Building from our service goals of enhancing student learning and providing academic skill assistance, the Library Learning Center (LLC) will provide continual service for the outlined academic areas during normal hours of operation, likely to be established as 9am to 9pm. This will be one of the LLC’s primary goals.
Students will be able to obtain assistance for most general coursework in a liberal arts curriculum, including math, science, and literature. Since Buffalo State College places particular value on writing as evidenced through its “Writing Across the Curriculum” commitment (http://www.buffalostate.edu/writingprogram/x789.xml), writing will be considered a key academic service area as well. At least one academic tutor/helper for each identified area of academic service will be available during normal hours of operation. Also, each department will develop a packet of key tutorial and information resources to facilitate students’ abilities to learn independently.
Peak usage times will be calculated by tallying: 1) the number of students in a given hour (a simple “stick count” or stroke count), 2) the academic area/department/coursework (e.g. math; writing; etc.), and 3) the estimated length of time for one unit of service. This will enable monitoring of the total number of service units provided, which can be factored into budgetary and staffing analyses. Naturally, times of expected peak usage (or documented peak usage) will result in increased staffing levels.
The Library Learning Center will minimize duplication of services offered in other parts of the college institution. For example, a student brings their resume to the LLC for review. A writing tutor could help the student proofread the document for errors, but a student with more extensive needs, such as needing help with resume writing and/or career planning, would generate a referral to the Career Development Center. Another example would be a student who needs to get information resources to write a paper but does not know how or where to obtain those resources. A LLC helper would refer the student to a librarian at the Reference Desk for specialized assistance with developing information literacy skills and bibliographic instruction. Referrals will be tallied and monitored so as to document the frequency and nature of referrals. High numbers of referrals may be indicative of unclear service marketing strategies (i.e. students not knowing the “correct” place to go for help), which, in turn, could lead to a revision of promotional outreach to clarify services offered at the LLC and on other parts of the campus. Also, high numbers of referrals to a specific support program may indicate a need to collaborate with that program to pinpoint strategies for service differentiation.
User satisfaction will be monitored through brief student exit surveys after each service unit. These surveys will collect two kinds of information. First will be the service received; students will check a box (√) which will specify the academic area/discipline/coursework. Second will be an overall measure of satisfaction. Tentatively, the overall measure of satisfaction will be a basic 4-point Likert-type scale, such as “4 - Strongly Agree,” “3 - Agree,” “2 - Disagree,” and “1 - Strongly Disagree.” Average scores for each academic area will be compiled quarterly and yearly. Any service satisfaction scores averaging a score of 2 or less likely will facilitate further data gathering and service review. For example, conducting a nominal group of users might be able to clarify service delivery issues. Another example would be to conduct a more extensive survey, perhaps focusing on issues related to staffing (e.g. friendliness, knowledge), accessibility (e.g. convenient hours, prompt service delivery), and tutorial resources (e.g. copies of APA citation style guides, example of an annotated bibliography).
Operationalization of Performance Measurement Goals
Students will obtain academic assistance at times convenient to their schedules.
The Library Learning Center will be open from 9am to 9pm throughout the academic semester.
Students can obtain academic assistance for a variety of liberal arts coursework and academic skills.
At least one academic tutor/helper for each service area will be on staff during normal business hours.
Copies of key resources, predetermined by staff in each service area, will be up-to-date and on hand at all times.
Students are entitled to prompt, efficient service.
Peak usage times will be analyzed over a 1-year period of time, and staffing levels will be adjusted to meet higher traffic time periods.
All academic helpers will maintain a tally sheet documenting the number of students served in each hour of operation, their service area, and an estimate (in minutes) of the length of the unit of service provided.
More than 5 students receiving a specific service in any given hour of operation will be defined as a “peak usage time” for that specific service (not for the entire Library Learning Center).
Walk-in service requests are welcome, and appointments with academic helpers for lengthier service needs are encouraged.
Students will be referred to other campus services when their service request cannot be accommodated and/or if a different campus program can better meet that need. This will minimize duplication of service.
The academic helper will provide the contact information and/or on-campus location of the referred service/program.
The academic helper will document the time of the referral, a brief (one-sentence) description of the student’s need, and the program to which the student was referred.
Students will feel satisfied after visiting the Library Learning Center for a service need.
Students will be asked by the LLC receptionist and/or academic helper to complete voluntarily a very brief satisfaction survey (outlined in the narrative portion).
Survey data will be compiled, and services receiving an average score of 2 or lower in a given quarter or academic year will be reviewed, likely resulting in additional, more extensive user satisfaction data collection.
Submitted April 26, 2009
Eugene J. Harvey