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 Associate University Librarian for Services Minutes 02-07-2011

1:30 - 2:30 pm
428 Library

Members Present: Scott Walter (Chair), Pat Allen, Susan Avery, Paula Carns, Tony Hynes, Kathleen Kern, Lynne Rudasill, Robert Slater, Becky Smith

Members Absent: Kirstin Dougan, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, JoAnn Jacoby, Peggy Steele

Guests: Jason Strutz (Library IT)

1. Appointment of Note-Taker

Walter volunteered to take the minutes.

2. Additions to the Agenda

a) Assessment Plans

b) Meeting on GSLIS Admissions and GA Appointments

3. Discussion of Systems Status Page (Strutz)

Following discussion of student concerns about the availability of up-to-date information on the status of Library systems and services at the September 2010 meeting, faculty and staff in Library IT and Web Content and Services have discussed the scope and design of a "systems status" page, or related reporting mechanisms. The committee provided feedback to Strutz, who has been designated as lead on this project, on topics such as what systems should be included, what mechanisms should be employed for reporting problems and communicating known issues, and the varied needs of internal and external (user) audiences. Strutz shared how discussions of this topic may dovetail with campus-level discussions of a broader "knowledge base" and "ticketing system."

One committee member asked if something similar could be developed to provide information on "facilities status," e.g., known issues affecting access to a unit. Strutz will bring committee feedback to the rest of the project team.

4. Emergency Alert Options (Allen)

Following the recent weather-related closure of the Library, Allen asked if there is a way to place "alert" messages on all Library Web pages, rather than asking unit heads to update unit-level Web pages with information taken from the Gateway.

Slater confirmed that it is possible to place an "alert" message on all Library Web pages housed in the CMS, but that it would not be possible to distinguish between unit level "home" pages and all other unit level pages, i.e., the "alert" would appear on all Library Web pages in the CMS. Slater noted that it would also be possible to send the "alert" to selected units, and asked if this central provision of an "alert" should be something to which a unit head should be allowed to "opt in" (or out). Committee members felt strongly that units should not be able to "opt out" owing to the need to provide timely, clear, and consistent information to all Library users on matters of critical importance, e.g., an unexpected closure.

In response to committee questions, Slater noted that a script could be placed on unit level home pages as another means of "pushing out" information, but one that would not then affect all subsidiary pages (some committee members noted that this might be counter-productive, as we cannot ensure that all users navigate through a unit level home page). Slater also noted that a similar script could be employed in the LibGuides template in order to provide "alert" information for units that employ LibGuides as their major portal to content and services.

Slater will mock up examples and prepare to present this issue and possible technical solutions to an upcoming meeting of the Administrative Committee.

5. Library Retreat Evaluations (Carns and Walter)

Carns and Walter provided a brief overview of major themes found in the evaluations of the January 2011 Library Retreat. With 58 evaluations received, almost 60% of respondents rated the retreat as "valuable" or "well worth my time."  While there were many positive comments, the major suggestions for improvement centered on timing of the retreat (immediately prior to the start of the semester), the amount of time provided for small group discussion at tables, and the connection between retreat topics and day-to-day service issues. The committee discussed these comments, as well as how to address concerns expressed in the comments for more staff training opportunities. Carns will communicate key points from the discussion to the Staff Development and Training Committee.

6. Assessment Plans (Rudasill)

In light of the decision to postpone the next LibQUAL+ implementation to Spring 2012, Rudasill asked if there are any plans for the design and implementation of a locally-developed user survey similar to those conducted several years ago. The committee discussed the limitations of LibQUAL+ for providing actionable data, as well as the benefits and limitations of locally developed (and analyzed) surveys. Walter discussed the potential for locally-focused user surveys found in the LibSat application provided by Counting Opinions <>, and noted that the Library is currently considering whether or not to subscribe to that service. Walter noted that Sue Searing will acquire access to the ACRL Metrics <> product, also powered by Counting Opinions,  through the LIS fund. Kern will communicate key points from the discussion to the Library Assessment Working Group.

7. Meeting on GSLIS Admissions and GA Appointments (Walter)

Walter noted that he is working with Rae-Anne Montague to facilitate a discussion of the process by which incoming students are identified as "top recruits" by GSLIS, as it relates to possible continuation of the "GSLIS GA" program in FY12 (and beyond). The committee discussed the potential that such a discussion would have in terms of articulating for GSLIS what Library faculty look for in a "top recruit" for a GA position, and how a Library description of the most valuable skills could be incorporated into the language GSLIS uses to describe GA opportunities at the University Library. Walter will send a message to LIBFAC-L when the time and date for the discussion with Montague has been scheduled.