|dc.identifier.citation||Devlin, Frances A. and John Stratton. “Reference Transactions at the University of Kansas Libraries: An Analysis and Evaluation of Transcripts from 2008-2011.” Poster session presented at the Library Assessment Conference “Building Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment,” Sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), University of Virginia Library, and University of Washington University Libraries. Omni Charlottesville Hotel, Charlottesville, VA. 29-31 October 2012.||en_US
|dc.description.abstract||Purpose: At the University of Kansas Libraries (KU Libraries), daily reference interactions have been collected since 2007 via the open source software known as LibStats at the two largest campus libraries: Anschutz and Watson Libraries. Together, these libraries contain the central collections in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences. We propose to present information that reveals trends about the patterns and modes of reference questions posed by users at these libraries, more specifically about the disciplines from which these questions emanate. Design/Methodology/Approach: Using the transcripts (~27,0000) recorded in LibStats from a three year period (2008-2010), we reviewed a sampling of reference questions (4,200 or 15%) and tagged them by subject and discipline. The code was developed using a taxonomy based on subject headings on the KU Libraries website to organize databases into broad categories, in addition to corresponding to professional schools within the University. Usage patterns were also examined to determine the busiest times and days of the week and which patron types most frequently used reference services.
Findings: Using an earlier study (presented at the A2011 ACRL Conference) as a point of departure, we will present additional information of a more detailed nature about questions asked in the areas of humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Based on our research, we will present information revealing trends in queries posed by users at our reference desks. We will also consider broader implications to assist the Libraries in addressing increasingly complex questions regarding how faculty and staff time should best be relegated within reference services.
Practical Implications/Value: Our aim is to reflect on reference-related work within the context of other assessment activities currently underway at the University of Kansas. The University has recently undertaken a wide-ranging strategic planning initiative which will have an impact on both administrative and academic functions, including the University Libraries. In 2011, for example, the Libraries hosted two consultants charged with examining the position of the Libraries within the wider University context. Further, the University has engaged with an outside agency to conduct a broad-ranging self-study with the goal of improving efficiencies and effectiveness of certain administrative functions, including the University Libraries. These reviews and other assessment activities will ultimately determine how we approach our profession, which includes reference and research assistance, in the future at the University of Kansas.||en_US