Library Committee Handbook

Advisory Committee to the
Associate University Librarian for User Services

Committee Charge


FY2010 Annual Report
FY2011 Annual Report


Advisory Committee to the AUL for User Services

Meeting Date:  November 13, 2012

Present: Jim Dohle; Joe Lenkart; Kelly McCusker; Lisa Romero; Geoffrey Ross; Susan Schnuer (minute-taker), Sue Searing (chair).

Visitor: Jen-Chien Yu, Coordinator for Library Assessment


  1. Send Sue Searing ideas for links to the library floor plans.
  2. Committee members should send Jen-Chien Yu recommendations for statistics.
  3. Due to a shortened meeting committee members should send out an email to the committee with updates on the following issues:
    1. Login on public computers (Jim Dohle)
    2. Civility panel and retreat planning (Susan Schnuer)
    3. Classroom/lab reservation policy (Kelly McCusker)
    4. User Experience working group (Sue Searing)


Sue Searing mentioned that the corrected floor plans are now on the website and she wanted input on links that would assist in finding the plans.

Sue Searing reviewed the charge of the newly reconstituted committee.

The fire alarm sounded.  The committee meeting resumed after about 25 minutes.


Sue Searing mentioned that the User Services Committee is taking the lead on Primo and is requesting feedback from everyone in the library.  Joe Lenkart pointed out that there are severe access restrictions with Primo since it does not link to all Library databases and holdings.  Geoffrey Ross agreed and said that there needs to be a warning for users so that they understand that they might not be accessing several key resources if they only use Primo. 

Sue Searing pointed out that implementing a system such as Primo is much more difficult in a large research library.  She said that the committee is still debating the use of Primo as the primary search box.  Sue Searing encouraged everyone to contact Michael Norman and Jenny Emanuel with comments.

Joe Lenkart asked if committee members were meeting with specialists to hear their concerns.  Sue Searing said that the committee was relying on the open sessions. Specialists should attend the open sessions and express their opinions.

Report on Library Assessment Activities

Jen-Chien Yu briefed the committee about her work over the past few months.

Sweeps week – October 22nd – 28th.

Jen-Chien Yu shared a comparison sheet showing 2011 and 2012 results.  The numbers have declined but Jen-Chien Yu cautioned that there has been a change in the data collection form, which might have an impact.  She is also missing some data so she is following up with individual units. 

Jen-Chien Yu has and will continue to offer to meet with individual units to discussDeskTracker.  She reported that she is currently working on data from the gate counts.

New Service Model Assessment

The previous Library Assessment Working Group started working on this project and met with several new NSM unit  heads with questions.  Jen-Chien Yu has continued this work and is trying to make sure that all NSM units have an assessment plan in place.   She mentioned that gathering the reports is a little difficult because some NSM are not yet open and the initial interviews were not completed with all units.  However in reviewing the current reports, Jen-Chien Yu has identified the following problems:

Jen-Chien Yu said that everyone wants to know the impact of the NSM units and are asking questions such as: Are we still serving the same group?  Does it make a difference to have combined collections?  What is the impact on staff and users?

Sue Searing said that the lack of an assessment plan should not keep units from doing assessment activities; she was able to gather data about LIS without a plan.  However a common set of metrics is important.

Geoffrey Ross wondered if, in the interest of transparency and documentation, current data could be published on the website.  Jen-Chien Yu agreed that some data could be grabbed and available.

Geoffrey Ross made the point that we need to show return on investment on the NSM.  Sue Searing thought that the annual unit reports bring transparency to the process since they share data about individual units.

Susan Schnuer remarked that perhaps what is needed to get the assessment work done is training.  If all units participated in the same training module, which might include several sessions, and end up with an assessment plan then it would help with many of the challenges that units currently experience.  Kelly McCusker agreed that training is needed.  Lisa Romero added that training would bring a consistent approach to assessment and would represent an investment in quality.

Joe Lenkart felt that with this scale of change and investment that people want to see the numbers and a plan.

Lisa Romero said that you have to know your audience and your users, you cannot make assumptions.  Sue Searing agreed that there is a lot of good will to do assessment and now people want to know how to do it well.  Lisa Romero agreed and mentioned that the next step is learning what to do and start making progress.

Jen-Chien Yu has set some priorities for her work in 2013 that she wanted to share with the committee.

2013 Surveys

2013 Grassroots Assessment

2013 Data Cleaning

Joe Lenkart proposed that a central location be set up for all data and statistics.  Sue Searing thought this was a good idea, has been tried but not successfully.  Jen-Chien Yu agreed to email committee members to solicit their recommendations for statistics.

Sue Searing also mentioned that Jen-Chien Yu was assisting her with all routine statistical reports such as ARL statistics and campus reports.  Joe Lenkart encouraged them to look at the work of some of our colleagues, including Division of Information Management.

Next meeting: Tuesday, December 11, 3-4 pm, 230B Main Library