84  ·  Survey Results:  Survey Questions and Responses
student organization meetings to solicit feedback from students about library facilities, resources, and services. Visits
have also included ethnic student organizations (India Club, for example), as well as activities-based organizations
(literary/arts journal, video gaming club). A proactive approach to engaging users via social media such as Twitter and
Facebook. Specifically, the User Experience department follows student time-lines on Twitter and searches for mentions
of the library or library-related discussion on Twitter.
Engage students in charrettes; engage students in the design of furniture, e.g., study carrels and chairs and based
design on their feedback; work with System Design classes so that the students use the library as a “client” for some of
their course work; inviting e-comments from students on various issues and posting them (anonymously) for the entire
community to see; a series of “quick polls” on our home page intended to get feedback while also educating students
about some of our services.
For all new initiatives announced on our website, we provide a link for users to “Send us feedback.” Also, we have plans
underway to begin hosting online forums via Facebook and Twitter later this spring. Via these forums, users will be able
to offer us suggestions as well as share best practices related to their library experiences.
In addition to all the traditional methods we use (a/b testing, log analysis, usability, participatory design, ethnographic
research methods, space design, etc.) we also like to mine social networking for reactions and to help us build use
cases. Last fall we also had a UX photo booth at a new student orientation party where we asked students to pose for
pictures with a sign they filled in “My ideal library ______.” We are also trying to integrate a new tool for staff (and
maybe the public in the future) to submit UI requests.
In planning the Libraries’ new and forthcoming Knowledge Commons, a variety of measures were employed to gain user
feedback relevant to new and existing library services. Students helped test and provide feedback on new technology
for the Knowledge Commons, including collaborative computing solutions. Similarly, undergraduate students helped
test furniture designs for the Commons, providing feedback on optimal workspace layout, types of chairs and tables,
location of desktop computers, etc. Several architecture students conducted a study of an existing computer lab in the
Libraries and their recommendations (utilization of “green walls,” quick, stand-up computer access areas) were also
integrated into the final plans for the new space.
Last year I began making visits, with the head of reference and the liaison librarian, to department chairs to have
conversations about library services which have been a great way to gather information. We revamped our suggestion/
comment mechanism by starting a suggestion blog where we now post all suggestions and responses - not innovative
but new for us. During a project to gather feedback about our physical space we put poster boards on easels around the
library and other locations on campus with different questions about the library. We are soon going to implement the
Counting Opinions LibSAT which will be an ongoing satisfaction survey integrated into our website.
Marketing department advertises everything from individual instruction opportunities. They use banners and table tents
and several video monitors throughout the library to advertise events, services, and resources. In the latest campaign,
they are making short videos of the reference librarians called “meet your personal librarian.” The library home page
currently advertises the library mobile website.
One new outreach measure includes the introduction of online and physical suggestion boxes as a forum for patrons to
express feedback, one-off problems, requests and/or compliments. The presence of the physical and virtual suggestion
boxes communicates to patrons that their feedback is valued and strengthens the library’s commitment to assessment
and improvement. Additionally, beyond existing users, the library is also committed to reaching potential users. All of
the surveys the library conducts go out to the entire university population (not just existing users) in an effort to better
understand who does and does not use the library, and how the library can best serve the entire UIC community.
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