Quick and Easy Reference Evaluation: Gathering Users' and Providers' Perspectives

  • Nixon J
  • Miller J
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Abstract

Imagine a reference survey instrument that is very simple to administer, requires only a pencil to fill out, and gathers data specifically on whether users get the help they need and are satisfied with reference service, and whether in the process they learn about how to find and evaluate information. If you are interested, read on. This third article in the new Management column is written by Jonathan Miller about the reference survey he and his colleagues developed at the University of Pittsburgh. I first met and heard Miller at the 2006 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference when he presented his research at the Reference Research Forum. I found it a fascinating and practical approach to obtaining user input; a survey that combined some of the strengths of the Wisconsin Ohio Reference Evaluation Project (WOREP) survey while overcoming some of the shortcomings of that standard work-horse instrument. I was especially interested because this new survey was developed to build upon the survey data libraries gathered from LibQUAL+. LibQUAL+ does not specifically measure reference quality; this survey provides a way of gathering useful evaluation of reference service. Adapted from the source document.

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Authors

  • Judith M Nixon

  • Jonathan Miller

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