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Vol. XV, no. 2 TCU Library Newsletter, Web Edition April 2003
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Message from the University Librarian

On March 24, 2003, the University Library sent a questionnaire to all TCU students and faculty to find out what our community thinks about the quality of our service, collections, facilities, and access to information.  The survey is part of a national project utilizing an instrument known as LibQUAL, developed at Texas A & M University in partnership with the Association of Research Libraries.  Because many academic libraries are participating in the survey, TCU will not only receive feedback from its own clientele, but will also be able to compare results with peer institutions.  Because our library emphasizes quality service, indeed is known on campus for being helpful and responsive, it will be useful to have additional information on student and faculty perceptions of the quality of the Mary Couts Burnett Library.

Assessment is nothing new for the TCU Library.  Since 1995 we have conducted annual surveys of faculty and students and have done our best to respond to expressed concerns and needs.  In fact, many of our services such as the Information Commons and the Bistro Burnett café are the result of feedback from our questionnaires.  Changes in library hours, more online full-text books and periodicals, and better photocopiers are also the result of user comments.

Since 2001, the Library has also participated in campuswide assessment efforts.  Responding to a request from the University administration, the Library joined other units in updating mission and vision statements, defining basic functions, and evaluating selected aspects of our operations.  In the first round of assessment in the previous academic year, the Library Assessment Committee examined, among other things, electronic reserves; awareness of services and resources; library technology; collections supporting graduate programs; and service in the computer lab.  In the current cycle of assessment, the Committee is focusing on online chat reference service; electronic journals; the Information Commons; and the Library’s web site.

The library profession is too often guilty of not listening to its clientele and relying too much on its own experience and knowledge.  The staff of the Mary Couts Burnett Library is committed to utilizing both user input and staff expertise in planning and the decision-making process.  I am pleased to say that this approach has been quite successful in terms of user satisfaction.  Last fall the TCU Library was nominated for the prestigious ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award in recognition of its achievements, innovation, and customer service.  Though ultimately this national award went to another university, we can be very proud of our nomination which was the direct result of the fine work of our staff who are dedicated to going the extra mile for our users.

Best wishes for a safe and happy summer holiday.

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