Boston College Libraries Faculty Newsletter



Library Assessment Update


Brief summary of the results of the VDC Assessment Project

In the Spring 2005 issue of this newsletter the library announced the VDC Assessment Project aimed at evaluating the collections and services of the VDC and assessing the usability of the VDC web site.


About Respondents

  • Emailed online survey to 778 faculty and Ph.D. students in CSOM, Economics, Education, Nursing, Social Work and Sociology
  • 126 Respondents (49% Faculty/51% Students for a 16% response rate)

What did we Learn?

  • 68% were frequent data users for research; 45% used data frequently for teaching
  • About one fourth indicated that they had used the VDC
  • 90% of VDC patrons use the service to access large datasets
  • SPSS and Excel are the most popular data formats
  • Top 2 services requested: assistance in selection of data and assistance with statistical software
  • Both students and faculty (faculty in particular) want greater access to support services for statistical data conversion and analysis
  • Lack of awareness of the VDC was cited by both groups along with requests for more marketing and training

Focus Groups

Because of scheduling the focus groups were very small with a total of 5 participants.

  • Reinforced the need for greater awareness of the VDC services, including a presence on the library’s homepage
  • Strong recommendations to integrate data support into instruction
  • Participants indicated tutorials and workshops were helpful tools
  • The next step in the process will be to use the survey data to formulate policy recommendations designed to improve services. The VDC Team, working with a web design consultant, is also using survey data to redesign the VDC web site for better functionality and easier access to the data collection.


Questions concerning the Virtual Data Center? Contact Barbara Mento.






Questions, comments? Contact the BC Libraries Newsletter Review Board.
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