Evaluation of Reference and User Services

COMMITTEE REVIEW CHECKLIST--January 2002

  1. Is the committee aware of its stated purpose?
    Yes.

  2. What are the current activities of the committee?
    - Creating guidelines for reference statistics and how to evaluate reference services.
    - Considering recreating our popular session from the past two RUSA Institutes on tools to use to evaluate reference services for a pre-conference at ALA Toronto, or to reproduce in another venue.
    - Evaluating what might be done with the Reference Assessment Manual produced in 1995.
    - Possibly creating a clearinghouse of instruments used for reference statistics. (Possibly overlaps with what Matt Saxton has presented to the committee.)

  3. Do these activities reflect the stated purpose of the committee?
    Yes.

  4. In what ways does the work of the committee contribute to the objectives of MOUSS? Practical Help
    - Our RUSA Institute program, produced two times in the past few years, got very high ratings for its value to librarians' practical work. Our goal to develop guidelines for reference statistics will also be valuable to librarians' daily work. Communication
    - We advertised the Reference Statistics forum mentioned above through a variety of listservs and in flyers, and we attracted a large audience for the session. Our web site has been kept up-to-date, and includes many links of interest to lots of librarians. We don't have data on how it's used, however. We might benefit from advertising on listservs or to our forum audiences what is available from our web site.

  5. Is the committee aware of other MOUSS, RUSA, and/or ALA units which have similar concerns?
    Yes.
    - LAMA Library Organization and Management Section has a committee on evaluating library services
    - Planning and Evaluation of Library Services. - LAMA Measurement, Assessment and Evaluation Section has a committee on how to use data
    - Using Measurement Data for Library Planning, Evaluation and Communication. (This may be two committees. It's unclear.)
    - RUSA MARS sometimes has programs related to electronic reference that touch on evaluation.
    - The MOUSS committee on performance issues sometimes has concerns that overlap.
    Does the committee work with such units?
    We have had several committee members who are also involved in the MOUSS committee on performance issues. This past ALA Annual, we did offer a volunteer to work with a MARS committee on an issue that overlapped, although I don't know if it is happening or not (I'm waiting to find out). We have not worked together with LAMA committees.

  6. What recent programs/products have been generated by the committee?
    The most recent programs have been the past two RUSA Institutes, a forum on reference statistics co-sponsored with the Reference Services in Large Research Libraries DG, and an update to the Reference Assessment Manual with some annotated bibliography information handed out at the Institute.