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FY10 Annual Report

(based on a template)

For the full Word document go to

1. What were the major goals of the department this past year? Describe accomplishments within these goals.

Digital Reference
The University Libraries completed a transition to OCLC's QuestionPoint platform for InfoPoint email and chat reference services during the summer of 2009. A key driver of the transition was the opportunity to provide 24/7 service at no additional cost to the University Libraries through our partnership with Minitex's AskMN service.
Other highlights include:
  • QuestionPoint provides excellent statistical reporting capabilities.
  • Demand for digital reference services varies significantly throughout the week, suggesting the potential for an asymmetrical staffing model.
  • Users requested chat reference sessions more frequently than they submitted email reference questions.
  • Our chat reference staff are able to handle only 36% of the chat sessions requested by our users, which is in line with the other AskMN academic libraries. This highlights the benefit of having the cooperative provide back-up during hours we are not available.
  • Satisfaction levels are high among Chat users who respond to our post-chat survey.
Peer Research Consultant Program
The Libraries partnered with the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence (MCAE) and the SMART Learning Commons to provide the Peer Research Consultant Program, targeted to support First Year Writing students and MCAE program and scholarship students. Peer Research Consultants undergo a rigorous training to develop skills in information literacy, tutoring and culturalcompetency. They met with approximately 100 students over the course of the 2009-2010 academic year and received high praise from both students and instructors.

Project Information Literacy

The University of Minnesota took part in a nation-wide survey through Project Information Literacy (PIL) which studies "how undergraduates conceptualize and operationalize tasks for course-related research and how in their everyday lives." In May 2010 a survey was sent to almost 4,000 undergraduates at the University of Minnesota. 572 students responded, giving us a 15% response rate. We plan to use this data to inform our ongoing instructional and student support efforts.
Key Trends:
  1. A large majority of U of M respondents reported they most frequently used course readings (96%), search engines such as Google (91%), and scholarly research databases (86%) for course-related research.
  2. When U of M respondents were faced with evaluating Web sites they had collected for their course-related research, three-fourths "almost always" or "often" considered the currency of a Web site (74%), the Web site's URL and what it might mean about the origins of information (74%), and the author's credentials, if they were provided (73%).
  3. Students reported having three frequent difficulties during the entire course-related research process, from researching to writing, that included : (1) getting started on an assignment (86%), (2) defining a topic (66%) and (3) narrowing down a topic (60%).
  4. Over half reported they used certain course related research practices, routines, and techniques from one course-related research assignment to the next one.
  5. They also reported using practices and routines for the information gathering part of course-related research--but these were fewer than the practices that the sample used for writing papers. Respondents reported included using a system for organizing the information they found along the way (41%), figuring out search terms to use early on (31%), and developing an overall research plan to guide the process (29%).

President's Emerging Leader Project
We were selected to be one of the projects for the President's Emerging Leaders program. Five staff from across the University worked on the topic, "Teaching 21st Century Literacies Through the University Libraries to Support the Undergraduate Experience." We expect their report and recommendations soon and look forward to use their findings as we work towards this goal.

Library Faculty Seminar for Institute of Technology/College of Science and Engineering
The Library Faculty Seminar was held May 19 and 20 with 13 faculty and instructors from the Institute of Technology/College of Science and Engineering. This program created a community of faculty and instructors committed to developing student skills in finding, evaluating and synthesizing information in their academic coursework and for lifelong learning. This pilot program included sessions on information literacy, assignment design to increase students' information and 21st century literacy skills, copyright, scholarly communication issues, library tools, services and resources. Overall, participant evaluations were very positive and many next steps are in process between faculty and librarians. We look forward to offering this type of faculty seminar again in the future.
Innovations or substantial new undertakings

The Libraries partnered with the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence and the SMART Learning Commons to provide the Peer Research Consultant Program, targeted to support First Year Writing students and MCAE program and scholarship students. Peer Research Consultants undergo a rigorous training to develop skills in information literacy, tutoring and cultural
competency. They met with approximately 100 students over the course of the 2009-2010 academic year and received high
praise from both students and instructors.

Libraries Media Services continued to develop strong, integrated, production support infrastructure
between the classroom and the SMART Learning Commons.  This academic year Libraries Media Services reached over 600 students in formal outreach that supported student-produced media projects, including documentaries highlighting critical international issues, public service announcements on health topics, personal digital stories on water sustainability, and videos to promote awareness of sustainable food organizations in the City of Minneapolis. Formal outreach services included faculty consultations on developing effective student media projects (often in collaboration with campus educational technologists and the Digital Media Center), class visits discussing research, access to production resources (e.g. cameras), on-demand student production support in the SMART Commons, and follow up assessment.

