Library Committee Handbook

User Education Committee

November 11, 2013 Minutes


 User Education Committee

University of Illinois Library

November 11, 2013
Library 428


Members Present:

Melody Allison (14)
Susan Avery (ex officio)
Merinda Hensley (ex officio)
Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe (ex officio) – Chair
Cindy Ingold (14)
Jameatris Rimkus (15)
Elizabeth Sheehan (15)
Mara Thacker (14)
Mark Wardecker (14)
Sandra Wolf (14)

Members Absent:

Kirstin Dougan (14)
Cindy Ingold (14)

Also Attending:

Sarah Crissinger (RRSS GA)
Michael Norman (Head of Content Access Management)
Meredith Riddle (Information Literacy GA)

Welcome & Introductions

Meredith welcomed the committee and introduced Sarah Crissinger and Michael Norman as guests for the meeting.

Acclamations & Accolades

Melody brought the GSLIS Alumni Newsletter to share an article featuring one of Merinda’s accomplishments. Merinda and Professor Nicole Cooke (GSLIS) were awarded a best paper award at the Eighth International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science (CoLIS 8) held in Copenhagen, Denmark in August 2013. Merinda described their paper as a discussion of her special 8-week advanced instruction course that she teaches at GSLIS. The course focuses on applying teaching skills to the workshop setting, followed by critical reflection. Merinda plans to teach the course again in the future, although this course is not yet regularly scheduled at GSLIS.

Mara shared that she has been nominated for election to the executive committee for the Committee on South Asian Libraries and Documentation (CONSALD), which is the professional group for South Asian Studies Librarians. The election will occur in spring 2014.

OPAC LibGuide (Guest: Sarah Crissinger, RRSS GA)

Sarah explained her work with Jenny Emmanuel to improve OPAC instruction and wayfinding for patrons. The current OPAC environment includes at least three interfaces for searching library materials, which can confuse patrons. The current LEARN website includes a page called “Which catalog is right for me?” to address this confusion. However, this page does not receive much traffic and is not centered on actual user tasks. Committee members observed that users do not usually think about which catalog they should use for a particular search; rather, patrons are mostly focused on finding certain items of types of information and will use whichever tool seems convenient. A further problem is that some of these existing instructional pages are text-heavy. Sarah’s goal is to provide short, two-sentence pieces of information about the catalogs to help patrons with searching optimally.

Michael Norman remarked that approximately 10 to 20 staff members attended each of his recent catalog instruction sessions, and that everyone gained expertise from attending. Mike suggested that showing the positive aspects of each catalog interface is a priority for instructional materials.

Committee members suggested that the new page about the OPACs should offer quick recommendations for catalog use, similar to an abstract. Sarah might develop more detailed documentation for those interested.

The committee held a wide-ranging discussion regarding the use of the various catalog interfaces and the rationale for their being linked from the Gateway. Michael Norman explained that patrons do utilize a variety of interfaces according to search log data. In the past, 60% of patrons used VuFind and 40% patrons used Classic Catalog. An increasing percentage of users - approximately 10-20% of users - search the catalog through Primo. The committee proposed creating an interactive decision tree in order to guide patrons from their starting points to recommended catalog searches.

Sarah will meet with Jenny and will follow up with Lisa at the conclusion of her project.

Project Updates

 A committee member noted that in a recent Reference Hub meeting in ACES 509, those seated in the back could not see the screen. The committee revisited the idea of adding monitors toward the back of the room.

Lisa reported that the meeting has been scheduled, but not yet occurred. The Social Science, Health, and Education Library (SSHEL) requested a specific number of seats for the room in their New Service Model (NSM) report. Library 106, however, is approximately the same size as Library 314, which can hold approximately 20 seats. An important issue for the room configuration will be deciding an entrance and possibly a second fire exit door.  It is still unclear which unit will manage Library 106. Based on geographical proximity, some committee members expect the Social Science, Health, and Education Library (SSHEL) staff to maintain the room. Library administration has sometimes encouraged more centralized administration. Lisa and Beth will report back to the committee about this planning.

Upcoming Events

Susan highlighted the fall CARLI assessment webinars. Jen Yu will also host a webinar on Dec. 10th about managing data.

FYI – Upcoming 2013-2014 Meetings – 10:00-11:00 am

Respectfully submitted by Meredith Riddle