Advisory Committee to the Associate University Librarian for Services Minutes 19 May 2008
Advisory Committee to the Associate University Librarian for Services
Meeting Notes for May 19, 2008, 11:00am
Attending: Meg Burger, Kirstin Dougan, Susan Duncan, Karen Hogenboom, JoAnn Jacoby, Lori Mestre, Peggy Steele, Scott Walter
Absent: Tina Chrzastowski, Lisa Hinchliffe
Guest: Beth Woodard
Beth Woodard presented SAC with ideas to systematically improve Library Service (primarily, but not limited to, customer service), and a request for SAC to assist in making it come about.
The Library’s Service Values Statement (handout 1): www.library.uiuc.edu/administration/services/policies/service_values.html does not encompass everything we want to achieve. Important components of service also include:
- Teaching people the skills necessary to evaluate information
- Development and use of appropriate tools/metrics for evaluation
- Evaluation of improvements in customer service as a result of training to answer the question: How do we know staff use the information received in training?
Customer Service Improvement Plan: Basic Customer Service by East Georgia College (handout 2): www.ega.edu/hr/Documents/CustomerService.pdf was implemented beginning in 2005, built on the Governor’s four service standards with one additional standard for the college to be applied to the entire organization. This plan’s strengths include:
- Defined metrics to evaluate each pair of standard-driven behaviors
- Applicability to areas other than a service desk
RUSA Reference Guidelines (handout 3): www.ala.org/ala/rusa/protocols/referenceguide/guidelinesbehavioral.cfm ALA’s Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers
- Lacks standards or metrics for evaluation.
Quick and Easy Reference Evaluation: Gathering Users’ and Providers’ Perspectives (handout 4): www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-34474194_ITM Miller, Jonathan, Reference & User Services Quarterly Volume 47, issue 3, Describes the use of a simple general survey of both users’ and providers’ perceptions.
- Measurement of success based upon meeting of expectations: did the user receive the information needed?
- Fast and easy.
- Responses from both sides of the desk provide a nuanced picture of reference service.
Development of a pilot project is our minimum expectation, a customer-service improvement plan at the Division or Unit level. Various approaches could be:
- Workshops are typically voluntary, unless Paula mandates them.
- Campus already does customer-service:
- What levels exist?
- How do they evaluate it?
- Can we adapt what they do to what we do?
- Front-desk training:
- “Oh, this doesn’t apply to me.” –non front-desk service providers
- Should include follow-up for phone calls.
- Should include teaching
- 2-part user + staff survey by Miller:
- Longer version was time-consuming
- Moved to much shorter version
- LA Secret Shopper
- Web CT student training (current)
- Basic on policies, circulation, customer service
- Is not interactive
- Customer service component needs to be reinforced at the local level
- Fish survey: met with resistance because not academic enough
How does SAC fit in?
- Development of standards
- Helping with assessment
How do we want to structure this?
- Levels: A + B + C
- A: Everybody does A (basic public customer service) as almost all departments have contact with the public.
- B: Teaching component of customer service
- C: Internal communications
- Tie into the ticketing system (facilities and services)
- Make this a section in the Annual Report, mandating accountability
- Staff training/GA training/ABC approach: designate a unique focus area related to a campus initiative or strategic plan each year:
- Units report how they participated in the focal area in the annual report.
- Encourages collaboration with other groups.
- We can’t afford not to focus on certain kinds of service (pitfall of making a yearly area of focus) but the reporting can be recycled.
- There is a need to bring everyone up to the same level, yet we do not want to represent this effort as remediation!
- As a fully-featured program, training should have standard components:
- clear standards that link to service values
- Assessment plan
- It is not a problem to create such a fully-featured program (we can define the standards, design the metrics, determine how to gather data for assessment), however we don’t have a way to know if what we are doing is being implemented and generating the intended results.
- Staff training: Does the training rather than setting the standards.
- What can we learn from existing units that are doing a great job? Can we do this without having unintended negative outcomes (finger-pointing).
- On recognizing efforts:
- Currently there are no incentives
- No bulletin board for acknowledgement
- Dollar (to and from) mechanism can work
- Marriott model
- Answer board
- If we wait for the development of new service standards and values, we lose time.
- If we are not going to be the third biggest library, what are we? Can we turn this identity crisis into a positive change of direction?
- Other resources include: LibQual Survey, UI Service Statements, CPS Grad Student and Faculty Survey
- No one uses only one library exclusively.
- What service is needed across the board?
- Secret Shopper approach is OK.
SAC looking forward
- Working Group as a subcommittee of SAC can develop this initial approach
- Short and to the point
- Develop an assessment plan
Adjourned at 12:00pm, Notes by Chris Johns