• Under New Management: Developing a Library Assessment Program at a Small University

      Jensen, Karen (Library Assessment Conference, 2008)
      Prompted by new leadership in both the library and the university, the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Rasmuson and BioSciences Libraries recently established a strategic planning process that included the creation of a general assessment program for the libraries. The library administrative team felt that it was time to assess our program and come up with a new action plan. The purpose of these efforts is to ensure that spending and staffing priorities match current user needs, to respond to university-required performance measures, and to help with strategic planning. The assessment program includes gathering library user and use data, systematic collection analysis, and implementation of an ongoing campus-wide community survey. This paper describes how a task force of four UAF librarians recently adapted and implemented surveys of faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students, modeled on a process conceived by the University of Washington Assessment Program. The UAF libraries’ surveys yielded response rates of 25% (243/943), 19% (143/750), and 8% (431/5086) among the three groups, respectively. Included are an overview of the assessment program, the survey planning and implementation process, and a summary of results and action plan. Recommendations for conducting small-scale surveys are provided.