entertain the idea of having their members pay for access if it could be arranged. They described the situation where they pay .35 cents per member for Alumni to have access to the Rutgers Club for membership and thought that this might be a way of getting access to electronic resources for the paying Alumni Association Members.

Awareness of services and collections is important to alumni.

3. What do you tell Alumni Association Members about their library privileges?

The receptionist (Vicki Weinstein) says she gets lots of requests for library cards. She tells them about the Library's Alumni web site and she often connects people directly to the library when they ask her questions she does not know the answers to.

The Director of Alumni Relations was not aware that the library had a special website for alumni, although both Bill and Vicki were aware of the Libraries" website.

The Alumni Association only provides member benefits information to alumni who pay dues. They do not publish member benefits in general.

They do send out a brochure to alumni who pay dues, which includes information on library privileges. This goes out to 30,000 individual alumni annually.

4. What role do you think the library could play for our Alumni?

The library should be a resource for the alumni. Alumni should be able to use the library's research materials for their current jobs

It is important for the alumni to be aware of the library's resources because of the 3 geographic locations around the state - the libraries should be easy to get to for most alumni living in NJ.

5. If you were creating measures for evaluating the impact of the Libraries on our Alumni what measures do you think would be important?

Awareness of services and resources & Access to materials are the two most important criteria for alumni purposes.

Public Relations - researchers need to understand the benefit of a research library and the resources that RUL can provide.

6. Of the measures you identified which is the most important?

Access to materials

7. How do you get input from Alumni on your services?

There is not just one way to get information from alumni --there are many ways.

They have broadcast email capabilities.

If the libraries wanted to survey the alumni about their perceptions about the library all they would have to do is send an email out to a group of alumni with a link to the library survey.

They could target this to all alumni OR just alumni living in NJ, or the metropolitan area.

They would also be happy have an article in the Rutgers Magazine about the libraries' collections and services. They could also put a brief survey in the article with an email link for responses for the alumni to respond to.

They have 30,000 dues paying alumni.

They also have 90,000 good email addresses for alumni.

There are 340,000 alumni.

19 separate Alumni Associations with individual web pages.

They suggested they contact each of the 19 alumni associations to put a link to the library's alumni web page on their web pages so that there would be consistent information about the library's out there.

Also Bill Hunter gave me a copy of the alumni brochure and told me they would be happy to change the content in the brochure relating to the library and add the url to the library's website for the alumni.

8. Please suggest or identify individuals or groups who can participate in this assessment process. We specifically seek people who are able to evaluate the role that the Libraries fulfills for the Alumni.

Once a month all alumni get the RU alumni newsletter

They have the capabilities to target emails to specific groups.

They also said they were willing to keep track of individuals who requested library cards from the alumni office to see if those individuals could make up a good group for potential focus groups.

They also offered to keep records on what alumni asked for information or wanted to get remote access privileges from the library.

I suspect the ball is now in our hands as to what we do next.

However, I recommend that someone make contact with

First Draft

AlumniService & Reputation Perception Survey
Alumni Office Perception Survey
Use of LibrariesSurvey; Circulation Data
Alumni Giving Survey

Library Assessment Committee Draft

AlumniAccess to ResourcesAlumni Office PerceptionSurvey/Focus group


AlumniAccess to ResourcesAlumni PerceptionSurvey/Focus groups
Awareness of Services and Collections  

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