Bonus material:

Many of the student-produced media projects are conducted in groups using production facilities in the SMART Learning Commons. Several higher level pedagogical objectives are met during the group process. Assessment from PSTL 1135 is used here as an illustration:
1 - Students appeared to be promoting each others success, the group work emphasized teamwork skills, there was both group and individual accountability and (most importantly) there is high positive interdependence. Effective collaborative groups work together to make each individual smarter and the team working together makes everyone accountable for their actions. Effective collaborative work is research-proven to be more effective than working individually.
2 - The groups fostered a social atmosphere and students get to know one another. Students who feel comfortable - form positive relationships -- and not as an island in the classroom are proven to be better students who can achieve higher outcomes that in independent situations.
3 - Both in having to apply anatomy/physiology problems and describe them in a new way (ie. through video) the group members all climbed quickly on Bloom's Taxonomy of learning and on its companion "new" version the Bloom's Digital Taxonomy. This not only refers to the curricular outcomes, but also in digital literacies. Having to explain, articulate aloud or create a script and video of their version of a function is extremely high up on these taxonomies.
4 - Putting the videos into a short timeframe and with a task that is doable is required in effective group learning situations. Breaking their videos down required them to think about key bullet points in the function they were describing. It made them find the most important aspects and demonstrate them rather than drag it on.
5 - Sharing group projects supported accountability and fostered class promotion of each other's learning. Students shared their videos on Youtube and linked to them on a class page created on Facebook. Class work was drawn outside the classroom in this way as a demonstration that learning went beyond the lecture and beyond the classroom.

New staff awards received.  

Technology Librarian, Cody Hanson, was one of two early-career librarians sponsored by the national Library Information Technology Association to participate in the American Library Association's 2010 Emerging Leaders program.

American Indian Studies Liaison, Jody Gray, was recognized by the American Indian Student Cultural Center as a women of the community who has "displayed outstanding achievements" and was honored at the Center's Honoring Native Women Luncheon in December 2009.

Advances or contributions to intercollege and transcollege/interdisciplinary teaching and research.

Technology Librarian, Cody Hanson, co-taught with Digital Media Center staff two semester long programs called the Educational Technology Workshop.
Geared to educational technologists across campus, the program covered a wide range of new and relevant technologies that support teaching and research.

Administrative efficiencies, service improvements achieved, and specific cost savings.

Students, faculty, and staff can now get their questions answered by the Libraries whenever they have them - 7 days a week, 24 hours a day - at no additional cost to the Libraries through a cooperative arrangement with peer institutions around the country facilitated through MINITEX. This program has more than quadrupled the hours per week during which our users can receive live online research assistance (from 30 hours a week to 168 hours a week). This averages to a FTE savings of over xxx a year. [Karen, if you want to use this last sentence let me know and I'll figure it out.]

Definition of how you measure success and performance in the Libraries.

Following their chat reference interaction with the Libraries, 159 users responded to a survey distributed during the 2009 fall semester.
87% of respondents said they would recommend the service to others and 91% said they would use the service again.

International programming activity.
The Libraries' Diversity Outreach Collaborative worked with the Office for Measurement Services to deliver a survey to all international graduate and professional school students in March.  Although results are still being analyzed, we anticipate that the survey will help the Libraries understand how this population receives information about the Libraries when they arrive at the University of Minnesota and how they characterize their interactions with the Libraries. 

Peer Research Consultants
The University Libraries' Peer Research Consultants (PRC) program is in its second semester. The program's goal is to support students as they do library research and find sources to use in their writing. Students can take advantage of day and evening drop-in hours to work one-on-one and get personalized research help on their topic. In the fall, the first semester of the program, PRCs met with over 60 students, over 60% of whom were from the University's First Year Writing program (WRIT 1301).

Digital Reference
The Libraries are now providing digital reference service through Minitex's QuestionPoint platform. This has simplified staffing and administration of the service and has provided a single, verified source of statistics. One interesting finding is that chat (as a 24-hour service) has edged out email as the most common means of requesting assistance. Chat patrons who responded to a survey presented to them at the conclusion of the transaction show high measures of satisfaction, with over 90% indicating that they will use the service again, and nearly 90% indicating that they would recommend the service to others.

