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Library Stats as an Assessment Tool
Michigan Academy of Science, Arts & Letters (2011)
  • Maira Bundza, Western Michigan University

Western Michigan University has been working on creating a culture of assessment for ten years. The libraries have been using LibQUAL, a user satisfaction survey, since 2004, but have been gathering other statistics and assessment data over these same years. It is time to put it all together into an assessment plan.

Library Stats is an open source tool for maintaining reference statistics. It provides the opportunity to keep rich statistics on each reference transaction, including the actual question and answer. WMU implemented the use of Library Stats across all reference areas in 2009 and has already used the data to alter reference desk scheduling. The reports generated by Library Stats has given us a clearer view of how we answer questions, who answers questions, and how various reference points differ in the types of reference questions. The reports also let us get better information from the READ (Reference Effort Assessment Data) Scale, a method of assessing difficulty of each reference transaction. Recording the questions and answers helps us share answers to difficult student assignments and helps us evaluate the quality of our answers. We can see how well our student reference workers are answering questions and decide where more instruction is needed. Library Stats also provides data to share with our administration about ongoing issues, such as printing and textbooks.

  • assessment,
  • reference,
  • Library Stats
Publication Date
March 11, 2011
Citation Information
Maira Bundza. "Library Stats as an Assessment Tool" Michigan Academy of Science, Arts & Letters (2011)
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