The student was panicked. She dropped the thumb drive on the counter. “I saved the document 20 times but it keeps coming out with a big white line down the middle and it’s due in 2 hours and I have a class now and I’ve never used Adobe Illustrator before so I must have done something wrong but I don’t know how to fix it and now I’m going to get a zero!” “Okay,” said the IT Service Desk staff member calmly, “no problem, we can fix this.” The staff member took the thumb drive, sent the student to class, fixed the file, and brought the thumb drive to the office to hand it in on time for the student. No problem.
The story above is just another moment in a day in the life of Information Services. It is difficult to quantify the importance of the resources and services offered through the department. Since 2009, we have used the MISO survey to get a picture of customer satisfaction with information services staff, resources and services. The MISO survey is administered biannually to assess the importance of, and satisfaction with, library and technology services. It also attempts to take a snapshot of attitudes and practices relating to information usage. MISO is an acronym that stands for Measuring Information Services Outcomes; it’s a nonprofit survey provider based at Bryn Mawr College, and numerous colleges and universities administer the survey each year. For more information on the survey, visit http://www.misosurvey.org.
The survey was administered in February 2018 and had the following response rates: 58.4% of faculty (146 responses), 41.9% of staff (211 responses), and 66.6% of a random sample of approximately 700 students (i.e., 466 responses). The high participation rate for MISO shows the value placed on communications and collaboration at Connecticut College. The departments that comprise Information Services are made stronger by soliciting and listening to feedback provided by MISO and other assessments.
Information Services staff members received very high mean trait ratings from all groups surveyed. Respondents were asked to rate staff on four criteria (friendliness, knowledgeability, reliability and responsiveness). Taking ratings across these four criteria as an average, all staff areas received a score of at least 3.5 out of 4 (with 3 representing “somewhat agree” and 4 representing “agree”).
The focus on customer service is a priority for all departments and service points in Information Services. The reference department was rated 3.9 out of 4 in all traits. The IT Service Desk has made it a priority to train student workers for high quality customer service as well as expert technical knowledge. Their ratings have gone up consistently since 2014 from 3.14 in 2014 to 3.7 out of 4 in 2018. Striving for better service and pursuing excellence in library and technology services is a crucial part of the Information Services culture.
While services remain important, faculty and students rated the importance of the library’s collections very highly for attaining research and teaching goals. 79 percent of faculty said “technology used in courses and classrooms” greatly contributes to teaching. 61 percent said the “physical and digital library collections” greatly contributes. 50 percent said “working with librarians” greatly contributes and 43 percent said “working with technology professionals” greatly contributes. 87 percent of students said “technology used in courses and classrooms” contributed greatly or moderately to achieving their academic goals. 82 percent of students said the “physical and digital library collections” contributed greatly or moderately to achieving their academic goals.
MISO found that the majority of students never backup their data. 37.9 percent of students said they never back up their data. 33.7 percent of students said they backup data once or twice a semester. 18.6 percent of students said they backup data one to three times a month. 7.3 percent of students said they backup data one to three times a week. 2.4 percent of students said they backup data more than three times a week. This information provides an opportunity to educate students about the importance of backing up their data and the help and hardware that can be found at the Information Services IT Services Desk.
Satisfaction ratings have improved from 2016-2018 for “wireless access on campus,” “availability of wireless access on campus,” and CamelWeb across all groups surveyed. Maintaining consistent and accessible wireless services on campus, and making CamelWeb more accessible and user-friendly is a priority for Information Services staff.
Survey results are a good way to analytically measure satisfaction of services. But how do we measure the patience and care that reference librarians ensure is a part of every research appointment at the reference desk? How do we paint a picture of the friendly smile of the student in IT Services who answers each question expertly. How do we gauge the impact of providing innovative learning spaces, addressing research anxiety, and new ways to highlight student and faculty research with digital platforms? “Value isn’t just about quantitative measures but also subjective activities that are hard to measure.” Taylor and Francis Surveys statistics narrative. The MISO 2018 survey results show that a short term goal such as excellent customer service inevitably leads to long term objectives such as retention and community engagement.