1st Edition

Reference Assessment and Evaluation

Edited By Tom Diamond, Mark Sanders Copyright 2007

    Learn effective ways to assess and evaluate reference services in YOUR library

    Innovation and the constant evolution of technology continually spur academic librarians to find superior ways to deliver high quality reference service to students, faculty, and researchers. Reference Assessment and Evaluation offers librarians and administrators a plethora of fresh ideas and methods to effectively assess and evaluate reference service in any academic library. Leading experts share their own best practices in delivering digital reference, training staff and student workers, and providing instruction through case studies from academic libraries of all sizes.

    Because of fiscal pressures, the need to attract the best and brightest students and faculty to the academy, and increased competition from Internet search engines, the evaluation and assessment of reference service remains one of the most important challenges for academic libraries. Reference Assessment and Evaluation provides practical tips and clear examples on assessing and evaluating several diverse aspects of reference services. This book discusses in detail case studies from various colleges and universities on wide-ranging issues such as virtual reference evaluation, merging reference desks, peer evaluations, library instruction, and staff development. Academic libraries of all types will find opportunities to modify these innovative ideas to remain at the forefront of reference service.

    Topics in Reference Assessment and Evaluation include:

    • a case study of the library at the University of Colorado at Boulder’s efforts to implement a drop-in research consultation program for students enrolled in the introductory writing course
    • coordination of an annual professional development program for specialized instruction targeted at faculty and staff members at Colorado State University
    • peer observation between the reference staff members of Augustana College Library and St. Ambrose University Library
    • the merging of San Jose State University’s government publication desk with the reference services desk—along with the public library’s reference desk
    • Valparaiso University’s main library’s training and use of student assistants
    • analyzing user and librarian satisfaction within virtual reference transactions
    • evaluation of the University of South Alabama’s Baugh Biomedical Library’s chat reference service
    • evaluation of the University of Texas at Arlington’s virtual reference service
    • library technology’s impact on reference desk statistics
    • statistical analysis of reference desk data for staffing needs at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

    Reference Assessment and Evaluation is timely, important reading for academic references librarians and supervisors.

    • Introduction (Tom Diamond and Mark Sanders)
    • Evaluating the Drop-In Center: A Service for Undergraduates (Becky Imamoto)
    • Forward Progress One Step at a Time: Workshops, Assessment, and the Reference Connection (Catherine L. Cranston and Allison V. Level)
    • Floating and Idea: Peer Observations Across the Mississippi (Mary Heinzman and David Weaver)
    • Merged Reference Desks in a Merged Library Environment: The Impact of Merging Government Publications (Susan L. Kendall and Lorene R. Sisson)
    • Student Assistant Training in a Small Academic Library (Ruth Sara Connell and Patricia J. Mileham)
    • Comparing Virtual Reference Exit Survey Results and Transcript Analysis: A Model for Service Evaluation (Joanne B. Smyth and James C. MacKenzie)
    • Evaluating a Chat Reference Service at the University of South Alabama’s Baugh Biomedical Library (Clista C. Clanton, Geneva B. Staggs, and Thomas L. Williams)
    • The University of Texas at Arlington’s Virtual Reference Service: An Evaluation by the Reference Staff (Katherine D. Casebier)
    • Changes in Library Technology and Reference Desk Statistics: Is There a Relationship? (Beth Thomsett-Scott and Patricia E. Reese)
    • Staffing Needs of the Reference Desk at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga: A Statistical Approach (Sarla R. Murgai)
    • Index
    • Reference Notes Included


    Tom Diamond