DAHSL: Developing Academic Health Sciences Libraries

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a collaboration to create the 21st century academic health sciences library…

Do Library Staff Know What The Users Want?

From DBL: Perhaps the most basic premise for delivering a great library user experience is knowing what members of the user community want from the library, and being able to articulate their service expectations from the library. Then, using that knowledge, the librarian’s responsibility is to design an experience that delivers on those expectations and exceed them when possible. If successful we should be able to create a loyal base of community members who will support the library and desire to use it repeatedly – and recommend that their friends do so as well.

Much depends on our ability to identify and develop services that meet user expectations. But how well do we know what those expectations are? According to a recent research article, not well enough. This article’s findings should be a cause of concern for librarians hoping to design a better experience for their users. The bottom line: the priorities for the library staff and for the library users are poorly aligned. This is based on a study of Association of Research Libraries (ARL) that participated in the 2006 LibQUAL+ library quality survey. The authors, Damon Jaggars, Shanna Smith Jaggars and Jocelyn Duffy, in their article titled “Comparing Service Priorities Between Staff and Users in ARL Member Libraries” found that a disconnect existed between library staff and their users.[See portal: Libraries and the Academy, Vol. 9 No. 4, 2009, pgs. 441-452]. For library staff, the highest priority was “affect of service”, but for all user groups (undergrad, grad and faculty) the highest priority was “information control”….read entire post HERE.

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