LIS 403 Evaluation of Information Services

Books on the subject

About the course

Libraries, archives and other information settings are grappling with rapid and profound societal and technological change, coupled with economic challenges and restructuring. In such a scenario, it becomes increasingly important to justify the value of the different services we provide. Evaluation and assessment are the key to both envision the future and plan for changes and improvements in our workplace.

Yet, information professionals often lack the tools and the skills to conduct evaluation and to gather data in a variety of ways and in a systematic manner that would help preserve the viability and visibility of their workplaces.

Structured around a semester-long class project involving student preparation of an evaluation research proposal, this course introduces students to the process of evaluation research. Students will identify and investigate different questions and problems affecting information services (e.g. reference, collections, users, systems, etc.) and review prior work on that problem. They will learn how to gather data using different methods (e.g. designing surveys, conducting interviews, etc.) in a reliable, valid and systematic manner, how to analyze the data gathered and how to communicate the results to decision makers.

By taking this course, LIS (Library and Information Science) students will gain not just the knowledge and capability to conduct, assist in or become better consumers of evaluation research, but also develop an evaluation culture in our day-to-day practice where one is constantly looking for ways to improve things. It will benefit not just those interested in research, but all LIS students who want to excel in their jobs.

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