SPEC Kit 322: Library User Experience  ·  19
surveys in the past regarding a specific project or idea. Surveys, consultants, focus groups, student groups, university
committees, planning task forces, furniture trials, outside committees were extensively used from 2004 until 2007 in
the planning and renovation of an 80 million project at the J. Willard Marriott Library. Since 2007, survey topics include
website redesign, library catalog redesign, hours within the library, and services and food quality in the café. The library
has done transaction log analysis on catalog searches, interlibrary loan, website, collections, databases, and journals.
In 2010, the library created a usability lab that has been used to test our library catalog and website. With the library
website being moved to a new platform, online surveys will be much easier to create, implement, gather, and analyze
data. The library has a Library Policy Advisory Committee that provides suggestions on new initiatives.
Broad categories include administration of surveys, advisory boards, usability testing, and various outreach activities.
LibQUAL+® in 2003, 2006, 2009; Student Advisory Group, Outreach Group, created a campus outreach coordinator to
work primarily with freshmen, Assessment Group.
Project based have included the LibQUAL+® survey, website usability testing which led to a website redesign, and a
strategic planning process. Ongoing includes liaison work to academic departments and the Library Affairs Advisory
Committee, which has been around for many years and consists of faculty and sometimes student reps.
South (main) Reading Room study; Special Collections use study; Portland Library & Learning Commons user focus
groups; usability testing for portions of the website (faculty services page, digital collections; WorldCat local); furniture
evaluations; focus groups on new media studies; data services needs assessment; LibQUAL+®; Student Advisory Group;
University Library Committee; Library Advancement Council.
The library has participated in two LibQUAL+® surveys—one in 2007 and one in 2010. This is an ongoing process, with
surveys held every three years. The library has been holding interviews with college deans and associate deans as well
as student groups to determine ways to improve the user experience. The library is also piloting a peer-assisted learning
program.
The Penn Libraries facilitate a number of ongoing advisory groups, including groups of undergraduate students, life
sciences faculty, and faculty in the humanities. We also conduct project-based focus groups and usability studies with
university faculty, staff, and student advisory bodies to gauge their perceptions of and facility with library services and
technologies.
Usability is ongoing and we are currently mid-way through a refresher of our Undergraduate Research Project. We also
did a user study on the Carlson Science and Engineering Library.
Vast majority are project-based.
We conduct the LibQUAL+® survey every two years as well as targeted surveys, usability studies, and focus groups.
We conducted an annual user services survey, usually in the spring term. Additionally, we participated in the
Kansas State Library Annual “Snapshot” day survey (April 2010 and November 2010). We also recently launched
a new Learning Studio facility, and have conducted focus groups, surveys, comment and voting opportunities, and
ethnographic observational studies related to this project. Additionally, Digital Initiatives and Publishing has historically
employed user advisory boards for services like the institutional repository, a journal editor’s board to talk about issues
with open access, an advisory board for shared digital image collections. Recently, we partnered with the campus
humanities research center to co-lead a year-long advisory group to better understand the needs of humanists working
in the digital realm. This work included both focused discussion and survey. Most recently, we utilized campus focus
groups to help faculty understand the implications of KU’s new open access policy, and have subsequently established
an ongoing advisory board for that group. In the area of library collections, we have met with multiple academic
departments to gather input as we physically move collections to the annex.
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