Handling research requests is the most visible thing that special librarians do, but unfortunately the significant positive impact on the organization is too easily ignored by senior management.
At SLA 2019, during one of our two Hot Topics sessions, our panelists explored ways to optimize research and request workflow, including how to capture and interpret relevant and powerful metrics.
They discussed fundamental questions, such as:
- Why is it important to capture the entirety of your request and research activities?
- What are the benefits and value of capturing this information—to the organization, to the library, to the individual?
- How, why and for whom should you collect and measure data related to reference requests and research?
Panelists Samantha Bouwers (Librarian, ACT, Inc), Andrea Bruce (Knowledge & Information Research Professional, Hatch), and Alaina Kolosh (Manager, Library and Information Services, National Safety Council), covered topics such as:
- Customer satisfaction
- Knowledge gaps
- Training gaps
- Return on your resource investment
- Return on the organization’s investment in the library or knowledge center
Attendees refreshed their understanding of the importance of transparency in the research and request management process, selecting the “right” metrics and expressing them through management reports, and the critical importance of evidence-based decision-making.
We invite you to download a copy of our white paper, “The Power of Transformative, Integrated, Measurable Request Management”. Do you have any tips for librarians on how to leverage request management statistics? Please share them in the comments below; we’d love to hear them.
Skills for special librarians who conduct training include leveraging the Kaufman Five Levels of Evaluation to assess instruction efficacy.
Skills for special librarians include leveraging technology like 360° videos, as training and orientations are increasingly virtual
Skills for special librarians including reflecting on prior experiences, keeping what works, and improving upon what doesn’t. Questions to ask.
Special librarians teaching skills many adults need for employment and lifelong learning should include self-regulated learning strategies in training.