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Library Assessment Initiatives

The University Libraries undertakes assessment projects in order to measure its contributions in support of the strategic priorities of the University and to enable the Libraries' to evaluate progress of its own strategic goals and objectives. Ongoing assessment allows the Libraries to improve the services it provides the St. John's University community.

St. John’s University Libraries’ Assessment Projects, 2021-22

1. Data Audit of St. John’s University Libraries: Conduct a comprehensive audit of data collected, with a goal of finding out what is currently collected that can be useful in documenting the libraries’ contribution to the strategic goals of the University, as well as identifying gaps in data collection. This project may continue into the 2022-3 academic year. 

2. Inclusive Practices Scan: Assess inclusive practices at St. John’s University as they relate to 
•    Collections
•    Inclusive Culture
•    Instruction
•    Online Access
•    Services

Maps to Academic Priorities: Student Engagement; Equity in Recruiting and Hiring Faculty (ERHF); Strengthening our Commitment to Anti-Racism through Action (AR)

St. John’s University Libraries’ Assessment Projects, 2020-21


1.  Assessment of Libraries Web Site for Inclusion and Accessibility

Summary of Results: The review found that the libraries’ web pages were generally inclusive in the language and images used. However, a review of the site using the software Siteimprove revealed that it presents accessibility problems, especially for people who are visually impaired. In the summer, 2021 I will meet with the Libraries’ Dean and Webmaster as well as representatives from the University’s department of Marketing & Communications to discuss how to improve Web site accessibility.

Maps to Priority 1: Student Engagement; Priority 3: Equity and Inclusion in Teaching; Priority 4: Strengthening Commitment to Anti-Racism through Action.

2.  Assessment of Libraries’ eBook Collection for Inclusivity

Summary of Results: St. John’s University’s eBook holdings reached each of the three targets set by the working group, holding 67% of Columbia’s holdings, 86% of Fordham’s holdings, and 104% of Long Island University’s holdings, so the study revealed that our library has strong coverage of academic titles related to diversity. The study also revealed, however, that there are many titles published by non-academic presses that are not in our collection but would be appropriate for an academic library. Later this year, librarians will review the eBook assessment project report to consider ways to include titles from non-academic publishers in our eBook collection.

Maps to Priority 3: Equity and Inclusion in Teaching; Priority 4: Strengthening Commitment to Anti-Racism through Action.

3.  Assessment of Usage of Remote Reference Service

Summary of Results: The effort to promote remote reference service were successful. Results showed an overall increase in the usage of St. John’s University Libraries’ Remote Reference service by 57%, easily exceeding the targeted increase of 5%. Interactions through the LibAnswers services showed an overall increase of 20%, with the largest increase through the LibChat service. This may be partly due to the new placement of the LibChat widget in a more prominent position on the libraries’ home page. Reference service provided directly through librarian email and phone also saw a huge increase of 210%.

Maps to Strategic Priority 1: Student Engagement.

For more information about the University Libraries' assessment projects, contact Prof. Ben Turner turnerb@stjohns.edu.