E Mail Reference Evaluation Using the Results of a Satisfaction Survey

  • Vandecreek L
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Abstract

E-mail reference has been utilized as a reference tool in academic libraries since the early 1980s. Today it is one of the most common media for providing digital reference service. An important aspect of providing any service is evaluating users' satisfaction levels with that service. Users of the Ask-A-Librarian e-mail reference service at a large academic library over a ten-month period voluntarily completed a seven item web-based questionnaire. The results indicated that the majority of respondents were satisfied with Ask-A-Librarian overall. This paper discusses how the library used the survey results to improve the existing service, and to implement a new one-chat reference. Reference service providers should not only ask users for feedback on existing services, but also should include them in the planning and design phase of new services. In doing so, they demonstrate their commitment to providing adequate and appropriate services to their patron community, and ultimately can save their institutions time and expense.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Academic libraries
  • Ask-A-Librarian e-mail reference
  • chat reference
  • digital reference service
  • evaluation
  • surveys
  • user consultation
  • user feedback
  • user involvement
  • user satisfaction

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Authors

  • Leanne Vandecreek

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