Culture of Assessment
An important goal of our assessment plan is to create a culture of assessment throughout the Libraries. Training all staff in the library to understand what assessment is and how to do it, and providing them with the tools to do it will empower staff to do their own assessment, large or small, to improve their own efforts and those of their department. Since assessment skills are also research skills, this will also facilitate research throughout the Libraries. In addition to regular trainings (which will themselves be assessed for effectiveness and relevance), a research/assessment skills inventory of all library staff will help focus what training would be beneficial, as well as identify potential team members to work on assessment projects or conduct trainings themselves, and also help staff connect to work on projects together.
Management Data & Statistics
To support fact-based decisions, it is important to have accessible and accurate management data. Additionally, the Libraries are required to report statistics to various external organizations. Data and statistics gathering and reporting is a continual process. Supplying the Dean and others in the library with needed data for decision making and planning is also a part of this process and an important activity of the assessment program.
On-going and planned assessment projects for FY14-15 are listed below. Other projects/activities may be implemented as need/time allows.
Multiple Workshop Library Instruction Study
Originating out of the IMLS funded Lib-Value Study, this study examines the impact of multiple library instruction workshops on an at-risk student population. Data collection began in summer 2012 and continued in summer 2013.
Instructor Focus Groups
Focus groups with adjunct instructors examining how the Libraries support their teaching began in summer 2013.
ARL Annual Survey
Collecting and reporting data for the ARL Annual Survey requires coordinating efforts among numerous UTK Libraries’ staff, as well as four partner libraries. The stats reported to this survey are used in multiple ways throughout the year.
Disability Services Assessment
An audit of the Libraries’ disability services and accommodations will be conducted with the guidance of the Office of Disability Services. This may include focus groups.
In-Library User Survey
This survey will be conducted at Hodges and all branch libraries in spring of 2015. It allows us to determine how to deploy resources, based on users actual use of library facilities.
This project will include an assessment and analysis of the ILL service offered through the main University Library.
UT Libraries sponsors activities during Finals Week at the University of Tennessee. The events are collectively known as “DeStress for Success.” The Assessment Group has received IRB approval to assess the effectiveness of the DeStress for Success program. Effectiveness is defined in two ways, 1) Does the program contribute to the well-being of UT students during Finals Week by providing a welcoming and enjoyable environment in which to study? 2) Does the program serve as useful outreach effort by UT Libraries by highlighting the services that the library offers? The study will begin in Fall 2014.
Assessment Groups Best Practices
The purpose of this project is to gather information about the assessment history, activities, personnel, and organization in university libraries that are members of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). Librarians at ARL libraries that are university libraries have been invited to participate. This project is an attempt to paint a broad picture of assessment activities in ARL university libraries with the goal of creating a resource for libraries developing their assessment programs or attempting to improve their assessment efforts and to work toward developing best practices for library assessment.