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Lisa Horowitz's picture

Services Assessment: Data, Tools, Uses

This space is intended to collect:

  • data useful for services assessment
  • tools to gather data for services assessment
  • ways people have used that data to make decisions (or other actions)

"Using Data" committee members should add to this list by adding comments to this discussion. Please highlight in your comment whether it is data, tool, or action.

Suzy Szasz Palmer's picture

Is anyone using a service assessment tool other than LibQual? http://www.libqual.org/home

Suzy Szasz Palmer, Dean of the Library, Longwood University, Farmville, VA

Rickey Best's picture

Suzy - you might try using MISO (Measuring Information Services Outcomes) http://www.misosurvey.org/

Rickey Best
Collection Development Librarian
Auburn University at Montgomery

Suzy Szasz Palmer's picture

This just appeared in my email...wondering if anyone has used this:


Suzy Szasz Palmer, Dean of the Library, Longwood University, Farmville, VA

Barbara Burd (non-member)'s picture

I just received this, too. I would be a bit cautious, because every institution has its own profiles and I think it’s hard to generalize. There are so many institution-specific variables that I think you would be better off doing your own study of users. The positive aspect is that it seems to be focusing on user behavior which is much needed.


Barbara Burd, PhD

Dean of Library Services

Kimbel Library and Bryan Information Commons

Coastal Carolina University

P.O. Box 261954

Conway, SC 29528-6054



Susan Archambault's picture




  • WOREP: uses triangulation by collecting data from two different sources (patron and librarian) for each transaction 




Mary OKelly's picture

-LibStats http://code.google.com/p/libstats/  Open source software for tracking service interactions. (Note: At our library we recently added fields for tracking course numbers for students asking for help with specific assignments, so we will be able to cross-link that to instruction statistics)

-iSkills http://www.ets.org/iskills/about  Information literacy assessment for analyzing instructional services

-Custom software for tracking reference consultations that gathers check-in time, check-out time, question, resolution or next steps, and a brief evaluation for the patron to fill out at the end of the session (We also have this collect information about classes, so we soon will be able to assess how students use all our services, from the circulation desk to the consultation desk to the librarians' office to the classroom.)

Mary O'Kelly
Head of Instructional Services
Grand Valley State University Libraries


Lisa Horowitz's picture

A model for a tool to measure services:

"The University of Wollongong Library developed the Library Cube, a tailored database and reporting function that joins library usage data with student data, including demographic and academic performance information." Working with other departments in the institution, they were able to show "a strong correlation between students' grades and use of information resources the library provides." (emphasis is theirs)


Lisa R. Horowitz
Assessment Librarian/Linguistics Librarian
MIT Libraries

Lisa Horowitz's picture

The University of Pennsylvania received an IMLS grant to develop Metridoc, "a data integration / job framework to assist libraries with data ingestion and normalization, with the end result being a repository to help deal with usage reporting." This is an open source tool that can hold data from a variety of sources, not only services, but also collections and space as well as any other data.


Lisa R. Horowitz
Assessment Librarian/Linguistics Librarian
MIT Libraries

Lisa Horowitz's picture

33862 Ithaka S+R Library Survey 2010: Insights From U.S. Academic Library Directors

This is a data set within ICPSR that might offer data of value in doing peer comparisons. It concerns services and collections in particular.

Its description: 

"Summary:   The Ithaka S+R Library Survey 2010 was an attitudinal survey of library directors at the libraries of institutions that grant degrees at the bachelor's level or higher. The survey focused on themes such as the future of the academic library, strategies library administrators are pursuing for their libraries, the management of print journal collections, the development of new digital collections, services provided to library patrons, the creation of new services to meet changing user needs, and practices for digital preservation. It also measured the attitudes of the library community towards e-books, open access, purchasing decisions, and collections management."

Lisa R. Horowitz
Assessment Librarian/Linguistics Librarian
MIT Libraries