Peer Research Consultants Stats Breakdown

This is for the period of October 12, 2009 - November 30, 2009.

PRC Breakdowns.docx


Digital Reference increases: 22% Chat; 4% Email

We saw a 22% increase in Chat transactions for FY 2009, and 4% increase in Email. Offering 24x7 chat may be the reason for the increase in chat sessions.

Here are the statistics:

Chat: 1,517
Email: 4,241

Chat: 1,858
Email: 4,444

SMART Learning Commons and Libraries Media Services by the Numbers

What does the SMART Learning Commons and Libraries Media Services offer to the campus? Well, here's a sampling of our work, plus we offer a whole lot more!

Number of Service Points: 2 (Wilson SLC and Walter SLC)

Total number of hours staffed (open during library building hours):
Wilson SLC: 1,950
Walter SLC: 3,894

Average hours per week:
Wilson: 45
Walter: 94

*Total number of Audio/Visual Media (est.)
Video: 6,893
Audio: 2,113

Uncataloged (Yes, regrettably we have some older stuff not well known..yet - est.)
Video: 354
Audio: 2,281

Total Number of video loans: 11,471 (30% increase over 07-08)
From '07-'08 to '08-'09:

  • 85% increase in graduate transactions

  • 37% increase in undergraduate transactions

  • 41% increase in university staff transactions

Total number faculty-classroom course consultations for media production: Formal media production consultation and support for 13 courses, representing roughly 500 students (vs. just 2 course consultations in 07-08).

Total student consultations for media production: Over 65 scheduled formal student consultations between Jim and Scott.

Total number of advanced level media production questions answered via walk-up in the Wilson/Walter SLC at the service desk: Over 125 higher-level media production questions answered (e.g., video editing, digital imaging, conversion, streaming), registered in DeskTracker by student consultants.

Total media equipment loans: Circulated 22 pieces of media equipment (cameras, tripods, mics), 554 times during the school year. Average Walter cameras circulated 30 times during the 2008-2009 school year.

As you can see, 2008-2009 was a busy year as the inaugural year for the new Walter SMART Learning Commons. Thus far, 2009-2010 is shaping up to include even more increased strategic growth towards developing our media program and meeting the teaching and learning needs of our users...Stay tuned!

Contact Scott Spicer, Media Outreach and Learning Spaces Librarian, for additional questions related to the SMART Learning Commons learning space or non-print media collections, services and course integration.

*Reporting methodology on collections from Aleph records. Uncataloged does not include items in storage without barcodes (mostly older class lecture audio cassettes) yet to be inventoried.

2008-09 Unravel Quick Update

Nearly 3000 students took the in-person Unravel workshops.  
The online Unravel 2 pilot reached an additional 500 students.

Average quiz scores:
In-person - 85%
Online - 88%

Spring '09 a large journalism class started requiring their students to take Unravel 1 and the online Unravel 2 workshops.  

The Information Literacy Toolkit is intended to help our librarians increase their knowledge of information literacy, share best practices, and facilitate creating high-quality learning materials. The toolkit includes sample lesson plans, worksheets, PowerPoint presentations, and more. 

The Assignment Calculator breaks down research and writing projects into manageable steps based on the due date. With the new Beta version, instructors can adapt their own assignment from a bank of existing assignments (e.g. research paper, speech, video/media, lap report, etc.) or create their own from scratch. The beta is tied to the U of M authentication system, but librarians and others can take a look at it through a guest login and password. Stay tuned for an announcement about the release of the code.

More online tutorials and recorded workshops:
  A new Patents and Patentability tutorial was created by the Science and Engineering Library staff, and we have begun to record and post our face-to-face workshops such as RefWorks and Zotero. Over 1,000 students took our Unravel the Library 2 workshop online last spring during the pilot period. Quiz scores were comparable to the in-person version of the workshop.

Peer Research Consultant Program: A University of Minnesota Libraries partnership with the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence and the SMART Learning Commons has resulted in the development and fall pilot of a Peer Research Consultant Program. This program ties together students preferences for getting help from their peers with their need to find good sources and build their library research skills. Based in the SMART Learning Commons, Peer Research Consultants (PRC) will meet one-on-one with students completing research assignments in the First Year Writing Program and other early writing courses. The PRCs have been recruited from a pool of diverse students with a strong academic record who have completed the WRIT 1301 course (or a similar course) with a grade of B or higher and who will undergo a rigorous training program in tutoring and research skills.



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