SPEC Kit 322: Library User Experience  ·  25
They are an integral piece of our assessment program.
They are currently the major priority, as they are driving changes to the library’s website and v-reference hours, for
example. We do sporadic “who is using this library” surveys, but they don’t necessarily drive change.
They are one aspect of our assessment activities which include usability studies, process reviews, unit reviews, customer
satisfaction surveys, focus groups, Information Literacy assessments, Reference Studies, and ACRL, ALA, NCES, and ARL
They are the heart of our assessment activities. Most of our other “assessment” activities are merely keeping statistics
about usage and involve very little actual assessment at this point in time.
They are vehicles for feedback on certain issues. We are employing them in planning library services (e.g., 24 hour library
service) and space (Learning Commons).
This is all fairly new to our library. We understand the importance, but still need to integrate it into the organization.
To be honest, I think we are currently woefully inadequate across our whole system in finding out whether we are doing
well or not.
User experience activities are a part of the assessment activities coordinated by our Planning and Assessment Officer.
The user experience and the quality of the experience is part of our new strategic planning document for 2011–2014.
User experience will be taking a more prominent role since our library finally completed a massive innovation/renovation
project costing 80 million dollars. User experiences that we hope to measure include all aspects of library operations
ranging from group study areas, computer usage, website, resource allocation, user environment, ease of navigation
within the library and the library website, resource availability, hours, and collection development priorities.
User experience activities are integral to assessment and strategic management of the Penn Libraries’ resources,
services, and technologies. While we have a central office that oversees planning and assessment activities, library user
experience activities are distributed throughout library staff and locations.
User experience activities are planned as appropriate to the question asked.
User experience activities complement and/or extend results of studies conducted as part of broader program, e.g.,
LibQUAL+®, WOREP, READ, Project Information Literacy.
User experience activities complement other forms of assessment. They may or may not be part of the portfolio of the
Assessment Team.
User experience assessments are intended to help us understand user frustrations, expectations, challenges, needs and
more. Such assessments may inform the development modification or elimination of services, or may be conducted in
order to make necessary changes with the least amount of negative impact on the user.
User experience is one prong of our assessment program, but is the largest focus.
We are hoping to build an overall assessment plan as well as a culture of assessment. The activities in which we will
engage in the near future will focus on creating and improving web-based services.
We are in the early stages of assessment planning on a broad and systematic scale.
We do more of this kind of assessment than any other.
We do not have a formal assessment program at UM but we do have a wide range of assessment activities. The most
formal and ongoing work is done via the User Experience Department (a department within the Library Information
Technology unit). There are also occasional assessment activities in the Technical Services unit and in Public Services.
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