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Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

What questions should we ask on the member survey?

First up on our to-do list is to survey the members in order to create a needs assessment document. Please share your thoughts abotu specific questions we should ask on the survey. ALA ITTS has a subscription to SurveyMonkey we can use for this purpose.

William Reed (non-member)'s picture

ASCLA members have expressed that they would like to be able to search for an event by keyword rather than toil through the drop down boxes. Would members like to search for events by keyword?

ASCLA members also suggested a "history function," where previous events, such as committee meetings or discussion groups that they attend regularly at annual and mid-winter could be saved or remembered. Then, when the regular event has been scheduled for the current conference, they can then select it or the event planner could automatically plug in this information on their itinerary. I'm not even sure if this feature is possible, but if it were, would members like this option? I think I would.

Just a few thoughts to get the conversation going...


Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

Those are good suggestions. My plan was to implement the first one, and since Connect knows your committee affiliations, I'm hoping to pre-populate your schedule with your committee's meetings automatically.

No one else is chiming in with ideas for questions - perhaps a survey isn't the way to go with this. Is it better to just put out a call for ideas and suggestions instead? We could do a post here and ask people to leave comments with ideas/wants/needs/etc.

What does everyone think?


Rebecca Jackman's picture


Thanks for offering the RSS feed for this group.  I think that will help me stay in touch better.   

William Reed (non-member)'s picture


I think a survey is a good idea. I'm not sure about the amount of feedback you or ALA has received about the Event planner. But I would think that would be a great place to start compiling questions.

I also like the idea of opening up a forum for comments about the Event planner. This could follow the survey or be linked to from the survey or included on the survey in an open ended "tell us what you would like" section.

I can't remember the timeline for the survey or to implement a new interface for the Event Planner, but a great opportunity to survey membership would be while they are using it to fill out their annual conference itineraries, and it is fresh on the minds of most members.

Let me know how I can help get the ball rolling...



Mary Popp's picture

My apologies for being slow in getting back to you on this.  I seem to have dropped into a bit of a time warp, and I will be away again for another week, although trying to read email.   I like the suggestions made for survey and forum and agree that we need to get to people when they are filling it out. Is it possible to do this for the Chicago conference since most folks won't really do this until eary June?

At the same time, there are a lot of "old timers" who are not using the Event Planner because they find it difficult to use.  How do we reach them?

 I had asked some of my younger colleagues about using it and they talked about the need to more easily navigate the site and to fill in extra things.  They also complained about response time and how hard it was to read the materials in the site as well as to add and delete.

 Let me suggest a few categories of questions to get the ball rolling:

1.  Demographic--I think these are important because younger users have somewhat different expectations.  So....years in ALA, is this your first conference?  

2.  What they are trying to include:  meetings, conference programs, social events, non-ALA personal events

3.  Navigation:  how easy is it to move around the site, to identify interesting meetings, to find things you have already marked in the calendar, to add, delete or change?   

4.  Is the information included in the Event Planner useful?  What is not useful?  What would they like to see added?

5.  What would they like a search to do?

6.  How soon do they want to fill out the Event Planner?

7.  What kinds of export options they want.

 What do others think?

Mary P.

Mary Pagliero Popp

Rebecca Jackman's picture

I really like Mary's suggestions.  And I think Will is on to something also by mentioning having people take the survey while they are planning for Chicago.  What about if everyone who uses the event planner for Chicago were directed to the survey when they sign in or out.  Or maybe a message could appear that says please click here to provide input as we design our new event planner.

Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

This is great feedback about the current planner, and I love the idea of attaching the survey to the current version. I'll find out if we can add a link to a survey from the event planner itself and let you know.

At the moment, though, I'm more concerned about the questions. I'm having trouble thinking of questions that go beyond "do you want to be able to do xxxxxx in the planner?" that will naturally result in a "yes" response. What kinds of questions can we ask that will go beyond a simple yes/no vote on specific features? I'm really struggling with this one and am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this.


Jenny Levine, ALA staff | jlevine@ala.org | http://connect.ala.org/user/65016

Jean Rainwater's picture

Sorry to join this discussion so late.

The LITA Web Coordinating Committee discussed the Event Planner at Midwinter.  The only thing I have to add to the problems mentioned in the comments and addressed by the survey is the absence of abstracts.  Several members felt that program titles are often cryptic and they would like to at least have the choice of searching and downloading abstracts as well.

Jean Rainwater Co-Leader, Integrated Technology Services Brown University Library Providence, Rhode Island 02912 401.863.9031 Jean_Rainwater@brown.edu

Jean Rainwater
Co-Leader, Integrated Technology Services
Brown University Library
Providence, Rhode Island 02912