So much stuff for a Thursday!

Hey, yeah, I’m BACK.

I have a meeting in 20 minutes to get trained on how to do the one-on-one interviews that the library is going to be conducting for our strategic planning process. I planned on blogging about strategic planning and to that end created a Strategic Planning category in the blog. But then I was stricken with stupidity and hurt my back yesterday. So, today will be the very first official Strategic Planning blog. There will be more following this one today (probably on the training ans a collection of resources that we are looking at and some thoughts on those resources) so let’s just get started.

I took a look at the mock student survey and I have to say I am deeply disappointed in the survey as a whole. Particularly in the way the survey writer so obviously views the library as a sort of tertiary, brics and books, service on campus. But also with the lack of critical questioning of computer labs and what students are doing in those labs. In fact, throughout the survey I can’t really tell what they are trying to find out; the drive of the survey seems lost in politics and an overarching concern for sports, teaching, and technology — remind me some time to talk about the rise of jock culture at UWT. Maybe that’s just it, maybe they want justification for adding more sports, more unfunded programs, and more technology that’s used for things like Facebook.

If I was crafting the survey I’d want to know what students are actually doing with technology across campus, at home, and at their jobs. I’d want to focus on what they see as the main activities of campus technology (is it printing or are they spending all their time on Facebook?). And then I’d want a breakdown by campus technology unit and technology type as to what the students are doing with that technology. Then I’d want demographics (do you own a desktop at home, a laptop, an iPhone, etc) so that I could cross reference with the activities that Tacoma users are using Technology for. Also, cross referenced by program demographics so we could see data on which programs students are studying harder and ways that they are using technology. A good jumping off point for this type of survey is the PEW/Internet Libraries Report and several other PEW surveys on students and technology use.

That’s a thumbnail sketch of how I would do a campus survey of students right now.

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