ERIC Number: ED341445
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Dec
User Satisfaction and Service Transactions for a Reference Department in an Illinois Community College Learning Resources Center.
Cornish, Nancy M.
Users of the reference library at Blackhawk Community College (Illinois) were surveyed to determine user satisfaction and the total number of transactions. The survey's objective was to pinpoint problem areas, supply objective information, develop guidelines and standards, and support needed improvements or the continued maintenance of good service. The reference librarian recorded the number of reference transactions on certain days, and clients of the reference department were asked to complete surveys to determine user satisfaction. Questions focused on the relevance of the information provided, the satisfaction with the amount of information provided, the completeness of the answer received, the helpfulness of the staff, and satisfaction with the reference transaction. Existing literature on library studies is reviewed, noting in particular the lack of national standards for reference departments. Study findings, based on an 89% response rate to the client survey (N=158) and an analysis of 225 reference service transactions on 7 days, included the following: (1) by far the largest number of reference clients were Blackhawk College students, although many users came from the state university; (2) the largest number of requests were for help on course work, while research questions produced the second highest number of requests; (3) most users were satisfied with the information and helpfulness of the staff, with the level of satisfaction averaging over four on a five-point scale in all categories; (4) most questions were asked between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.; and (5) most questions were simple enough that non-professional staff members, rather than professional librarians, could answer them, leaving librarians more time for professional activities. The survey instrument and statistical tally sheet are included. (DJD)
Descriptors: College Libraries, Community Colleges, Librarians, Library Personnel, Library Planning, Library Services, Library Statistics, Library Surveys, Literature Reviews, Questionnaires, Reference Materials, Reference Services, Statistical Surveys, Two Year Colleges, User Needs (Information), User Satisfaction (Information), Users (Information)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Library and Information Studies paper, Northern Illinois University.