Guide to Library User Needs Assessment for Integrated Information Resource Management and Collection Development

ISBN-10: 0810841312

ISBN-13: 9780810841314

Edition: 2001

Authors: Dora Biblarz, Stephen Bosch, Chris Sugnet

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This volume examines the practice, benefits, and specific methods for assessing library users' information needs in any type of library. Needs assessment can be defined as the process of collecting and analysing data about library users.
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Book details

List price: $37.00
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Scarecrow Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 6/6/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 80
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.242
Language: English

David I. Starling, Morling College, Sydney, Australia.

The reasons for undertaking needs assessment, defining the value of user assessments, and the theory concerning user needs assessment
The process for developing a needs assessment project
Establish the goals of the assessment
Assess available resources
Establish project scope
Define the user population
Review current awareness
Identify useful information
Establish a time frame
Complete the plan
What can be measured and how to measure it: Types of assessment data that may be useful
Direct user input (e.g., user surveys)
Pros and cons of direct user input for needs assessment
Methodology for direct user input
Exploratory data collection
Focus groups
Qualitative input from surveys
Crucial incident surveys
Internal staff feedback
User interviews
Representative data gathering
Techniques for random surveys
Direct mailing
Online forms
Randomly timed surveys
Secondary information: Data that describes current conditions
Specific types of secondary data
Demographic data
Specific demographic data for academic libraries
Specific demographic data for public libraries
Number and distribution of student enrollment credit hours
Course offerings
Electronic resources use statistics
Circulation statistics
Circulation patterns of monographic/serial collections
Statistics derived from patron requests for holds/recalls on currently circulating materials
In-house use statistics for both serials and monographs
Photocopy activity
Gate counts of the number of users entering a library building
Use of media
Collection statistics and evaluation of collections
Number of titles/volumes
Median age of collections
Condition of collection
Distribution of multiple copies in the collection
Interlibrary loan (ILL) and document delivery statistics
Consortial agreements
Price indexes and other cost data
Analysis of organizations' external environment
Materials budget as secondary data
Citation analyses
Journal impact rankings and useful half-life ratings
Measure of actual use of journals
Other library activities
Scenarios for user needs assessments
New degree program
Possible scenario regarding the reallocation of materials budget
Possible needs assessment for a school library/media center
Possible needs assessment for the addition of a new branch library
Possible needs assessment for consortial cooperation on serial subscriptions and document delivery
Possible preliminary needs assessment to assist development of statewide cooperative resource-sharing ventures in support of small public libraries
Pointers and pitfalls
Avoid the easy-data-is-the-right-data syndrome
Do not confuse data types
Do not confuse measurement units
The numbers sometimes do not tell the whole story
Context is important
Recognize under-represented groups
Recognize service impacts of the unknown user
World Wide Web Resources
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