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Assessment Projects


The Role of the Libraries in Attracting and Retaining Graduate Students


Following key indicators of the 2006 LibQUAL+ Reports, as well as acknowledging the declined enrollment of graduate students on campus, the Committee is investigating ways in which the Libraries might improve services to existing students, and help attract more to campus. By analyzing graduate student responses to LibQUAL+, facilities, collections, and service data, as well as qualitative measures such as focus groups and interviews, the Committee has provided recommendations to the Cabinet and Council on service to graduate students in the Fall of 2008.


The final report is available here.


The October 15th, 2008 FSDC presentaiton is available here.




LibQUAL+ Data for Norlin Revitalization Focus Groups


The committee provided this presentation of data to a consultant hired to conduct focus groups on the revitalization of Norlin.

LibQUAL+ Reports


The Committee disaggregated LibQUAL+ data to provide customized reports for bibliographers and managers of public service desks.


"Sip and Tell" Focus Groups

(Fall 2004)

Outreach Librarian and Committee member Deborah Fink conducted "Sip and Tell" Focus Groups in the fall of 2004. The Sip and Tell was a regularly scheduled open invitation to students, staff, faculty, and administrators to come to the Norlin Underground at a specified time for a free drink and to provide feedback on the Libraries in general or a particular topic, in effect, focus groups. This feedback provided new data for the Libraries assessment initiative and enabled us to modify our outreach and communications initiatives accordingly. It also provided some of the initial data that guided design of the Norlin Learning Commons.


Circulation Activity


Heather Wicht and Jennifer Knievel are analyzing 98-02 circulation and ILL data to determine activity within disciplines. The project looks at:

  1. All the monographs owned by CU
  2. All the monographs checked out from 1998 through 2002
  3. All the monographs borrowed by CU from 1998 through 2002

"We then compare those three areas by subject to see where the overlap is. Essentially, we're assessing the subject content of our collection, the use of our collection in every subject, and the areas where our collection is not meeting the needs of our patrons. It's ending up to be quite a comprehensive study that we've been able to do because we're working with OCLC for some of the data collection and manipulation. We think this might provide the clearest picture available of the content of our collection."


The findings of this study were published in: "Use of Circulation Statistics and Interlibrary Loan Data in Collection Management,"
Jennifer E. Knievel, Heather Wicht, and Lynn Silipigni Connaway. College & Research Libraries, January 2006, Vol. 67, No. 1 (subscription required).



Project SAILS (Standardized Assessment for Information Literacy)

(Fall 2003)

Project SAILS is produced and managed by Kent State , based on the ACRL literacy objectives. The skills test was administered by Jennifer Knievel and Becky Imamoto to 400 Freshman students from PWR in Fall 2003. Results are available at: http://spot.colorado.edu/~mccartj/colorado2.pdf .





LibQUAL+™ is a suite of services that libraries use to solicit, track, understand, and act upon users' opinions of service quality. These services are offered to the library community by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). The program's centerpiece is a rigorously tested Web-based survey bundled with training that helps libraries assess and improve library services, change organizational culture, and market the library. University Libraries participates in this survey.



Electronic Government Information


Susan Xue conducted a study that examined organization, including access, searchability, and structure, of electronic government information in subject directory format by using web usage statistics (generated by WebTrends), and how to improve display, structure, and searchability:

  • Why this study is needed (66% of gov. info is in electronic format)
  • What web usage statistics can and cannot tell
  • What data are available (top pages on the website visited, top pages exited, length of visits, visitors and demographics, search terms which lead a visitor to the website, sites that refer visitors to the website, search engines through which visitors find the website, most downloaded files, etc)

Findings include:

  • Website is a powerful information delivery tool in term of access number and geographic distribution (compare to traditional reference and circulation data)
  • Search engines play critical role in finding our website, so monitor search engine technology is an on-going task
  • Monitor top visit/exit pages to improve/adjust website content pages
  • Monitor top search phrases to know what people are looking for/finding from our site
  • Monitor most downloaded files to determine what are popular files (guides etc) and what to develop in the future .

The findings were published in: "Web usage statistics and Web site evaluation: a case study of a government publications library Web site," Online Information Review, 28 (3) 2004, pp.180-190 (subscription required).