Evaluation of Reference and User Services
Five Things to Know about Evaluating User Services
1. Before you begin a process of service evaluation, be sure to have a clear goal in mind: improvement of services; evaluation of staffing patterns and/or coverage; providing adequate staff training; discovering underserved populations or areas, etc.
2. Evaluation can be quantitative: statistics gathering, surveys, etc. or qualitative: open-ended surveys, focus groups, interviews; or a combination of qualitative or quantitative methods.
3. Check with your Institutional Review Board to determine if your assessment project requires human subjects review, informed consent, confidentiality of data, and whether the results can be presented and/or published.
4. Multiple analysis packages exist to help you find patterns in your data: SPSS, atlas.ti, Access, or even Excel, but you don’t have to use statistical analysis tools—simple familiarity with statistical analysis may be all you need.
5. Remember: data never tell the whole story! Be prepared to examine your results critically and make sense of them in your context.
Five Things You Should Know about the ERUS Committee
1. ERUS collects, analyzes and disseminates information on the evaluation and assessment of reference and user services.
2. Our goal is to inform library professionals on the best evaluation and assessment tools for managerial planning and decision making for reference and user services.
3. ERUS supports research on qualitative evaluation and quantitative measurements of reference and user services.
4. ERUS holds update forums and information exchanges addressing evaluation and assessment of reference and user services.
5. ERUS maintains a bibliographic and descriptive guide: Measuring and Assessing Reference Services and Resources
Purpose of the Committee
To collect, analyze, and disseminate information to the RUSA membership and profession on qualitative evaluation and quantitative measurements of service which will be used to assist in responsible managerial planning and decision making in reference and adult services; to support research in this area.
About the Committee
Current minutes and other materials available through ALA Connect